Hoge Veluwe National Park

The Hoge Veluwe National Park is one of the largest nature parks in the Netherlands, covering around 5,000 hectares of restored land in the cities of Ede and Apeldoorn, Gelderland province. It originated from an agricultural area that was repurchased and replanted by two wealthy individuals in the early 20th century.

This park protects notable landscapes and, although it is fenced, plays a crucial role in the ecological network of the Netherlands. It is home to numerous protected species and its Interpretation Center has educated millions of people about the importance of restoring and protecting the environment, especially the naturalness of the landscapes that characterize it.

The park not only offers a refuge for wildlife but also merges nature with culture, housing the prominent Kröller-Müller Museum in its center.

Information about Hoge Veluwe National Park

Hoge Veluwe National Park

History of the national park

The history of Hoge Veluwe National Park is a story of idealism and vision that dates back to the early 20th century, thanks to Anton and Helene Kröller-Müller.

Anton, a successful businessman and enthusiastic hunter, decided in 1909 to acquire several areas of land to turn them into his private hunting ground. On the other hand, Helene had a deep passion for nature and collecting.

Between 1909 and 1923, the park was gradually fenced and a variety of large animals were introduced into its habitat.

However, after a period of crisis, the government took over responsibility for the park and funded the construction of the Kröller-Müller Museum. This change marked a turning point in the park’s history, transforming it from a private property into a valuable natural and cultural heritage accessible to the general public.

Park hours

The opening hours of Hoge Veluwe National Park vary by month:

  • From January to March: 09:00 to 18:00 hours.
  • April: 08:00 to 20:00 hours.
  • May: 08:00 to 21:00 hours.
  • June and July: 08:00 to 22:00 hours.
  • August: 08:00 to 21:00 hours.
  • September: 09:00 to 20:00 hours.
  • October: 09:00 to 19:00 hours.
  • November and December: 09:00 to 18:00 hours.

It is important to take these hours into account when planning your visit to the park to ensure you can enjoy it during the opening hours corresponding to the month you plan to visit.

Entrance fees

The entrance fees to Hoge Veluwe National Park are as follows:

  • Adults: €16.40.
  • Children aged 6 to 12 years: €8.20.

It is important to note that there is also an option to purchase a ticket that does not include a visit to the Kröller-Müller Museum, allowing you to save on the total cost of the ticket.

How to get to Hoge Veluwe

In the center of the Netherlands, in the province of Gelderland, in the high Veluwe region, is the park, located near Arnhem, between Ede and Apeldoorn. Each of these municipalities has an entrance to the park, which is completely fenced to prevent large animals from escaping.

To get to Hoge Veluwe National Park using public transportation, you can follow these options:

From Apeldoorn Central Station:

  1. Take bus number 108 towards Ede and get off at the Hoenderloo Centrum stop. The journey takes approximately 100 minutes. From the stop, you can reach the park by walking in about 5 minutes.

From Ede – Wageningen Station:

  1. Take bus number 109 towards Apeldoorn and get off at Otterlo. The trip lasts approximately 100 minutes. From Otterlo, you can reach the park by walking in about 15 minutes.

These routes will allow you to access Hoge Veluwe National Park using public transportation conveniently.

Flora of Hoge Veluwe

Flora of Hoge Veluwe

The park is home to a wide variety of flora, with over 500 different species of plants, many of which are endangered. Some of the most notable are:

  • Juniper: These shrubs, protected by law, are one of the park’s treasures. Their small blue-black fruits were historically used in gin distillation. The juniper fields group together forming shrub forests.
  • Dodder: This parasitic plant is found alongside young heathers, absorbing water and nutrients from their stems.
  • Sundew: Known as sundew, this carnivorous plant grows on damp surfaces. Its leaves, covered with small red hairs, trap bright drops of liquid that attract insects.
  • Autumn crocus: This plant, which grows in heaths, is rare and legally protected in the Netherlands. Its beautiful blue flowers have a special relationship with the blue gentian butterfly and ants.

The park also houses ancient trees, such as a beech in Kemperberg, which was recently declared officially dead due to an aggressive variety of fungus. The oldest surviving tree is an oak in Jachthuis de Pampel, approximately at least 900 years old.

Fauna of Hoge Veluwe

Fauna of Hoge Veluwe

The wildlife in the park is as varied as its flora. Numerous animals have their habitat in the park, including hundreds of deer, roe deer, mouflons, wild boars, and dozens of smaller animal species.

Since the animals can move freely around the park, finding them may require some patience. The best time to spot them is usually at the end of the day. Staying silent in one of the park’s observatories increases the chances of seeing them while they search for food.

Feeding the park’s animals is not allowed, except at the Jachthuis St. Hubertus pond, where carp, ducks, and geese can be found.

The park has several strategically located wildlife observation posts, offering visitors an excellent opportunity to spot animals.

