Almost fifteen thousand (!) acres of gorgeous nature. Stretching from the green southern side of Eindhoven, past the Belgium-Dutch border and towards Hamont-Achel and Neerpelt.
Six municipalities (Cranendonck, Eindhoven, Hamont-Achel, Heeze-Leende, Neerpelt and Valkenswaard) have joined forces to both nourish 'their' natural property and raise awareness for it.
De Groote Heide is a diverse and varied area of natural beauty of exceptional importance on both sides of the Belgium-Dutch border. Due to its unique biodiversity, De Groote Heide ranks among the top 10 of nature reserves in Europe. And if this isn’t enough of a recommendation for you: the place is also of an astounding beauty!
Exploring De Groote Heide.
Around 1900 De Groote Heide was a vast and continuous stretch of heathland, ranging from the southern city edge of Eindhoven to well across the Belgian border, a distance of no less than 20 kilometres! Since then, large parts have been cultivated and replaced by forests, meadows, fields and buildings. While of course regrettable, it has made the area much more diverse and scenically attractive. And what's more, nature conservationists in both Belgium and the Netherlands are working to restore some of the former heathland.
For those who seek out the correct routes, it is still possible to experience De Groote Heide as one continuous area of natural beauty. Far more so than in the past, visitors will encounter varied, attractive and valuable gems of nature. To name but a few: Plateaux/Hageven (B/N), Malpie (N), Beverbeekse Heide (B), Strabrechtse Heide (N), Leenderbos (N), Haarterheide (B), and many more.
It is not at all hard to roam around this vast area without being disturbed and crossing only the occasional road! Where else is this still possible?
De Groote Heide is a true paradise for lovers of nature. Those who enjoy short walks with many a bench or picnic table along the way, surrounded by true peace and quiet. But also those more actively inclined, who like to cover greater distances faster. Also in complete peace and quiet. Because when you think De Groote Heide, you think: peace, space, hours… kilometres. Almost completely uninterrupted. Hiking, cycling, mountain biking, horseback riding, trail running... You name it, and De Groote Heide can offer it.
Amid all this natural splendour you almost forget there are also six municipalities in and around De Groote Heide. And they too are characterised by great diversity. From the large, trendy city of Eindhoven to many small picturesque villages. And everything in between. Why not combine your trip to nature with some shopping, dinner in a restaurant or a show or event? The possibilities are endless. Please consult the map and calendar of De Groote Heide for more information.