Experience the most fun adventures in autumn. The Nieuwe Dordtse Biesbosch and adjacent De Elzen are perfect for a nice day outdoors. It is here to enjoy the peace, space and beautiful nature. Angela Knook knows all about it. As a forester with the Forestry Commission, she can regularly be found in the Nieuwe Dordtse Biesbosch and De Elzen. "Even with your family you can experience the most fun, beautiful and sporty adventures there. Especially also in autumn when it is less warm."
It's great there and really not just for birders or nature photographers.
We decide to take Angela's tip to heart. On a beautiful Sunday morning we grab our bikes and head out with family. We all like to skate so in addition to water and a packed lunch, the skates come along. Off to the most beautiful, greenest and largest backyard you could wish for, with an extensive network of hiking and biking trails. Two natural areas side by side, but with big differences. "The Nieuwe Dordtse Biesbosch with an open landscape and a lot of water and De Elzen more densely wooded with just a lot of deciduous trees are an ideal combination to visit in one day," says the experienced forester.
It's actually incredible: it's only a fifteen-minute bike ride from downtown and you already feel like you're in another world. On Angela's recommendation, we start with the rafting route, with water on both sides, through the waterfowl area in the vast Nieuwe Dordtse Biesbosch. "You can hardly imagine already that just a few years ago this was agricultural land," Angela explains. "It is very special that in such a short period of time nature has already found its place. It is a stopping place for many waders and other migratory birds, but the mysterious bittern is really finding a nesting place here. The heron, which is very rare in the Netherlands, has also been spotted once. It was a temporary guest, probably on migration." Of course, we also take a look at one of the bird-watching huts we encounter on our walk. By the way, we are not the only hikers today, but there is plenty of room for everyone.
There are two marked skate routes on the Eiland van Dordt, indicated by special skate signs. We decide to take the plunge and swap our walking shoes for skates. The routes are suitable for both beginners and advanced skaters. We choose the 10-kilometer route(the blue route). We save the 20-kilometer red route for next time. We park our bikes at pavilion De Viersprong on Noorderelsweg, put on our skates and go. With the wind in our hair, we glide through the typically Dutch polders. Afterwards, we eat and drink something tasty on the terrace overlooking the water at De Viersprong and then set sail for the play forest, fully charged.
Angela is also particularly enthusiastic about the play forest. "It has really become a very beautiful place, with input for the design from the environment, suitable for young and old. Children can have a blast clambering through the tubes, over the hills and splashing around with the water pump. The tow raft is also popular. When it's hot, it's a great place for them to cool off. But, of course, it is also fine to take a seat on one of the picnic benches and quietly enjoy the beautiful wooded surroundings of The Alder. When I was there a while back, a bright yellow golden oriole was singing at the top of its lungs." Angela did not say a word too much. After our skate trip, the kids entertained themselves by the water, we picked out a nice bench. Only after a long time and a lot of effort do we manage to get them to join us again. But only after promising to return soon.
On our way home, we stopped by the Harvest Park on the Oude Veerweg, curious about the organic treats of the moment. Depending on the season, they have apples, pears, as well as homemade marmalades, rhubarb, herbal tea blends and small fresh dishes to go. Besides the fact that it's all very tasty, it's nice that all income from the Harvest Park goes toward maintaining the beautiful grounds. We buy a nice marmalade to continue enjoying this wonderful day at home. Fifteen minutes later we are back home. Tired but satisfied and hoping that the Indian summer may last a long time!