Outdoor Activities in the Southeast Netherlands

Information on the facilities in Eindhoven, Maastricht and elsewhere in the provinces of North Brabant and Limburg for outdoor activities: walks, hikes and cycling in the area...

There are a number of options for those seeking to enjoy the nature and wildlife of the south-eastern region of the Netherlands.

This page includes information on the following:

Nature Parks

The Netherlands has 20 national parks, which are areas with exceptional wildlife, fauna and landscapes. All of the parks are over 10 Km² and have been developed for visitors to enjoy them, with walking routes and cycle paths. In some cases, bikes can be rented free of charge.

  • For more information on the Dutch National Parks: Click here

Limburg

Stein Woods Recreational Centre: This facility located in Stein (north of Maastricht) offers numerous activities, including indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a 52m water chute, as well as go-karts, pony riding, rowing and fishing.

St. Pietersberg Caves: Located to the south of Maastricht, these caves are a system of tunnels and passages, formed over many centuries by the quarrying of the local marlstone. Originally there were some 20,000 passages with a total length of 200 km. Since the rocks were formed on the bottom of an inland sea, large numbers of fossils can be seen in the walls of the caves.

There are regular tours of the caves.

  • St Pietersberg Caves
    At: Northern System, Luikerweg 71, 6211 ED Maastricht
    Tel: 043 325 2121
  • For further information and contact details: Click here

North Brabant

There are two popular parks in Eindhoven: the Stadswandelpark and the Genneper Parken. The Stadswandelpark is situated just outside of the city centre, and provides opportunities for walking, as well as playground activities for children.

The Genneper Parken is a little further south of Eindhoven, and has large areas for both cycling and walking. It is also home to a swimming pool, ice-skating rink, water park, hockey stadium and football pitches.

Other areas of interest within the park include an open air museum, an Environmental Education Centre and an organic farm.

  • For further information on Genneper Parken: Click here

Kempen and De Peel

Located to the south-east of Eindhoven, Kempen and De Peel includes a National park, encompassing villages (such as Eersel, Nuenen or Oirschot), castles, lakes and forests. Cycle and hiking tracks run throughout the area, as well as camping facilities.

  • Visit the local tourist board for more information about the area and its facilities
  • For information on camping sites in North Brabant: Click here

Hiking and Walking

The Netherlands are well-suited to walking and rambling - from coastal walks along the dunes and mud flats, to trekking in the national parks - and there is a wealth of information on these activities. The official Dutch walking association is the Stichting Wandelplatform-LAW (Lange-Afstand-Wandelpaden).

The country has a network of paths and walks mapped out by the LAW. The LAWs are longer routes but they can be joined and exited at various points.

The ANWB also has a comprehensive guide for walking in Holland. They publish guide books and route maps, which include a series of dog-friendly walking routes.

For combined city/sightseeing routes, local tourist offices are the best source of information and can supply maps and details of guided tours in the area.

The Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions (NBTC) website offers a selection of walks, with a variety of themes.

  • For information on walking excursions in Holland from the NBTC : Click here

Hiking in North Brabant

There are 2,100 km of walking routes in North Brabant. Maps of the walking network can be purchased from tourist offices (VVV offices) throughout the southeast Brabant region.

  • For more information about hiking and hiking routes in North Brabant: Click here

Cycling

Signposted cycling routes can be found throughout the Southeast Netherlands.

Cycling route network

As with many Dutch cities, Eindhoven's surroundings are ideal to explore by bike. The cycle route network in Eindhoven and surrounding the city is the largest in Holland, and has many cycle paths through tourist attractions and villages, including the village of Nuenen (where Vincent van Gogh painted one of his most important paintings, 'The Potato Eaters').

Visit the local tourist board for more information on the special cycling routes.

Canoeing and Kayaking

In addition to the sea, there are plenty of inland waterways in the Netherlands suited to canoeing and kayaking.

The Nederlandse Kanobond (NKB) is the national association for canoeing in the Netherlands. It organises competitions and events throughout the year. To compete in events, paddlers must be members and have a licence, which is issued by the NKB. To become a member, either apply directly with the NKB or join an affiliated canoe club, which will ensure automatic membership.

The NKB organises flat water and white water races, as well as slalom competitions and canoe polo.

Horse Riding

Horse riding is popular in the Netherlands, with many opportunities for horse riding situated on the outskirts of towns.