Hoge Veluwe National Park is in the Dutch province of Gelderland. It is mainly located in the territory of the municipality of Ede. Hoge Veluwe is the largest nature reserve in the Netherlands and the largest lowland nature reserve in northwest Europe. The area is ideal for walking or cycling. You can get a free “White Bicycle” everywhere in the park and go on one of the beautiful routes through Hoge Veluwe.
Nature in Hoge Veluwe
The nature of the Hoge Veluwe National Park is amazing. The different old Veluwe landscapes alternate continuously. You find deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests, as well as heathland (wet and dry), grassy plains and shifting sand landscapes.
These landscapes are home to an unprecedented diversity of plant and animal species. There are still red deer, roe deer, moufflons and wild boars living here. In addition, many special bird species have their habitat here.
The red deer is the king of the park. There are about 200 red deer living in the park. In autumn, the males go in search of females. They also try to impress competitors with a kind of roar, a bellowing. You could describe it as something between the roaring of a lion and the bellowing of a bull. Sometimes it even comes to a fight between two deer. During the autumn there are special excursions to see the red deer while they are bellowing.
The (semi-)open areas with a sandy bottom are an ideal habitat for reptiles. There are three species of lizards (livebearing lizard, sand lizard and hazelworm) and three species of snakes (smooth snake, viper and ring snake) in the park. Amphibians are often dependent on water and despite the fact that the Park is located on high sandy soils, there are still many fens, peat bogs, ponds and drinking pools to be found. Six species of amphibians live in the Park: the toad, common toad, heather frog, green frog, brown frog and common salamander.
Hiking in the Hoge Veluwe National Park
The Hoge Veluwe is ideal for exploring on foot. Hiking is possible in many ways. Some people prefer to go haphazardly and see where they end up along the way, while others prefer to follow a route that you can follow by means of poles with coloured stickers and symbols. There are also long-distance routes and themed walks. You are only allowed to walk on the official walking and cycling paths in the park.
It is also possible to walk through the area with the guidance of a nature guide. The guide can tell you a lot about the flora and fauna in the park. Click for an overview of the hiking possibilities in the Hoge Veluwe National Park.
Biking in this fabulous national park
Cycling in the park is an ideal way to explore the surroundings. Especially since you can use the famous White Bicycles for free. Of course, you can discover the park on your own bike. There are a total of 40 kilometres of cycle paths in the park. While cycling you can see all types of landscape in the Hoge Veluwe: deciduous, coniferous and mixed forests, wet and dry heathlands and shifting sand landscapes. Bicycle routes are available at the Visitors’ Centre and the cash desks at the entrances to the park.
The free White Bicycle is inextricably linked to the Hoge Veluwe National Park. The park has 1,800 bikes, distributed over the bicycle sheds on the Marchantplein, at the Kröller-Müller Museum, the Jachthuis Sint Hubertus and the various entrances (Hoenderloo, Otterlo and Schaarsbergen). So, you can get on board immediately when you enter the Park. As soon as a White Bicycle is parked in the parking facility, another visitor can use it. They cannot be reserved or locked. If “your” bike has been taken by someone else, then you just take another one. The saddle and handlebars are easily adjusted to the correct height and you can continue cycling.
The Krōller-Müller Museum
The Hoge Veluwe National Park has a special museum, the Krōller-Müller Museum. Hélène Krōller-Müller, wife of a wealthy industrialist, started collecting art in 1908. In 1935 she donated her collection to the Dutch State. A special museum has been built in the park for this purpose, which was then awarded the name of its generous giver. The museum displays no fewer than 278 works of art by Vincent van Gogh, as well as a large collection of modern art.
The museum’s 21-hectare sculpture garden houses over 160 sculptures by iconic artists, from Aristide Maillol to Jean Dubuffet, from Marta Pan to Pierre Huyghe. The sculpture garden is one of the largest in Europe.
Visitors to the Hoge Veluwe National Park can visit the sculpture garden free of charge. A ticket is required for the museum. You can buy this ticket at the park’s ticket offices by using a combination ticket for both the park and the museum. We certainly recommend you visit the museum. You’ll see the world’s second largest collection of works by the famous painter Vincent van Gogh, alongside numerous other works by top painters, such as Claude Monet, Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso and Piet Mondriaan.
Hoge Veluwe National Park – practical information
- The Hoge Veluwe National Park is located between Arnhem, Ede and Apeldoorn. The entrances to the Park are in Hoenderloo, Otterlo and Schaarsbergen. Otterlo is the busiest, so we recommend using the entrance at Schaarsbergen or Hoenderloo.
- The park is open daily. In the winter months this is from 9 am to 6 pm. There are longer opening hours during the other months. Check this and other information on entrance fees, on the Hoge Veluwe National Park website.
- There are some catering establishments in the park.
- The park has a visitor centre with plenty of information to educate yourself on the area. You can also visit the world’s first underground museum: the Museonder (free of charge).
- You can explore the park with your own car (for a fee). Cars are only allowed to drive on the indicated roads in the park.