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Pieterpad beckons visitors to explore the country from top to bottom

Designed for walk enthusiasts

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

MAASTRICHT People in search of their Dutch roots, who love to walk and explore the Netherlands in a very thorough manner, should give serious consideration to taking in all or parts of by far the longest walking route in the Netherlands.

The trail, which runs 485 kilometres or 301 miles from Pieterburen, in the northern most part of Groningen ends just south of Maastricht, at the southernmost tip and the tallest spot in the country, on top of Mount Saint Peter (St Pietersberg).

The Pieterpad is one of several official long distance walking trails in the Netherlands, (officially Lange Afstand Wandelpad Nummer 9) and by is recognized as the most popular walking route in the country.

The year-round open trail, may be started at either end. The very scenic route, which passes through widely ranging regions, is very well marked with signs and connects with public transportation and numerous accommodations along the trail.

Pieterpad is detailed in a two volume official guide book, Pieterburen-Vorden and Vorden-Maastricht. A dedicated Internet site (unfortunately only in Dutch) furnishes information on available accommodations.

The trail has its very quaint sections, but does not go through remote areas, is much diverse, and passes through woods, polders, heaths, and numerous small Dutch villages and historic towns.

Pieterpad promises walking enthusiasts one of the best options to explore the scenic true gems of a heritage rich country.