When one thinks of Groningen aspects like beautiful skies, meadows and fields to the horizon come up. The Westerkwartier has all these aspects. But the Westerkwartier has more than that. In this area -west of the City of Groningen- one can also find swamp, peat and moorland. Because the soil from north to south changes from clay to sand bog you constantly experience a different landscape. One can enjoy many aspects of the nature by hiking, cycling or riding. In addition to the multiple hiking paths, one can find picnic areas and information panels. Below are examples of the natural beauty in the region.
Doezumermieden: 94 ha
On the west and north side of the town called Doezum there used to be a layer of peat that has been digged off around the year 1900. In this area one can find 'petgaten', which are holes that are caused by the peat extraction. Different kinds of birds and deers can be found in this area. Bridges and swing gates are also developed in this area and fit into the character of the landscape. During the summer good walking shoes are usually sufficient, but perhaps it is better to wear boots. If leashed, dogs allowed to come along.
Jilt Dijksheide: 38 ha.
Close to Trimunt is Jilt Dijks Heide, the only remaining heat land in the region. In the southern part of the Westerkwartier you will find pingos (lap pools originated from the last ice age). Pingos are some kind of craters that remained after the melting of a large lump of ice in the soil. Frogs, salamanders and water birds can be found around the pingos. Jilt Dijks Heide is an attractive area. There are recreational opportunities at the nearby recreation centre called Strandheem. Different routes can be combined with the Triumunt Route through the forest of Trimunt. Dogs are allowed.
Trimunt: 50 ha.
This is a forest suitable for hiking with young oaks and pines. The forest is a habitat for birds, deers and many other species. It offers extensive facilities for recreation such as hiking, cycling and horseback riding. There is also a playground.
Grootegastermolenpolder: 65 ha.
'Petgaten’ and moist weadows. The Grootegastermolenpolder is an important area for the birds.
Leekstermeer: 42 ha.
Forest, windbreaks, open meadows, reed and water are aspects that makes the area of the Leekstermeer very diversive. A large variety of animals and plants live here. The Lettelberterpetten and the meadows are populated by different kinds of birds. The area is pointed out as an international important wetland, partly because thousands of white fronted gooses stay here during the winter. A footpath called Jaap van Dijkpad, runs through the forest and takes you to a cabin where you can spot birds. You can spot many types of birds at this cabin.
Leisure and information
Led by the people who control the natural area, one can book excursions in the area. Therefore you have to go to the workshop ‘Staats Bosbeheer Westerkwartier’ Peebos 1a. 9865 TG in Opende, tel: 0594-659986