Dutch Mountain Trail
Get yourself ready for the Dutch Mountain Trail
The enduring perception is that the Netherlands is as flat as a pancake. Most people conjure up a landscape of canals, dykes, polders and windmills. However, in the southernmost province of Limburg, where the land rises to over 300 metres (1,000 feet), the landscape defies this stereotype. The region’s distinctive upland scenery has always had a powerful draw on holidaymakers from the predominantly low-lying parts of the country and is now attracting a growing number of hillwalkers from abroad.
Now there is the Dutch Mountain Trail!
“With its alpine meadows, wooded hillsides, bubbling streams, rock faces and spectacular vistas, the DMT gives trekkers a taste of the mountains”
In 2019, we at the Dutch Mountain Film Festival came up with the idea of a Dutch Mountain Trail. Perhaps a little extravagant-sounding, but this challenging 101-kilometre trail (63 miles) is not for the faint-hearted, linking up seven of the country’s highest summits all of which are above 150 metres (500 feet). The alpine meadows, wooded hillsides, bubbling streams, rock faces and spectacular vistas along the way give trekkers a taste of the mountains.
Its ups and downs demand some serious leg work, often traversing rough, rocky, and muddy terrain and on occasion imperceptibly crossing the border into Germany and Belgium. At times you will find yourself battling across open plateaus where the wind has free rein and at others, tumbling down mountainous slopes into dense forest or teetering along a vertiginous cliff face.
The views afforded from the top of the Seven Summits along the way are far-reaching, taking in the Eifel in Germany, the Ardennes and the Kempen in Belgium, as well as lower lying lands of the Rhine Basin and the Maas valley to the north.
New English DMT guide
In its four years of existence, the Dutch Mountain Trail has proved a huge hit, with over 15,000 copies of the Dutch-language guide to the route having been sold. The good news is that there is now an English edition of the guide, which is bigger and more detailed than its Dutch counterpart!
The compact guidebook divides the Trail into four stages of roughly 25 kilometres and comes with large-scale maps, a detailed route description and comprehensive public transport information. The book also includes separate circular walks for the ‘Seven Summits’. Packed full of interesting facts and curiosities, it is not just a must for trail walkers, but also for anyone seeking a deeper insight into this fascinating corner of Europe.
The Dutch Mountain Trail has already been catching the eye of the foreign press, with an article in The Guardian in September 2022.