Pelgrimspad 1

Pelgrimspad 1

Product no.: AD8
Price excl. tax: €22.00
Price (incl. tax postage and handling): €22.00

'Doing' the Pelgrimspad 1 is one of the best ways to see the Netherlands; its battle against the
water, historic towns, small villages, its use of the land, windmills, museums, its countryside and its rivers. You meet the Dutch. This is different to spending a few days in Amsterdam and visiting a coffee shop!

When thinking about the Netherlands, a few things spring to mind. The country is small, flat and largely urbanized. There is a lot of water and a lot of rain. On the whole these are the right impressions. You might conclude it's not a nice place to walk a Trail. But there you are wrong.

There is no mountain to climb, no remote place to play hermit, no heavy burden to carry because the next shop is 5 days away. For these challenges you have to look elsewhere. However, this country has about 8000 kilometers of marked walking Trails. Thanks to strict planning, the urbanization is concentrated, with fast areas for farming and nature and therefore, for walking.

The Netherlands has been cultivated over the centuries. Nature, largely man made, is there because it was decided it should be there. A lake is a lake because people decided that the lake is more useful than the land that would become available if the lake was turned into a polder.

When walking in the Netherlands, it is interesting to see the influence of men and their labor. Then there is
the long history of the Netherlands; several aspects of different time periods are visible along the Trail.


The Trail has some challenges to offer as well. Instead of climbing 1000 meters to get a nice view, you might have to walk 5 kilometers to see a nice polder. Instead of being exhausted after climbing, you might have developed a pair of blisters.

The main goal of this guide is to provide you with information for a comfortable walk along the Trail. It contains a detailed Trail description, a detailed map, practical advice on what to take and when to go, information on
accommodation and how to get there and information on public transport. The Guide does not offer information on the Pilgrims part of a journey and it only provides basic information on the sights along the Trail. 


The Pelgrimspad

The Pelgrimspad excels at offering a pleasant and comprehensive introduction to the Netherlands.
You will cross all the major rivers, see how a polder works, pass many windmills, and visit many historic towns and villages. The Pelgrimspad is walked from Amsterdam to 's-Hertogenbosch, a distance of about 210 kilometers. There is also an extension; the Pelgrimspad 2, going from 's-Hertogenbosch to Visé in Belgium;
but that is described in another Guide.

The word Pelgrimspad translates into Pilgrims Way. As such, many people travel it, beginning in Amsterdam and continuing all the way to Santiago de la  Compostella in Spain.

Technically, a Pilgrims Way is different form a walking Trail. A Pilgrims Way leads to a geographically defined goal
in the most direct or easy way while the main goal of a walking Trail is to visit an interesting area or show interesting sights. Of course there is an overlap between the two.

Considering its name, the Pelgrimspad has an identity problem; it brings you to the goal, 's-Hertogenbosch, but on the way it tries to show all the interesting sights at the cost of many extra kilometers.  

One problem with the Pelgrimspad is its markings. While the Trail is well maintained, some sections are not adequately marked. The reason is a typical one: the organized nature of the Dutch. For instance, when there is a marking on a lamp post, within a couple of years this lamp post will be painted or replaced. In Amsterdam, stickers are removed to make Amsterdam look nice but in the process markers are removed as well.

The Pelgrimspad is part of the extensive network of long distance foot paths that are maintained by Wandelnet; the Dutch organisation promoting (long distance) walking. Trails are marked by enthusiastic volunteers. The number of the Pelgrimspad 1 is LAW7-1: Lange Afstand Wandeling (Long Distance Walk) number 7-1.


Things to see or notice along the Trail

The Pelgrimspad begins at the Central Station in Amsterdam. However, my advice is not to start there.

Although it has a lot of interesting sights to offer, the center of Amsterdam is a busy and sometimes confusing place to be. My advice is to spent one or two days in Amsterdam and see the sights. You may also want to see the sights along the Trail before you begin walking the Trail. This way you have time to enjoy the city without the burden of your backpack and without the worry that you have to reach your next destination before nightfall.

Then, when you are ready to begin walking, take a bus to Het Amsterdamse Bos and start from there. This way you have a relaxed start of your journey.

Het Amsterdamse Bos is a large park-like forest on the edge of Amsterdam. It is man-made and its construction started during a depression to create employment. The last tree was planted in 1970. The park is situated near
Schiphol airport, so there is plenty of noise overhead.

Soon after passing through Het Amsterdamse Bos, the Trail reaches the town of Aalsmeer. Here you find the home of the largest flower auction in the world, housed in a huge building and open to visitors.

