The current measures as imposed by the Dutch government bring many restrictions. We cannot meet up with groups of friends like we used to, we cannot visit our grandparents and we can only enter the supermarkets individually. Besides the restrictions, we should also try to see the bright side of the current times. Personally, I have become much more conscious of the little things in life. The past weeks, the weather in Groningen has been very nice, and it has been a nice opportunity to sit on my balcony and soak in those sunrays. As sitting in a chair all day does no good for the fitness of your body, going for a walk is the perfect combination of enjoying the weather and being active! In this blog, I will share my personal favorite places in Groningen where you can enjoy the beautiful nature whilst being able to keep a safe distance from others!
Location: Kardingerplein 1, Groningen
You may know the name Kardinge as the sports centre that hosts a large swimming pool, an ice skating rink, the largest climbing wall in the country and many more sports facilities. It is also known to have hosted large parties for thousands of students. But the name is also a nature and recreation area that consists of forest, grassland, small lakes and swamps. It attracts people going for a walk, biking, rollerblading, or running. The biking lane through Kardinge is quite busy, but if you stay away from that, there is enough space to maintain a safe distance from other people. However, you may accidentally bump into a Scottish Highlander if you don’t watch out ;).
Kardinge is located in the northeast of the city Groningen, about a 15 minute bike ride from the city centre. More information (in Dutch, but Google translate is a great tool) can be found here: https://www.natuurmonumenten.nl/natuurgebieden/kardinge
Location: Campinglaan 1, Groningen
The Stadspark was officially opened in the year 1926 after an engineer from Groningen was inspired by the City Beautiful movement, which aims at beautification of cities. Stadspark translates to ‘’City Park’’ and encompasses various elements: a petting zoo, a racetrack for horses, a campsite, and several lakes. If you enter the Stadspark, the large paved lane leads you to the back of the park. Take your time to explore the area, because it is much larger than you think! There are small paths but also larger ones, so please be careful in choosing where you walk.
More information: https://www.natuurmonumenten.nl/natuurgebieden/kardinge
Location: Madijk 1, Eelderwolde (DR)
De Onlanden is a relatively young nature reserve as it only exists in its current form since 2012 and has attracted many people ever since! Besides people who enjoy walking, biking, or running, de Onlanden has also attracted all types of bids, of which the Great Egret is the icon of de Onlanden. On an early morning, you may hear some skylarks entertaining you with their sounds. Besides birds, you may see an otter if you are lucky.
More information and a track to practice a 4-mile run: https://www.natuurmonumenten.nl/natuurgebieden/de-onlanden/route/wandelroute-de-onlanden-vlak-bij-groningen
Sprikkenburg by the Van Starkenborghkanaal
Location: Sprikkenburg, Groningen
The ‘’Van Starkenborghkanaal’’ is a channel that connects the Prinses Margrietkanaal with the Eemskanaal. Those are some long Dutch names, and Sprikkenburg is not easy to pronounce either ;). Anyways, the Van Starkenborghkanaal is 27 kilometres in length and has two sluices and various bridges. Sprikkenburg is a path that runs next to the channel, which you will see if you enter the street name in Google Maps. You can enter the path wherever you like. I personally like to start in the industrial area in the neighbourhood ‘’De Hoogte’’, where the Virulystraat ends and the Sprikkenburg path begins. Then, I walk my way west towards Zernike Campus, which you will see appearing on your left after a little while if you take a close look. In the meantime, you bump into a watchtower that shows you the beautiful channel and the nature close to Zernike.
It’s not a long walk, but it’s the perfect distance for a small study break. However, you should keep in mind that the path is quite narrow so it is not easy to keep 1,5 metres distance when you’re walking and talking side-by-side with a friend.
Paterswoldsemeer directly refers to the lake by the town of Paterswolde, south east of the city of Groningen, on the border of the provinces of Groningen and Drenthe. During winter, it is one of the places where you can ice skate in a natural setting. During summer, it is a place loved by many students to chill and swim with their friends.
It is connected to another lake called Hoornsemeer, as well as a channel called Noord-Willemskanaal. Coming from Groningen, you bike right past the Noord-Willemskanaal and you will see the lakes after the Best Western Hotel. It is very nice to park your bike somewhere and go for a walk around the lake, and take a quick break with some ice cream.
More information: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paterswoldsemeer
I hope these places will give you some inspiration for new places to go for a walk. If you have any other recommendations, I’d be happy to hear them! Now let’s cross our fingers that the weather stays nice 🙂
Written by: Floor Verwijs