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The 5 most beautiful walking routes through the backyard of Rotterdam

By Mathilde Simon
March 23, 2022

Are you in Rotterdam for a weekend and do you feel like going out into nature for a walk? From the heart of Rotterdam you can easily reach IJsselmonde Island, a surprisingly varied and undiscovered area; the green backyard of Rotterdam!

You will find beautiful and unique nature reserves here between the Oude Maas and the Noord River. Because they are not yet well known, it is still nice and quiet here. The areas are sometimes somewhat hidden behind industry and residential areas, but once you have found them, it is a beautiful walk.

‘Discover IJsselmonde’ has listed the 5 most beautiful walking routes for you. Check the website of Discover IJsselmonde for more fun routes and discover what else this beautiful part of Rotterdam has to offer!


1. Walk ‘Het groene lint’

During this walk of about 16 kilometers you will get to know the green banks of the Oude Maas. You walk large parts along the wide river and occasionally dive into the shelter. The walking path takes you along the Rhoonse and Carnisse Grienden and through the pilot whale of Klein Profijt.

Pilot whales are former willow plantations where nature now has free rein. Because the pilot whales are directly connected to the tides of the river, ebb and flow provide unique flora and fauna. If you are lucky you can see a kingfisher or beaver here!

Narrow paths lead you between trees through the fairytale area and every now and then you are completely in contact with the water again. A varied walk through unique nature in Europe!


2. Green walk around Hoogvliet

You may not expect it, but you can enjoy beautiful walks around Hoogvliet. During the green walk of about 7 kilometers you will pass beautiful, varied nature. The walk starts at Park de Heerlijkheid, where you will find the Chill-Hill on the panoramic hill. The park has a wetland area and a small Arboretum.

Then you dive into the Ruigeplaatbos. This forest was destroyed by a storm about 25 years ago. After that, nature was allowed to go its own way here, with beautiful results! The Ruigeplaatbos is now a unique wild forest with special plants, flowers, mushrooms and animals. You can take a nice walk here on a deck walkway through the high reeds and along the river.

Soon you come across a family of Scottish Highlanders. Then you walk on to the Visserijgriend, where the decking path along all kinds of unique flowers and plant species forms a nice end to your walk.


3. ‘De groene schil’ around Ridderkerk

In the green, special environment of Ridderkerk you can enjoy a walk. You used to find a piece of concatenated buntings on the east side of this town: territories outside the dykes that only flood at very high water.

Today you will find three completely different nature reserves around Ridderkerk, which you will pass during this 7-kilometer walk.

The walk starts at the Gorzenpark. You can hardly imagine it, but until about 50 years ago this was still a place where rubble was dumped. In the meantime, nature has been completely refurbished and transformed into a hilly park with a watchtower.

After a short walk you will end up in the bird-rich Crezéepolder, where you can hear many different birds chirping happily. Along the way you will pass two bird screens. If you have a little patience you will spot rare birds and the symbol of IJsselmonde Island: the kingfisher.

When you return to the bridge you walk through a charming dike into the Ridderkerkse griend. Here you can stroll around in a fairytale forest full of willows, flowers and plants.


4. Vossenpad Barendrecht – Rhoon

Get to know the varied landscape between Barendrecht, Rhoon and the beautiful nature along the river Oude Maas during a walk of about 12 kilometers. Two farmers have opened up their land so that every walker can enjoy this beautiful area.

In the first part of the walk you pass the pilot whales, where a decking path takes you past the endless rows of pollard willows. The route then continues along the green dikes and untouched polders of Rhoon.

The Vossenpad is a nice, varied route, where you walk between the cows and sheep and have to climb over a fence. For a cup of coffee or a nice lunch you can settle down at Brasserie Rhoonse Polder.


5. Castle route Rhoon and Valckesteijn

In the picturesque centre of Rhoon you will find a medieval castle. Rhoon Castle was built in 1432 and is surrounded by a moat. In the castle garden you can walk around and you will find a pear orchard. In the castle yard you will find a beautiful pear arch.

Then you walk on to the Valckensteynse Bos. This forest was planted in the 1970s and was named after the castle that once stood here: Slot Valcksteyn. If you pay attention, you will discover parts of the moat and driveway along the way.

The forest is interspersed with lakes, meadows and orchards. Hawks, buzzards, the spotted woodpecker and the kingfisher have made their home here. Here you can walk around, just away from the crowds. The walk is 11 kilometers long in total.


Are you going to take a walk around Rotterdam soon? Don’t forget to tag us with #WeekendsinRotterdam! For more information about the walking routes and nature reserves, we recommend that you take a look at IJsselmonde Island.

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