Walk over steep forest slopes and former sand excavation
In the past, sand was excavated from 1850 to 1948 in the Middenduin for embankments on buildings in Haarlem and Amsterdam. The sand was removed with barges via the Zanderijvaart. Around 1948 the excavations stopped and the ground was used for bulb cultivation. From 1992, Staatsbosbeheer has allowed the sand dunes to become scarce again. Due to the low location and the influx of seepage water rare plant species are returning, such as the water violin, round-leaved wintergreen, parnassia and the marsh wasp orchid. In the area graze Scottish Highlanders and Konik horses.
Difficulty: Easy walk
Length: 3 kilometers
Marking: Blue arrows
Starting points: Entrance Middenduin / Duinlustweg in Overveen or at visitor center De Kennemerduinen (opposite Zeeweg)
Public transport: Bus 81 from Zandvoort or Station Haarlem. Get off at the Kennemerduinen stop
Catering: at visitor center
Admission: Free, parking at the Middenduin / Duinlustweg entrance free of charge, Paying parkinglot at the entrance to De Kennemerduinen visitor center
At entrance Middenduin / Duinlustweg we follow the blue arrows along the Zanderijvaart. You now turn left (sign ‘Rondje Hoge Duin’) upwards. We pass an ice cellar, where in the past ice was stored for the fridges of Landgoed Duinlust. We follow the blue arrows further upwards and now walk through a varied forest with many slopes. Then we go through a tunnel under the railway and after a while we can turn left to a viewpoint, where with a little luck wisents can be observed at a beautiful lake: The small lake of Burdet. There is at least a nice photo exhibition. We follow the blue arrows further and after a while we come to an open area: De Zanderij. From here we walk back to the parking lot along the Zanderijvaart.
At the entrance to the Kennermerduinen visitor center we cross the busy Zeeweg and arrive at the open area: De Zanderij. Here we turn right along the Zanderijvaart and follow the directions above.
The name comes from the attempt to develop this area for agriculture during the Batavian Republic. In 1794 this was tackled with the help of many workers. The French domination of Napoleon put an end to the plan. The army of Napoleon stayed at the Kamperberg and the Middenduin farm (located on the Zeeweg) was leased.
Thijsse describes in the Blonde Dunes (1911): “It is wonderful to end up in the shelter of a thirty-year-old pine forest after a walk through the barren sea garden.” There are pines here to prevent the sand drift. Also Corsican pines are planned and are among the oldest in the dune region. Unfortunately, this also caused that the dune rose slopes disappear. In this area the pines are slowly being removed again to give room to other plants.
There are specific types of flowers here, such as the water violin, which indicates the presence of clean and clear seepage water. In addition, you will also find peat grass in the grasslands in the Middenduin.