Close to the village De Kwakel, the Trail passes a small fort, part of the defense line around Amsterdam.
From Aalsmeer the area becomes less densely populated. You will see more and more greenhouses where flowers and vegetables are grown.

After Aarlanderveen, the Trail reaches a small polder. One of many along the Trail. A polder is land that is often surrounded by levees. Polders along the Trail used to be marches or lakes. Often these lakes were formed when peat was collected for burning.

To keep feet dry requires a lot of effort in the Netherlands; about 26% of the country lies below sea level. The risk of flooding does not come from the sea alone; a large part of the Netherlands forms the delta of the Rhine
River. Because of this combination about 65% of the country runs the risk of flooding. To protect against this, there are about 3500  kilometers of dams and levees. The subtitle of the Guide refers to this situation: In the footsteps of Hans Brinker; the story of a boy who, during a stormy night, put his finger in a hole in a levee to prevent a flooding.

To organize this all, there are the Waterschappen (Water Boards), the oldest democratic institution in the Netherlands. There are 24 Waterschappen, each responsible for a part of the country; together they employ about 11.000 persons. A Waterschap is governed by an elected comity. To keep politicians from meddling with the protection against the water, a Waterschap is politically independent and collects its own special taxes.

Windmills can only raise water to a limited height. Therefore it is often not possible to drain a polder with one windmill. One windmill raises the water 1 meter, the next another meter, etc, until the water can be led into a river or drainage canal. With the electric pumps used nowadays, this stepped raising of the water is no longer necessary.



The windmills were operated by millers who lived in the windmill. During the summer, when there was no need for operating the windmill, they worked as farmhands. They also had the right to fish.

During the course of their history, many windmills burned down, often hit by lightning but also heat generated when the windmill went out of control because of strong winds or failing brakes and sometimes when something went wrong during cooking.

By positioning the sails of a windmill in a certain way, the miller can convey messages, such as a birth or death in the family. A joyous occasion is usually announced to the outside world by hanging clothing or other pieces of
cloth between the sails.

Along the banks of the waterways you will see many small sticks with little orange/red flags. These mark the traps placed to keep the number of muskrats in check, killing about 300,000 animals each year. This killing is
controversial. It is not done in a humane way and the campaign to kill these animals is more expensive than mending the damage caused by these animals.

The Reeuwijkese Plassen is an area with lakes and is very popular for water sports. Bogs used to cover this area until peat was extracted and the lakes were formed. Small dams crisscross the area and the Trail is on top of these dams. In spring, water birds can be seen with their young, making for a pleasant sight.  


After the small village  of Driebruggen (Three Bridges), the Trail continues on the Steinse Tiendweg.  A tiendweg is a wide track on a dam between two canals.  For some years the Trail was rerouted because it had deteriorated badly; probably caused by the burrowing of muskrats. The Tiendweg was restored a few years ago.

Going through Haastrecht, the Trail passes the polder museum. This museum has an exhibition of the various machinery and pumps used to drain a polder. According to some sources, the name Haastrecht originates from
Haast (hurried) Recht (justice). It once housed a court of justice and among the facilities of the town were its gallows.

Schoonhoven is a small town known for its silver industry and it houses a college for silversmiths. Of interest is the Dutch Gold Silver and Clock museum.

At Schoonhoven the river Lek is crossed on a ferry. On the Trail all the major rivers are crossed on ferries; large manned vessels able to carry several cars. On the other side, the Trail arrives at the edge of Nieuwpoort, a small fortified village and continues to the village of Groot Ammers.

After passing Groot Ammers, the Trail continues on a narrow road, 'Molenkade', with 4 windmills. These windmills are still the only means to keep the feet dry for the farmers in the area to your left.

After a long stretch on top of a levee, the Trail crosses a wide canal over a narrow bridge, and then passes near the first secluded campsite for Paalkamperen. Shortly after, the Trail passes the hamlet of Den Donk. A donk is
a small area of higher ground in marshland. Most of the area was marshland before it was drained. The next kilometers pass through polders.

Nearing a railway, the Trail continues on another Tiendweg. In former times a Tiendweg was part of the drainage system of a polder and might have functioned as a dam. This made it possible to drain the areas on the two sides
of the Tiendweg independently.

In the spring you might find a swan nesting on this Tiendweg. Go carefully around the swan and you might be allowed to pass, but take care! Swans can be intimidating! At the end of the Tiendweg the Trail passes a nice
windmill.