During the reproductive cycle, which runs from early September to early October, an impressive spectacle occurs: the deer rut. During this period, the males seek out the females to mate. They use their roar, a sound similar to a cow’s moo that can be heard for miles, to impress the hinds. Occasionally, the males physically compete for the favor of the females.

Recommended Tours and Activities

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What to See and Do in Hoge Veluwe National Park

From the Sint Hubertus Hunting Lodge to the innovative underground Museonder or the free bike rides, Hoge Veluwe National Park offers various activities and insights into the Netherlands and the entire territory of the Dutch lowlands.

Kröller-Müller Museum

Kröller-Müller Museum

The Kröller-Müller Museum is internationally recognized for its extensive collection of paintings by Vincent Van Gogh. In addition to these works, visitors can enjoy creations by other prominent artists such as Georges Seurat, Pablo Picasso, Fernand Léger, Piet Mondrian, Juan Gris, and many more.

The museum also regularly organizes temporary exhibitions that include 20th-century works and contemporary art, along with various retrospectives.

Besides the museum building, there is the Sculpture Garden, the largest in Europe. This garden offers a unique fusion of nature and art, with monumental works by sculptors such as Auguste Rodin, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Richard Serra, Mario Merz, and other contemporaries.

Museonder

Museonder

Museonder offers a unique experience by allowing visitors to take a literal and figurative look underground. It is the world’s first underground museum.

This fascinating exhibition offers a surprising insight into everything that happens beneath the surface. As visitors progress, they delve deeper into the ground until reaching the center of the earth.

Throughout the journey, visitors will find a variety of curiosities, such as a complete root system of a 135-year-old tree, stones that tell the story of their origin, and bones of extinct animals that have become fossils over thousands of years.

Bike Rides

Bike rides in Hoge Veluwe National Park

Hoge Veluwe National Park spans 5,500 hectares of mighty landscapes that include heaths, grasslands, and shifting sands, home to diverse species such as deer, mouflons, and wild boars. To explore this vast territory, you can choose to walk or use the free white bicycles.

These white bicycles, totaling 1,800, are distributed at the park’s three main entrances, as well as at the visitor center and the museum. They allow visitors to lose themselves in nature and enjoy a tranquil ride to the museum, considered one of the most beautiful treasures in the Netherlands.

Visitor Center

At the Hoge Veluwe Park Visitor Center, you can access a wide range of information about the area’s nature, landscape, wildlife, culture, and history. Additionally, you can enjoy various activities:

  • Cinema: nature-related films are shown to provide an enriching audiovisual experience.
  • Underground Museum Museonder: this fascinating underground museum offers a unique view of the life that inhabits and has inhabited the subsoil. Entry to this first underground museum in the world is included in the park’s admission fee.
  • Park shop: offers a wide variety of products related to nature and local culture. At the information desk, visitors can purchase thematic routes or bike routes to explore the park in more detail.

The Visitor Center provides an educational and entertaining experience for visitors, allowing them to fully immerse themselves in the rich diversity of Hoge Veluwe Park.

St. Hubertus Hunting Lodge

St. Hubertus Hunting Lodge

St. Hubertus Lodge is the former residence of the Kröller-Müller couple and is considered a masterpiece by architect H.P. Berlage, being one of the country’s main monuments. This lodge can only be visited through guided tours.

Guided tours cost €4 for adults and €2 for children aged 6 to 12. Tickets can be booked online or purchased at the park entrances, the Visitor Center, and the Theekoepel tea room located next to the Hunting Lodge.

This guided tour offers visitors the opportunity to explore this impressive historical building and learn more about its architecture and the fascinating history of the Kröller-Müller couple.

Located in the northern part of the park, the masterful building can be photographed next to a pond, creating stunning portraits.

From the air, the building has a shape reminiscent of antlers, a design created by Hendrik Petrus Berlage. Berlage was also responsible for much of the interior design, as well as many of the artifacts within the building.

Jachthuis Sint Hubertus was innovative in its time, incorporating numerous technical advances such as central heating, a central clock system, a centralized vacuum system, and an electric elevator, among others. These features made it a pioneering work in terms of amenities and technology when it was built.

Best Time to Visit Hoge Veluwe

The best time to visit Hoge Veluwe National Park is during the months of May, June, July, August, and September. These months offer a milder and drier climate, ideal for enjoying outdoor activities such as bike rides and walks.

During the spring, in April and May, is a good time to admire the flower fields that beautify the landscape, but it’s worth noting that the temperature is cooler. Conversely, during the winter (November to March), the cold is much more noticeable, with cold temperatures and frequent windy and rainy weather. This is the best time to visit the park’s museums, which protect from the inclement weather characteristic of the region and have fewer visitors.

Remember that you can also visit the Lauwersmeer National Park.