Walk across the sand dunes and through shady forest in the Loonse en Drunense Duinen National Park on this circular hike.
This walk starts from a car park by De Roestelberg restaurant, at the northwestern edge of Nationaal Park Loonse en Drunense Duinen (Loonse and Drunense Dunes National Park). It’s roughly a 1hr20 drive from central Rotterdam and slightly less from Kinderdijk. If you’re driving for example from Rotterdam to Maastricht, a detour for this hike will add on about 20 minutes to your journey.
Tips for Loonse en Drunense Duinen National Park Hike
- The first half of the trail involves walking on sand, the second part is on easier paths through the forest.
- The route is very sunny at the beginning and the sand reflects the light. Bring a sunhat and sunglasses if it’s sunny.
- There is a nice restaurant, De Roestelberg, right at the parking spot for this hike.
- The app Maps.Me is very useful for this hike because there are many paths and they can be unclear.
- For another dune hike, by the beach near The Hague, try a walk in Wassenaar Dunes.
- Check out other walks and hikes on our Netherlands Hiking Page.
Loonse en Drunense Duinen
From the car park, head up the sand dune in front of you. Paths are unclear in the very sandy areas, however you can see them much better when they go through grassy or forested areas. From the top of the first dune head straight onwards and slightly to the left.
On the far side of the sandy area you’ll reach a large track with a fence on the other side. Turn left here and follow the path as it bends around to the right, keeping next to the fence. After just over 1 km of walking along the track, you’ll reach a junction by a large, distinctive tree. Head straight across and continue through a mix of sandy and more grassy areas.
In 1.2 km from the last junction, in a sandy area, take the track to the right, and at the next junction head right again to head to an area with some larger hills.
Soon you’ll see the wooded Kapucijnenberg to your left – the tallest hill in the area. Climb to the stop – there is a view through the trees – and then down the other side. It’s quite fun to run down through the sand. Head right and then left towards a very large sandy area. You might see a lot of dogs here as it’s one of the only areas where they are allowed off the lead.
Walk across the sand, there are not any clear paths, but head for the viewpoint up to your left at the edge of the forest. The viewpoint is called Uitkijkpunt Loonse en Drunense Duinen, and from here there are some of the best views in the national park, over sandy dunes and heather below. There are also some benches here to sit on and perhaps have a snack.
Loonse en Drunense Forest
After admiring the view, head out the back of the viewpoint into the forest and take the small path right. You’ll soon reach a tarred cycle path. Walk right along here for a short distance before taking a walking path to the left. It’s just after the path designed for horses, and much easier to walk on because there’s far less sand.
Keep on the footpaths for pedestrians, which sometimes cross over the horse tracks. Almost 1 km after the bike track, take a sharp right and continue walking. The path winds through the forest and there are quite a lot of path choices. Aim for the small lake called De Ijsbaan (The Ice Rink). There’s a large island in the middle and the lake sometimes freezes in winter, hence its name. There are also some nice beaches by the water and you can even enjoy a swim if you’re brave (the water is often cold).
Head right, away from the lake, towards the car park. You’ll wind again through some nice woodland area and soon come out where you started. Have a drink or something to eat at De Roestelberg restaurant to refresh yourselves with a well-deserved treat.