Alternating walk through a reserve for European Bison
The Kraansvlak is one of the most important nature reserves in the Kennemerduinen and offers various lakes and pristine dunes. The walk through the Kraansvlak also shows the traces of the past, such as dune beds where formerly the dune potatoes were grown. On days when the circuit is used, you hear the race cars make their laps. The path is closed from 1 March to 1 September i.v. the breeding season.
Difficulty: Intermediate walk over dunes sometimes through sand
Length: 10.5 kilometers
Marking: partially yellow posts, back unmarked
Entrance Wurmenveld in Zandvoort-Noord, cycle path Duinpieperpad follow direction Bloemendaal aan zee. After 100 meters turn right on yellow paths
Entrance on Boulevard Barnaard, 25 meters north from the viewpoint at the circuit.
Catering: On the boulevard and on the beach
Access: Free. Paid parking on the boulevard. Hiking trail open from 1 September to 1 March.
We start the walk in Zandvoort-Noord. We follow the cycle path Duinpieperpad at the end of the buildings near the railway. The Dune Pieper Path is named after the fields where the dune potatoes are grown. We do not go under the bicycle tunnel but walk along the track. Soon the bicycle path curves to the left. After 25 meters we turn right and follow the yellow poles from here. We now come to a fence that is under power. Do not touch the gate, but climb safely over the fence via the ladder. We are now on the Kraansvlak. This is the area of the wisents. Keep a distance and do not feed the animals. After a varied trip through dune valleys and lakes, we reach another fence, which we climb over. We continue to follow the yellow posts and cross the bike path on the way to the boulevard. On the boulevard we turn left along the circuit. There will soon be a viewpoint, where you have a nice view over the circuit and the Noordduinen. We can now walk a bit over the beach to the NH hotel. At the NH-hotel we walk down the Burgemeester van Alphenstraat along the BMW Driving Experience and hit the walking path towards the bungalow park. At the entrance of the bungalow park we turn left and follow the path. We now pass a viewpoint that offers us a view over the dunes, the sports fields and the village. We continue our way past the football fields and take the first path to the right, past the pigeon sport club. We take the first path to the left next to the hockey fields, then the first way to the right towards the village. Now we take the first walking path left behind the flats, cross a road and continue our path along allotments. You now get to the Duinpieper cycle path again and you follow this right to the starting point of our walk.
The Kraansvlak has been used for agricultural purposes since the Middle Ages. The owners, the lords of Brederode, kept the rabbit stand extremely high for hunting. The rabbits, however, caused great damage, making the road to Zandvoort often not passable. Emperor Charles V tried to protect the dune, but no one managed to exterminate the rabbits.
Special Flora & Fauna
In the closed part of the Kraansvlak there is a large resting area for birds and wild. Here the dune roses bloom and you will find the woodlark and the redbreast. The Kennemer Alps are also here, namely old and high-running dune tops (35m).
European Bison – Wisent
You walk here in the area of the Wisenten. They are European Bison, which is even the largest European land animal, which is not domesticated by humans. Wisents are ruminants that eat grass, herbs, buds, leaves, young twigs and bark. Also in the late summer and autumn many acorns, beechnuts and berries are eaten. In order to get their food they bend branches and even young tree trunks and make open spaces in the dunes. The leaves, the young twigs, and the bark, are eaten from fallen trees. In addition to their eating behavior, wisents also have an influence on their environment in other ways. They often take a sand bath and therefore open sandy areas. In this way they are clearing the way for the wind, which makes the dunes drift again. Plants, lizards and other insects can then settle here. More information about the Wisenten: www.wisenten.nl