Untangle the cycle route through the Heldense Bossen
Helden, Baarlo, Kessel
The Heldense Bossen used to be constructed to use wood for mining. Nowadays wood is hardly cut anymore and nature can do its own thing in the woods. The forest with mostly Scots pines is surrounded by an area of shifting dunes. The nature reserve allows you to completely unwind. It is a wonderful place to cycle, and who knows, you might even spot an owl along the way. A national bird organisation has put up a number of nesting boxes for owls, which are in full use by these birds of prey.
You can put the wisdom of the owls to good use when you arrive in Baarlo. The village is also known as Castle Village, because of the no fewer than four castles. But another nickname is the Knot Village, because throughout the village various materials are tangled! The Japanese-American Cobra artist Shinkichi Tajiri (1923-2009) lived a large part of his life in a small castle in Baarlo. At first, he made works of art that were often not understood by the viewers. Then he decided to put knots in his sculptures. In this way, he wanted to ensure that the viewers themselves could immediately give a meaning to the work of art. The knot at bicycle junction 04 is the entrance arch to Baarlo, the village where he lived until his death. In total, you can come across seven knotty works of art by Tajiri in Baarlo.
When you cycle out of Baarlo, you can feel the knots loosening by the rippling water of the Maas. In Kessel, various traces from Roman times have been found. A village with a rich history, yet the most modern castle in the Netherlands is also located here: De Keverberg Castle. From the river banks, you slowly cycle back into the woods of Helden.
Feel like an extra excursion on the way? From the watchtower at junction 59, you have a great view over the river Maas and the monasteries of Steyl. You can easily take a look at the village on the other side of the river by taking the ferry to Steyl at junction 04. This ferry sails seven days a week all year round.
At the starting point in the Heldense Bossen there is also a large, free parking area.
Here you can expand your route with pitstops
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