Gravelbiken at Park De Zeegser Duinen

Gravelbiken at Park De Zeegser Duinen


It was early spring when we decided to get away from it all. The mission was clear: get away from the everyday hustle and bustle of work and the Randstad. Take a nice bike ride into nature and take the time to enjoy the silence around you. Park De Zeegser Duinen is in the middle of National Park De Drentsche Aa. A breathtaking piece of the Netherlands with forests, heaths, wet grasslands and the meandering river De Drentsche Aa running through it.


Holiday park De Zeegser Duinen has 40 luxury holiday homes, suitable for 4 to 8 people. Most residences are equipped with wellness facilities (great for after cycling) and are the ideal base for a few days away. From the park you drive straight onto your ideal route.

The ultimate gravel ride

Drenthe is the perfect destination for a gravel ride. This province has vast countryside, rolling moorlands and endless forests. Away from asphalt and beaten tracks. Here you can easily opt for gravel and sand under the tyres. And if you are looking for the ultimate gravel ride, you cannot go past National Park De Drentsche Aa and the surrounding villages and forestries. The pre-fun starts well in advance by plotting the ideal route. This can be done, for example, via the platform Strava. This app immediately shows how many kilometres of unpaved road you can expect. I choose a hefty trip of about 100 kilometres, of which more than 50% is unpaved.



It is windless and misty when I get on my bike. A shame about the view on the one hand, but on the other, it creates a mystical and photogenic atmosphere. Literally from the park you cycle through the adjacent five-star nature reserve De Zeegser Duinen. Occasionally, the sun peeks through the fog layer, producing beautiful light. Wide sandy paths alternate with narrow tracks and within fifteen minutes I reach the north side of the Balloërveld. An area of no less than 360 hectares where sheep graze and heather blooms. Usually a popular spot for cyclists and walkers, but now there is no one there. I stop in the middle of the heath to take in the silence. I really don't hear anything at all. Absolute silence. Where else do you find this in the Netherlands!



I cycle on towards Forestry Grolloo. A beautiful area with coniferous and deciduous forests, fens and streams, of which the Hunze is the most important. It produces a varied landscape through which I cycle whistling. Still that impressive silence, occasionally broken by the ticking of a Woodpecker or the screech of a Goshawk. The scenery here is truly breathtaking and you have the feeling that time stands still in this piece of primal nature.


Drenthe villages and forests

After Balloërveld, I cycle on towards Rolde. A beautiful 15th-century church marks the village. The cosy village centre with terraces and shops shows that this is a lively and bustling village in the summer season. I now choose to cycle on, along the Pieterpad up towards Zuidlaren before turning south again towards the woods near Gieten. I take in part of the 35-kilometre MTB trail and after a few kilometres am surprised by the enchantingly beautiful lake near Gasselte. For a moment, I think I am in the middle of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

Dolmens and storks

Meanwhile, the sun has broken through. I cycle back north along winding roads past picturesque hamlets like Anreep and Eleveld with centuries-old farms. After braving a small path through the bushes near the De Kamp estate, I am treated to the beautiful hunebed formation 'D16', situated slightly higher up. It is hard to imagine that these stones have been preserved in this spot, untouched, for centuries. Nice moment to pause for a moment. I cross the small river Aa and enter the village of Loon on a cobbled road. The entrance to the village with a nesting pair of storks makes me very happy. The wet grasslands of De Drentsche Aa are full of mice, moles and frogs that are high on the menu of this special bird.


The gravel ride ends with the family enjoying a cappuccino in the comfortable holiday villa at Park de Zeegser Duinen. The unspoilt nature and tranquillity of this province is unparalleled. Discovering Drenthe by bike is highly recommended. It doesn't have to be 100 kilometres, around the corner from the park you will find plenty of beautiful spots. And now into the sauna!


If you want to cycle this route yourself, you can view and download it here!