Cycle route through the Fochteloërveen
Appelscha, Smilde, Fochteloo
On the border of Friesland and Drenthe lies the Fochteloërveen, an extraordinary nature reserve. All around you you see peat as far as the eye can see. What makes this area unique is that it is one of the last raised bog areas in Western Europe. The soil is very wet, which attracts various animal species characteristic of this type of landscape. When cycling here, you might just come across cranes, blue harriers and bog haybirds (butterflies).
In the 17th century, peat was excavated on a large scale around Fochteloo. This was dried into peat to be used as fuel in households. So the Fochteloërveen almost disappeared, but in 1938 Natuurmonumenten managed to put a stop to this. It bought up the first 200 hectares and was thus able to secure the vulnerable peat bog.
This cycle route introduces you to the beautiful nature. Climb the watchtower and watch birds and other animals at one of the bird-watching huts. Enjoy the silence along the way, so you will return home fully rested after today.
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