- Name Drenthepad (SP6)
- Length of trail 324 km, 201 miles
- Length in days 16 days
- Start of trail Emmen
- End of trail Emmen
- Traildino grading LW, Light walk, countryside walk
SP6, Drenthepad, Circular walk in the province of Drenthe, 324 km
The Drenthepad is an effort to explore the past. The province of Drenthe is traditionally a remote area. In the old Republic, this far corner of the country served as peat mining district and dumping ground for thugs and thieves. Even into the 20th century, Drenthe had an infamous penal colony, aimed at "educating" anti-social types. Nowadays, the peat shovelling in Drenthe is regarded as the most shameful period of poverty the Netherlands has ever known.
Today, Drenthe is a quiet and green province, popular with walkers and cyclists. Nature is relatively abundant: forests and bogs. These bogs are quite special, since they are the leftovers of the Golden Age peat that found its way to the stoves of Amsterdam. These bogs are rich in plant and animal species. Also many heathlands and sand dunes still remain. Even a string of hills is not lacking, the Hondsrug, a remnant of the glaciers from the last ice age.
For the historically interested walkers, Drenthe is a goldmine. The history of the peat shovelling, the emergence of new agriculture, the old agricultural practices (commons), the construction of waterways. You should keep your eyes open, because agricultural modernisation has left virtually nothing untouched.
The Drenthepad is a long trail that traverses the entire province forming a big "A". It is a wonderfully varied path. There is again much silliness to admire, this disheartening dull tidiness the Dutch themselves are proud of. The pint-size villages, wimpy houses, and those drab suburbs: it's all going to be very enjoyable. (HN)