Soon you arrive in Hardinxveld, where the Trail passes the museum De Koperen Knop. This is a private museum located in an historic farm. It gives an insight into the local history. In the garden of the museum, historic plants
and trees are still cultivated. The out-buildings of the museum contain, among other things, a hoop-making smith who makes the steel rims for wooden wheels.

Old buildings in many low lying areas in the Netherlands are adapted for occasional flooding. These buildings have a high cellar, which means the ground floor is actually above ground level. In case of flooding, the inhabitants and their belongings moved to the first floor. There are even provisions for mooring small boats alongside.

After skirting the village  of Hardinxveld-Giessendam, the Trail crosses a major highway and a canal. The noise of this highway is overwhelming.

Now the Trail enters the Alblasserwaard, a large polder, and passes the second small campsite for Paalkamperen, an initiative from the Dutch forestry commission. It is a small campsite. Camping is allowed for free, but comes
without facilities; it is a sort of regulated wild camping.

Gorinchem, also a former fortified town, is passed next. At one time it was the eighth largest town in the Netherlands and of importance because of its trade and strategic position. Now it is well known for its
traffic jams. For you it might be of importance because it has a railway and a bus station.

Woudrichem is reached by ferry or bus from Gorinchem. Like Gorinchem, Woudrichem is a small fortified town. It was a thriving fishing village until pollution and over-fishing spoiled this.

Being a fortified town had its advantages but also restricted further development, since no building was allowed outside its walls. Only in the beginning of 1900, when it lost status as part of the defense network of the Netherlands, was it allowed to expand beyond its walls. 'Dokter Tinus', a Dutch television series, is located in
Woudrichem.

After leaving the village  of Giessen, the Trail crosses the Wilhelminasluis, 'Wilhelminalocks'. To prevent floods, the course of the river Maas was changed to follow a shorter route to the sea. A canal was dug for this purpose. The dam at the Wilhelminasluis blocks the Maas from its original course. The work on the dam was started around 1900. The Wilhelminasluis was opened in 1904 by Queen Wilhelmina, hence the name. It makes shipping possible along this stretch of water.

Later the Trail passes a small fort which was part of the Nederlandse Waterlinie, the Dutch Water Defense line. The purpose of this fort was to protect a levee, always a weak point in an area protected by inundations. As with many forts, its main function now is to serve as a winter shelter for bats.

At the village of Brakel, you find the mansion of Brakel. Its walled gardens are maintained by volunteers in an ecofriendly way. In the garden is the ruin of a fortified castle that was destroyed by the French in 1672 and never rebuild. About 100 years later, the current mansion, Huis Brakel, 'House Brakel', was built. After Brakel, the Trail continues along the bank of the river Waal.

Soon, you have to make a choice between two alternatives. The nicest has the disadvantage of requiring a small ferry to cross an arm of the river Maas. This ferry is closed on Sunday. This part of the Trail passes through the Dutch Bible belt and working on Sunday is frowned upon. It is also closed during  the off season. The 'Sunday' alternative does not have the problem with a ferry.


Later the Trail reaches the Bergse Maas. This is crossed on a ferry. The ferry ride is free because this stretch of water was created to prevent floods. To compensate for the inconvenience for the local people having to cross here, it was ruled the crossing would be free of charge into eternity. That was about 100 years ago and this rule is still upheld in court.


The Trail now takes you through the center of the town of Heusden, a small and completely restored fortified town. Its restoration once won acclaim as how to restore an old town and later comments on how not to. Judge for yourself. It sits on the bank of the river Maas. In the past, because of its location near the borders of different nobility, this town had its share of fighting. The strong bastions and moats earned it the reputation of being impregnable.

The national park De Loons en Drunense Duinen (The Dunes of Loon en Drunen) is well known for its sand dunes
and is one of the larges sandy areas in Europe. The dunes are the result of unsustainable use of the land that began in the middle Ages. Moorland was first used for its peat and later overgrazed by cattle. The sand once threatened the surrounding areas. Planting of trees eventually stopped this. Without human intervention, the dunes would slowly be covered by vegetation again, but this would spoil the special area.

Nearing Den Bosch the Trail passes a large lake named De IJzeren Man; the Iron Man. When the town of Den Bosch was extended, sand was dredged for the building sites and the lake was the result of this.
The name originates from the big steam-powered dredging machine used to dig the lake.

After passing the lake, the Trail soon arrives at the outskirts of Vught. It follows a line of fortifications and moats; part of the defense of Den Bosch.

