Three hiking sections of the Vechtdalpad, along the Vecht river in Overijssel, the Netherlands
The Vecht river rises in Germany and is from there to the mouth in the IJsselmeer ( the Netherlands) 120 km long. Total length of the way marked route is about 60 km.: from the border to the mouth. The river used to be very wild. The consequences are still visible in the landscapes: i.a. dunes and rare flora.
Getting there: the trail starts at the railwaystation of the hanseatic city of Zwolle. You can still sense the rich history of this city. From Amsterdam (airport Schiphol) it's about 2 hrs by direct train.
Accommodation: hotels or B&B's.
Maps: we used a guidebook: " het Vechtdalpad, LAW, publisher VVV Overijssels Vechtdal, ISBN909011123-98". With topographical maps of the stages. As said: the route is very well marked.
Summer 2018: three sections of het Vechtdalpad.
day 1: Zwolle - Dalfsen.............22 km
day 2: Dalfsen - Ommen..........14 km
day 3: Ommen - Marienberg...17 km
and by train from Marienberg back to Zwolle ( 23 min) - Amsterdam (85 min)
On trail: a nice walking tour through the counryside of a historic region. During the creation of the nation of the Netherlands - 1568 -- 1648 - a lot of fighting between the "staatsen" and the Spanish took place here. Nowadays the river is popular with boat- and nature lovers.
On trail you'll come through a couple of nice villages, in old Dutch style, through estates, farmland, forests, and river dunes. Areas where the emphasis is on the characteristic combination of spontaneous natural development and the old-fashioned work on the land - like mowing, hay-making and cutting peat.
De Vecht was soon used for the trade of mainly local products from the farm: cotton, rye, hams and eggs. And Bentheimer Sandstone for the construction of castles, churches and monasteries.
A lot of mansions, a castle (Rechteren castle Dalfsen),off trail, windmills and authentic farms.
Special birds in this river landscape.
Because of the accretion during centuries a rare flora has arisen on the banks of the river. Wild carnation flower, greater butterfly-orchid, long-leaved speedwell or the lapwing flower (fritillaria). Flowery floodplains, shady estates
Or walk through the sand drifts near Ommen, called the Sahara....a mosaic of barren, shifting sand.
There is a train running along the route, so you can easily return to Schiphol airport or elswhere.
Below a video about a part of the trail: