Beginning of April we went to De Weerribben-Wieden National Park in the Netherlands for a hiking and packrafting session where we observed birds and encountered hail.
The Weerribben-Wieden National Park was founded in 1882 and and parts of the area were used for peat production which are nowadays filled with water and offer a possibilty to enjoy the nature by kajak or packraft. The National Park contains the largest contiguous swamp of northwestern Europe. We reached the National Park by train getting off at the Steenwijk train station where we took a bus to the bus stop Wanneperveen Belterweg.
Once we got off the bus we walked along Belterweg to Belt-Schutsloot where we had lunch (Stockbrot). As the wind was really strong and blowing from the west we walked south along Arembergerweg along the Arembergergracht.
We then went west along Woldweg until the crossing with Barsbeek street where we went north again until we reached B&B Kienpost where we inflated our packrafts. There were also plenty of signs on the rivers showing the route. Most of the places in the National Park can actually only be accessed by the rivers and you can only camp or get out of your boat on designated spots.
With our packrafts we reached lake Vossebelt where we went up Dirk Klaversvaart where we got into a hail storm. We then passed the Kanokampeerpaal and went further north towards the Pikkersvaart along which we traveled east until we reached the village again and then turned west towards Dirkswijd where we continued further west along Zandergracht towards Vossbelt and then again north along Dirk Klaversvaart towards the camping spot.
The next day we went back almost to the B&B Kiepenpost but instead turning towards the put in point we went east towards Venemaat. From there we went further east towards Mastenbroekkolk and took Schenkelvaart to the south where we paddled through the old piet field where we continued our trip back to Schenkelvaart towards Arembergergracht where we had lunch at restaurant de Belt.
After lunch, we went north towards Kleine Belterweijde and then east along the Schutsloot towards Belterwijde where we paddled under a bridge (close to the place where we arrived by bus) and then went northwest along the road towards Blauwe Hand where we packed our backpacks and walked along Beulakerweg towards Giethoorn.