Planken Wambuis

We quite often go mountain biking on the Ginkelse Heide, so much so that if I head north out of Wageningen up through the woods, I habitually turn left at the appropriate moment. However, today I decided to do the opposite and even took the trouble to look at the map before setting out to make sure that I ended up in the right place. Planken Wambuis is an area which is just to the East of the Ginkelse Heide.  It is owned by 'natuurmonumenten', which is (sort of) the Dutch equivalent of the UK National Trust or the US Nature Conservancy. That means that they are quite strict about keeping to the designated paths over a lot of their land, but also that landscape is quite impressive in places. Unlike much of the woodland on the Veluwe, there is a mixture of different tree species and ages and the oaks are not all with dead straight trunks, selected for forestry, but with more natural twists.

Planken Wambuis woodland

One of the habitats which is quite special, are the areas of inland dunes. They are not super species-rich (although I saw the rare Corynephorus canescens, Grey Hair-grass was doing well), but certainly form very impressive landscapes.  They also make for very challenging mountain biking, especially if the sand is a bit dry, it is almost impossible to cycle uphill through it and going downhill also requires you to do your best with your steering skills.  It can be tempting to go off the path onto the firmer group to the side, but this is not such a good idea as there are some rare lichen communities there, which are best left undisturbed, so it is best to rise to the challenge and take on the loose sand.

Planken Wambuis dunes

The route is a bit longer than I usually do (3 1/2 hours), but it was well worth it.  There was also a stretch of about 2 km on a cycle path next to a road, penned into the fenced off area of Planken Wambuis to the West (where the wildlife can rest undisturbed) and the fenced off Hoge Veluwe national park to the East (lovely area, but you have to pay to get in. But that is the only stretch of tarmac.  There are some other cycle paths, but then you always have the option to go an a sandy trail next to them (conditions permitting).  To get to the dramatic sandy bit in the above photo, I did go through a gate (at the top left of the map below), which might be locked sometimes, but if so you can just go a bit further along the road and then along a cycle path in the woods for a bit to join the trail again. You can download the GPX file here.

Planken Wambuis route