On a colder than anticipated Sunday in March 2022, Oriol took me for a surprise one-day road trip to the Netherlands for a hike. First we walked the Moerputten Bridge near ‘s-Hertogenbosch, we then went to Gorinchem (also spelled as pronounced Gorkum or Gorcum), to Dordrecht and we ended the excursion at Willemstad.
De Moerputten is a nature reserve in the Dutch province of North Brabant, located near ‘s-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch). The 118 hectare site is one of the few remaining peat bogs south of the major rivers. The nature reserve is enclosed by the polders of Gement, Honderd Morgen and Rijskampen (Vught), the districts of Kruiskamp and Deuteren, and Vlijmen.
Walking the bridge
For us, the main point of interest is Moerputten Bridge, a railway bridge which has been walkable since 2011. It is 585 metres long and 3 metres wide.
In 1875 a law called for the construction of the Lage Zwaluwe-‘s-Hertogenbosch railway. Between Vlijmen and ‘s-Hertogenbosch the railroad would be constructed at 7.5 m above Amsterdam Ordnance Datum. It meant that it would be constructed on a railroad dyke. Two openings were planned in the dyke. The Moerputten Bridge of 510 m long, and the Venkant Bridge of 30 m long.
The bridge was in use as railway bridge on the Lage Zwaluwe-‘s-Hertogenbosch railway from 1887 until 1972.
In 1995 Moerputten bridge became a monument. Two years later Staatsbosbeheer bought the bridge and the area around it. They restored the bridge to the original state in 2004.
Moerputten bridge is now part of a footpath which has been constructed on the former railroad dyke. It stretches from the Jeroen Bosch Hospital in ‘s-Hertogenbosch to Vlijmen.
The hike offers part of this.
The Bruggenroute (5 KM) follows the bridge and brings you back to the parking situated at Deutersestraat, 5223 GV ‘s-Hertogenbosch.
There’s also the Halve Zolenpad (1.4 km). Which is picturesque and child-friendly.
Bring shoes which can become muddy and also a change of trousers.
- ‘Moerputten’, Wikipedia (Dutch).
- ‘Moerputten Bridge’, Wikipedia (English).
- ‘De Moerputten in Den Bosch’, Den Bosch Region (Dutch).
- ‘De Moerputten’, Droomplekken.nl (Dutch).
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