Distance: 28 km
Getting there: Both cities have NS train stations
Scenery: Trail along the Rijn (Rhine) river, small towns, highways, and Groene hart (green heart)
I used to travel from Leiden to Utrecht every day for 8 months, and I was always curious about visiting the cities along the way. Since we decided to take a hike near Leiden, choosing this hike was a good idea to discover some of them.
We started our hike from Bodegraven central station. This town is small and charming. It has some local specialties, such as beer and cheese. It is a suburban town, meaning that on a Sunday morning there was not a lot of activities around. I was impressed by some local art and the windmill just in the city center used as a café, it was a shame that was closed that day because it looked like a good place to try some local cuisine.
After Bodegraven, we entered to a long trail next to the Rijn. This was around 5km, and there was all kind of sceneries boarding the river, such as houses, parks and many types of industries.
Once we finished the Rijn trail, we walked inside some residential areas and crossed some highways. We had lunch in a lovely park just outside Alphen aan den Rijn.
Once we had our bellies full, we explore around Alphen aan den Rijn city center and some suburbs. We were pleasantly surprised by how big is our neighbor town. There are some cafés, restaurants, and theaters. For sure, we will be back to get to know it better and maybe try some food around here.
Just when we were missing already a little bit of green, we immersed ourselves into the lovely Groene Hart. This magnificent protect area is just in the center of Holland. In here, you can breathe a completely different air and definitely appreciate some of the most beautiful landscapes I have seen in the Netherlands. You can find many types of farms, windmills and quiet places to relax after a busy week. It is not a surprise why it is visited by many locals on a weekly basis.
Finally, we started our last phase of the day. Once we got into Leidercorp, we knew our home was just a few steps away. From the last farms from the Groene Hart, you can see the city at the end. Nevertheless, the final kilometers are always the hardest ones. We walked around 7 km in a straight line with the hope that the track inside the city was going to be short, but we were wrong. Anyways, just the moment we arrived at our destination, all that suffering was conquered by a good feeling of achievement.
Even we had good weather, without rain (a surprise in the Netherlands) and not too warm (perfect in summer), this one was a hard one. Especially because the landscape is not changeable, so the tracks could seem like eternal. Anyway, if you want a walk within dutch cities with convenient public transport connections, this could be a nice option.