Do you know that there is a dancing forest in the Netherlands, called the Speulder- en Sprielderbosch? Not many people know about the existence of this beautiful place to hike through in the Netherlands. It is known as the forest of the dancing trees. The forest is a stunning and mystical place in the center of the Veluwe.
The history of the Speulder- en Sprielderbosch
The Speulder- en Sprielderbosch is one of the oldest forest of the Netherlands. Since the middle ages, people from villages like Speuld, Garderen, Putten and Ermelo used the trees to construct houses and stables. They harvested straight-grown beeches and oaks, thus leaving the ones with crooked stems. This way, they unintentionally created the dancing forest. Nowadays, it is a mystical forest, which stimulates your fantasy and makes you come up with fairy-tale adventures while hiking, horse riding or mountainbiking through the forest.
Whilst exploring the Speulder- en Sprielderbosch you can also find many old gravehills dating from the prehistory. This shows you that humans inhabited this area for a long time.
Various animals inhabit this dancing forest ranging from tiny mice to majestic red deer. With a bit of luck, you will spot red deers, wild pigs, tawny owls and raves. We were fortunate to have spotted red deers and ravens on our hike through the forest. Moreover, we saw plenty of traces of wild pigs (plowed soils). Do you know that December is the “love month” of the wild pigs? The male wild pigs walk around with foam on their mouth.
Best time to visit the Speulder- en Sprielderbosch in the Veluwe
Is there a best time to visit the Speulder- and Sprielderbosch? We have visited the forest in both summer and winter (without snow, unfortunately). Both times were magnificent. We think the place will be even more beautiful when snow covers the forest or when it is foggy. However, the forest will also be beautiful and worth visiting, when it is covered in green leaves in spring and summer, or when autumn turns the green leaves into a myriad of colours.
Hiking in the Speulder- en Sprielderbosch
There are many routes in the Speulder- and Sprielderbosch, both marked and unmarked. Some focusses on the history and others explore natural highlights. Our hike started near Drie, which is a township near Speuld and Garderen. During this hike, we obviously walked through the magnificent dancing forest. The forest was endless!
Starting point: Sprielderweg 204, 3852 MH Ermelo
Kilometers: 6 km
Duration: ca. 1,5 h
Do you want to hike longer than we did? Try out the “Speulderpad” route of 16 km, which has the same starting point and discover the neighbourhoods Staverden, Leuvenum and Speuld, estates, streams, heather fields and of course the dancing forest.
Bonus: Discover the Staverden estate
If you have time, you should not miss the Staverden estate. The manor is probably very old, but has its current form since the 1900s. On this estate, you can do many things. There is a brewery (De Uddelaer) located in the old coach house. Here, they brew local beer, which you can normally drink in the bar or buy bottles. Next to the brewery, there is a place where you can eat. Moreover, you can explore the garden next to the manor, admire the water works or explore nature.
We bought a beer-tasting box from the regional brewery De Uddelaer. We enjoyed the delicious beers at home, because of the lockdown. How could the day end any better than with a beer tasting of regional beers from the region that we had just visited?
What do you like more: the nature or the history of this part of the Veluwe? Let us know in the comments!