Picture this: The best nature reserves in Limburg
There are nature reserves of all sorts in the Province of Limburg. Expanses of heathland lie scattered throughout the province, serene havens for rare plants and animals. Nature is also abundant along the Maas. The highlight is south Limburg, where the hills make you wonder whether you haven’t crossed the border. Never fear! This five-star landscape is Limburg at its best.
We’ve tracked down the best nature reserves in Limburg for you. Each and every one of these scenic spots will amaze you, with idyllic landscapes that change with the seasons or time of day. Let these gorgeous photographs on Instagram convince you to visit the best nature reserves in Limburg!
Maasduinen National Park
The forces of water, wind and human activity in north Limburg combined to create the longest stretch of inland dunes in the Netherlands. They include parabolic dunes, U-shaped mounds of sand crafted by wind and water. The mounds may be as much as 25 metres tall. The tallest parabolic dune is surmounted by a lookout tower that offers striking views of the national park. Explore the entire area with the help of the discovery map and choose one of the many hiking trails.
De Grote Peel National Park
Limburg shares De Grote Peel National Park with its neighbouring province of Noord-Brabant. The landscape is the result of centuries of peat extraction and is one of the few peat bogs that has been renatured. It is an immensely species-rich area, renowned for having one of the largest bird populations in western Europe. To protect vulnerable flora and fauna, only part of the park is accessible on foot or by bike, but it’s a part well worth exploring. See for yourself!
Meinweg National Park
This is a unique terraced landscape found nowhere else, intersected by two streams and consisting of woods, heaths and marshes. Meinweg National Park is also home to fascinating creatures such as rare dragonflies, the poisonous adder and the wild boar. Stop by the multifunctional visitors’ centre to discover new and interesting ways of exploring nature. Here are a few impressions:
Maasvallei River Park
Maasvallei River Park is a lovely nature reserve along the stretch of the Maas that forms the border between Belgium and the Netherlands. Boating and other water sports are popular here, but there are also 200 kilometres of footpaths on either side of the border.
While traditional nature reserves emphasise tranquillity, Maasvallei River Park is all hustle and bustle. Wildlife along the turbulent river alternates with cultural attractions and entertainment in and between the string of Maas villages. There is no visitors’ centre, but if you’re eager to learn more, you can join a guided walk with a Maas Explorer.
Brunssummerheide Nature Reserve
The heaths near the town of Brunssum have turbulent origins, with landslides creating what is now a unique nature reserve. There are rolling hills and sand flats, grazing sheep keeping plant growth in check, and a stream so rich in iron ore that the water runs red. Rare animals make their home in this vast wilderness. As autumn approaches, the heath colours purple, attracting flocks of people. A colourful reward at the end of a glorious walk!
The Downs: Five-star landscape
South Limburg feels like another country to the Dutch. Its rolling hills make a stark contrast to the otherwise flat landscape of the Netherlands. Enjoy the panoramic views, sunken lanes, half-timbered farmhouses and wayside crosses so typical of this region. With countless trails and footpaths, the south Limburg Downs deserves its reputation as a paradise for hikers and cyclists. If you need any more convincing, check out these images.
What do you think is Limburg’s best nature reserve? Is it on our list or do you have another favourite? Share your best photograph on social media using #InLimburg.