De Alde Feanen National Park - information and tips

De Alde Feanen National Park: practical tips & what to do

Would you like to see some gorgeous nature in The Netherlands? Make sure to visit De Alde Feanen National Park in Friesland!

About De Alde Feanen National Park

Welcome to De Alde Feanen National Park!
Welcome to De Alde Feanen National Park!

De Alde Feanen National Park is one of the four national parks in Friesland, the northwestermost province in The Netherlands. It is centrally located in the province, near the village of Earnewoude (Earnewâld) between Leeuwarden and Drachten. Alde Feanen is Frisian for old peatland, which makes it immediately clear what the park is. It is a peat bog with several lakes, lots of grass, forest-like areas, and swampy hiking trails. More than a hundred species of birds live in the park and if you are lucky you might even see some otters.

How do you get to De Alde Feanen National Park?

The Alde Feanen is easily accessible by car. In terms of navigation, it is best to tell your GPS to navigate to the visitor center (address: Koaidyk 8a, 9264 TP Earnewâld). From Leeuwarden or Drachten, take the N31 until you see the signs “Nationaal Park De Alde Feanen”. There is a large parking lot at the visitor center where you can park your car for free.

If you need a rental car for your vacation in The Netherlands, I would recommend renting one through either AutoEurope or Sunny Cars. When you rent a car through these companies, you can be sure that all necessary insurance is included.

You can also visit the Alde Feanen National Park by public transport. This may be slightly different than you are used to (in The Netherlands). From Drachten or Leeuwarden you can take the bus to Nijega and from here you switch to a special bus called “overstapper”. You must make a reservation for this bus at least an hour in advance and you also have to buy a separate ticket for this. Check the Arriva website for the timetable and how to book this bus.

Fees & opening hours

Entrance to the park is free of charge. The Visitor Center is normally open daily from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM but is temporarily closed due to COVID-19.

Activities in the Alde Feanen National Park

What to do in the Alde Feanen National Park?

Eplore the park by boat

Sailing in De Alde Feanen National Park.
Sailing in De Alde Feanen National Park.

As soon as you are in the park you will see them: the many boats. The region around Earnewâld is perfect to discover from the water. Please note, you cannot just sail anywhere in De Alde Feanen National Park. The website of De Alde Feanen has a beautiful sailing route that takes you past all the beautiful places.

Cycling

Cycling in De Alde Feanen National Park.
Cycling in De Alde Feanen National Park.

In The Netherlands, it’s really easy to make your own cycling itinerary. All over the country, you’ll find cycling junctions (maps with a number on them), and you can just follow the numbers from one junction to the next. There are many cycling junctions in the Alde Feanen National Park, so you can easily create a beautiful cycling route with a length that suits you. Do you prefer a ready-made cycling itinerary? There are several great cycling itineraries to be found on the website of De Alde Feanen.

Hiking

Fortunately, you can also find beautiful hiking trails in De Alde Feanen National Park. There are various options for a great hike (5, 11, and 20 kilometers), so make sure to inform yourself at the visitor center (it is closed, but there are some leaflets with routes) or at the tourist office of Earnewâld.

Tip Make sure to bring insect repellentDe Alde Feanen National Park: practical tips & what to do, as there are many mosquitoes in De Alde Feanen National Park.

Extra tip If you go cycling or hiking in De Alde Feanen National Park, you might need to cross the water by ferry. You have to pay in cash for this, so make sure to bring some.

The 11-kilometer hike

In the summer, I went for an 11-kilometer hike in De Alde Feanen National Park with my cousin. A photo report:

Taking the ferry to Earnewald
Taking the ferry to Earnewâld to start the hike.
Hiking trail in De Alde Feanen.
Hiking trail in De Alde Feanen.
You regularly have to cross a bridge in De Alde Feanen.
You regularly have to cross a bridge in De Alde Feanen.
Walking on the water in De Alde Feanen
Or you walk over the water on a boardwalk.
There are many storks to be seen in De Alde Feanen.
There are many storks to be seen in De Alde Feanen.
Lookout tower in De Alde Feanen.
Lookout tower in De Alde Feanen.
On clear days you can even see Leeuwarden (the capitol of Friesland) from this watchtower.
On clear days you can even see Leeuwarden from this lookout tower.
Hiking in De Alde Feanen
You really enjoy and appreciate the extraordinary landscape during this hike.
Reflection in the water
The reflection in the water is so beautiful!

Food

If you go cycling or hiking you can always bring your own picnic basket and sit on one of the benches and enjoy the landscape. If you prefer to eat out, there are also some nice restaurants in the village of Earnewâld, such as restaurant Puur Prince (at Hotel Princenhof) or Porto Casa.

Where to stay

Would you like to discover De Alde Feanen National Park yourself after reading this article? Stay overnight (or longer!) in the village of Earnewâld or combine a visit to De Alde Feanen with a city trip to Leeuwarden. You can book a hotel room via Booking.com.

Would you like to discover more lesser-known places in the Netherlands?

Then order one of these books full of inspiration:

Insight Guides The Netherlands

Lonely Planet The Netherlands

Or read one of these articles:

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Co

Hi! I'm Co and a travel addict. On this website, I'll share stories of my travel adventures and share some travel tips. I'll make sure to keep you inspired for your next trip!

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