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Zuid Kennemerland National Park, Netherlands

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Enjoy a day on bike, foot, or hoof in Zuid Kennemerland National Park in the Netherlands.

panorama of lake at Zuid Kennemerland National Park

Zuid Kennemerland National Park is a Dutch natural area located in the province of North Holland. This 9,400-acre national park offers hundreds of kilometers of biking paths, footpaths, and bridle paths.

In October, I attended a conference in France. Diana came along, so I extended the trip so we could do a little exploring of the continent. In addition to France, we visited Switzerland and the Netherlands.

Bike Rental Haarlem

The highlight of our visit to the Netherlands was riding rental bicycles around the area.

We stayed in Haarlem which is a city located about 15 minutes west of Amsterdam by train, near the coastal dunes.

I rented a regular three-speed bicycle and Diana picked an electric bike. Had I know how far we would end up going and how fast Diana was on the e-bike, I would have rented one too.

Couple renting bikes in Haarlem

With a drawstring backpack packed with snacks and water, we headed out.

Zuid Kennemerland National Park

Nationaal Park Zuid Kennemerland located 8 kilometers away from rent a bike Haarlem. This park is one of the top things to do in Haarlem.

Our first stop was the visitor center, which is located right off N200.

Visitor Centre at Zuid Kennemerland National Park

Entry to the park is free. Some of the parking lots around the perimeter, such as the one at the visitor center, have fees.

The visitor centre has plenty of bicycle parking, a large play area for kids, a café, and nature center.

couple inside visitor center of Zuid Kennemerland National Park

We enjoyed the exhibits and picked up a map in English.
Honestly, everyone spoke very good English all over Europe, and most written materials are offered in English as well as other languages.

Zuid Kennemerland has interesting flora and fauna in three distinct areas: dunes, coastal beaches.

European Bison

The park has Wisent (European Bison) which are the largest land mammal in Europe. This endangered animal is evident by the presence of their poop along many paths in the enclosed area.

We saw Wisent display at the visitor center and live animals in the park.

Stuffed Wisent - European Bison

The park is only open to pedestrians, bicyclists, and horseback riders. The stone-paved paths are well marked with signs. We biked around part of the dunes down to the seaside.

bicyclists on path at Nationaal Park Zuid Kennemerland

We saw many others out for a pedal or walk around the park.

Like much of the Netherlands, part of this park is reclaimed land so you spend time below sea level. Here I am next to a sea level sign.

Man under sea level in Holland

In the middle of the park is Vogelmeer Lake, where we saw birds and bison.

 A view of Vogalmeer Lake in Zuid Kennemerland

Visit the North Sea

panorama of the North Sea in the Netherlands
After a short ride from the lake over a dune area, we made it to the North Sea.

Even though it was autumn here, there were still children playing in the water. We only touched the cold water with our hands.

shore of the North Sea

After lunch by the sea in Bloemendaal, we bike in the Zandvoort area then headed back towards Haarlem.

Happy couple at the North Sea in Holland

We toured the city where we saw two well-preserved windmills (that’s a subject for another blog post).

When we returned our bikes that evening we had ridden 36 kilometers.

If you ever find yourself in this part of the Netherlands, make sure to visit this beautiful national park.

Looking for one of the top things to do in Haarlem, Netherlands? Visit the Zuid Kennemerland National Park by bicycle, foot, or horseback.

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