The Trail passes concentration camp Vught. From this concentration camp Dutch Jews were deported to concentration camps in Germany and Poland. There is now a national monument where the camp used to be, Nationaal Monument Kamp Vught.

The Pelgrimspad ends in 's-Hertogenbosch, an interesting and historic town worth a visit. There is accommodation in and near the center of town. It is the capital of the province of North-Brabant, the name means "Forest of the Duke" but it is usually abbreviated to Den Bosch; The Forest.

This town has a long and colorful history. It started as a small settlement on high ground in a marshy area. Near 1200 it became a town. Surrounded by low lying ground, it has a few small rivers running through it. Because of this, it was possible to inundate the area around the town, making it easy to ward of attackers. During the 80-year war against Spain, the Spanish used this to good effect and managed to defend the town for a long time. When the Dutch grew tired of this, they put their knowledge of creating polders to good use. They built a levee around the town and installed windmills to pump out the water; within a few months the town was taken.

When to go

When to go depends on weather, available hours of daylight and the availability of accommodation. Considering the weather, it is best to plan your walk between April and the end of October. This is the period with enough hours of daylight to walk a useful distance and it is also the period when most campsites are open.

However, the Pelgrimspad can be walked throughout the year and in the winter, during the weekends,  many
Dutch walk sections of the Trail. Of course, they have the advantage of an up-to-date weather forecast. When walking the Trail from the second half of December to March there is a chance of frost and snow. 

Try to avoid the school holidays, which run from the beginning of July to the end of August with some variation depending on the region. Outside this period the walking will be quieter and the chance of finding accommodation better. Spring is a nice period to go with trees blossoming and young animals in the meadows.

How much time does it take

The Trail is approximately 210 kilometer long. Accommodation is available on or close to the Trail. To reach some accommodation you may have to walk a few kilometer which can add another 20 kilometer to the total journey.

How many days it will take to complete the Trail depends on the kind of walk you have in mind, your physical condition and the pack you are carrying.

For a relaxed walk (remember you are on a holiday!!), for a person in regular physical condition, carrying normal luggage for overnight stays in hotels or pensions, allow for 9 to 12 days.

What to bring

What to bring depends on the conditions on the Trail, the weather conditions, and the type of accommodation available. Below are factors to consider for your packing list.

Emergencies: Unfortunately, accidents and other inconveniences do happen. Ofcourse it is impossible to prepare for every possible situation but I suggestyou bring a basic first-aid kit.

Also bring a thermometer, a space blanket, a painkiller like paracetamol and a pocket knife. For obtaining help, carry a whistle and a torch (flashlight). Your mobile phone can be very useful for obtaining help.
The number to dial for emergency service is 112.

Remember, bringing a first-aid kit is of no use if you do not know how to use it. Some basic first aid knowledge and mental preparedness are probably more important than a well-stocked first-aid kit.

Condition of the Trail: Most of the Trail is on unpaved roads through forest and meadows. Large stretches are on paved roads and only short stretches are on tracks. Walking or hiking boots are rarely essential. However boots can be practical because some stretches tend to be muddy. In general, European class A/B walking shoes
or boots will do, but consider a class B if carrying a heavier pack. In dry weather most of the Trail can be walked in sturdy walking sandals.

Drinking water: Tap water is drinkable in the Netherlands and at some places the tap water is considered to be of a higher quality than bottled mineral water. Bottled mineral water is widely available. Since you will often be passing villages there is no need to carry a large supply of water, but remember to carry/drink more on a hot day.


Food: Food can be obtained in the villages along the Trail. Most shops are closed on Sundays. Restaurants or hotels might have a closing day and few pensions provide dinner, so take some food along.

Breakfast: Breakfast is usually part of the accommodation. Unless you are camping, you do not have to worry about your breakfast. In most accommodation the breakfast is elaborate enough to make a lunch parcel; some even provide plastic bags for this purpose.

Snacks and Lunch: When lucky you start of with a lunch parcel in your pack. But to be on the safe side, take enough food with you to last a few days. Make ration packs, each containing food for one day. When it is cold, take extra food to give you energy to keep warm. The nicest thing is to get a quiche or a small pizza from a bakery or shop in the morning and save it for lunchtime.

On most days you will pass a restaurant, bar or cafeteria where you can have lunch, or pass a bakery or
supermarket where you can obtain lunch 'material'.

Dinner: Dinner can be found at restaurants or at the hotel where you are staying. However, some pensions are
in rural areas without restaurants nearby (some even have a bicycle available to get to the nearest restaurant).

