Almost 15,000 acres of The Great Outdoors
Around 1900 the area that we now call De Groote Heide was a vast and continuous stretch of heathland, ranging from the southern city edge of Eindhoven to well across the Belgian border, a distance of no less than 20 kilometres! Since then, large parts have been cultivated and replaced by forest, meadows, fields and buildings. This has made the area more diverse and scenically attractive. Nature conservationists in both Belgium and the Netherlands are currently working to restore some of the area's former heathland glory.
If you plan your routes carefully enough, it is still possible to experience De Groote Heide as one continuous area of natural beauty. Far more so than in the past, visitors will encounter varied, attractive and valuable gems of nature.
De Groote Heide is actually a forgotten name for this immense cross-border nature reserve. Throughout the area there are still some smaller heathlands called the "Groote (or Grote) Heide", but there used to be only one. Back in the day De Groote Heide extended from Hamont-Achel en Pelt (above Hasselt) in Belgium to Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
The rich history of De Groote Heide is palpable
The area is so vast, it simply can't be captured in just one image...
Click the map to get the full overview!