MTB Route Den Treek-Henschoten

Den Treek-Henschoten is a mountain bike route on a private estate which is only half an hour's drive away from Wageningen. Although of course that half hour is not counting the unpredictable amount of time faffing around trying to attach three bikes to the back of a car. With three hardtails, it wouldn't have been so bad, but the rear suspension was in the way of the attaching struts almost no matter how we arranged the bikes, so we had to be quite creative to get them all attached in something approaching a secure way. But in the end we succeeded and arrived at the start. Within a few meters of the car park, we were on the trail and with no chance for a warm-up, we were on a winding, twisting route. Although the route as a whole is virtually flat, with no big hills, especially in the southern (red) route there is hardly any section which is actually, flat, you are climbing and descending the whole time, but each climb is only a few height-meters. Nevertheless, that means that there is hardly a moment of rest for kilometres at a time, especially as the turns and mini-climbs are all together. The northern (blue) route is 25 km and the southern (red) is 16 km long. There is a slight overlap, but that is a particularly nice bit, so that is no problem.

We were lucky to be there in autumn, as the colours were quite spectacular. There were also loads of mushrooms everywhere. Lots of fly agarics (the red with white spots toadstools that gnomes sit on, Amantia muscaria) and huge amounts of birch bolete (Leccinum scabrum). It took quite some discipline to keep my eyes (and therefore wheels) on the trail and not to peer at them as I went past. I was also happy that there had been some rain in the week before, as some parts of the trail had quite loose sand, and at one point I almost spun out of control. If it was a bit drier, it would have all been much more difficult and the flow would have been lost. The trail is nearly all woodland, with a few bits of open heathland for variety. There is one stretch on tarmac, but that is a very small proportion of the total. There are lots of walkers around, and we came across a few on the MTB route (not everyone knows that the international MTB sign looks like), so you have to keep alert for that.

The trail is on private land, and it is necessary to buy a permit to ride it. You can do that online. If you go there often, that will be quite expensive, but the day ticket is a reasonable price. Note that if you buy that one, you need to buy it on the day you ride. In general, the Utrechtse Heuvelrug can be very busy at weekends, so having to pay for the permit might mean that these trails are less busy than the nearby Zeist route. A definite plus point is that it begins and ends at a pancake restaurant, which has good food and welcomes mountain bikers.



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