During the day I often buy a ready-prepared meal and while few pensions provide dinner, some have kitchen
facilities or a glad to let you use their microwave to heat this meal. Keeps the trip affordable

When you keep things
simple, a two-course lunch or dinner at a simple hotel or restaurant will cost around 18 Euros, excluding drinks. Try the Uitsmijter for lunch!! Snack bars/cafeterias are good places for a low cost lunch or dinner.

Weather: The Netherlands has a mild climate with usually fine weather for walking. There is some sunshine, some clouds, and a chance of some rain. However, during a day the weather can change drastically and a sunny
morning can be followed by rain in the afternoon. If you are lucky you can have a spell of beautiful weather and with bad luck you can have rain almost every day.

Long stretches of the Trail are on exposed levees with little shelter against the sun or inclement weather. Considering the average weather in the Netherlands, bring serious rain protection and when walking in winter, bring proper protection against the cold. Do not forget a hat for protection against the sun. While the Trail can be walked the whole year, I do not recommend walking the Trail when there is snow.

Accommodation

There are different categories of accommodation along the Trail. There is no specialized accommodation for hikers. Transferring luggage to the next accommodation is not generally available. During the school holiday's accommodation can be scarce so it is wise to book ahead. There are no Youth Hostels or Youth Hostel like accommodation along the Trail.

When it is not possible to find accommodation in the place you want, public transport makes it possible to go to another location to find accommodation.

In the Trail and Accommodation planner, you find the available accommodation on and near the Trail. The distance on and from the Trail is given, making it easy to plan your trip. Accommodation mentioned are also indicated on the map and when accommodation is away from the Trail a description is given how to get there.

Unless accommodation is scarce at that particular section of the Trail, accommodation that is not within 2.5
kilometer from the Trail and accommodation that cost more than €80 per night for 1 person is not included. 

Hotels: There are several hotels on or close to the Trail. However, without long detours it is not possible to
walk the entire Trail using Hotels and you would need a large budget to do the Pelgrimspad this way. Prices range from 40 to 100 Euros per night; sometimes without the breakfast. Bring your credit card!!

Pensions: These are mostly of the Bed and Breakfast type. This is a pleasant way to do the Pelgrimspad and there are enough of them to do the whole Trail this way. Quality varies, some being of the type that got its furniture at a garden sale while others got their inspiration from the magazine 'Home and Gardens'. Funny enough, the price is not always a good indicator of the type. The bill is paid in cash. Expect to pay between 25 and 50 Euros per person, but sometimes significantly higher.

Vrienden op de Fiets (Friends on bicycles) is a Dutch non-profit organisation that offers affordable
accommodation to cyclist and walkers. Per night per person you are charged € 19, for B&B, excluding taxes. But you have to become a member to use these facilities for this price. When you become a member (actually you have to make a donation: minimum 10 Euro for 2015), you get a list of the available accommodation in the Netherlands and a membership card.

Members of this organisation offer Bed & Breakfast type of facilities, but usually not of the 'Home and Gardens' type. Often the owner is walking or cycling himself and the facilities are not open to the general public. In the Trail and Accommodation planner the pensions that are also member of this organisation are indicated. But you have to be a member to make use of the lower rates.

When you are planning to stay in a B&B during your walk, are happy with a not to luxurious accommodation and do not want to be bankrupt at the end of your journey, becoming a member is recommended: www.vriendenopdefiets.nl

Campsites: Campsites are widely available and affordable. Almost the entire Trail can be walked using
campsites. They can be very busy during the school holidays. Most campsites have space reserved for people traveling on foot or bicycle and squeezing in a tent is easier than squeezing in a bed in a hotel. Almost all the campsites are closed during November - March. Some small sites are situated on a farm. Price is approximately 10 - 15 Euro per night.

On a few campsites you can hire Trekkers Hutten (a sort of small cabin with about 4 beds and basic facilities), cabins or living caravans. This will save you the trouble of pitching a tent. However, for most of these facilities
you have to bring your own sleeping bag.

Along the Pelgrimspad there are two special campsites for Paalkamperen. Here you camp for free but there is only (non drinking) water available for washing and no other facilities.

Wild camping is not permitted (and not recommended) in the Netherland and when caught the fine is near € 100. It is best to try to get permission from the owner of the land you want to camp.

However, when you decide to camp wild, some simple things will decrease the chance of getting caught and increase the tolerance to you camping wild: Keep a clean camp and leave the area where you camped as you
found it. During dry periods tolerance decreases because you cooking a meal might cause a forest fire. When there are regular campsites nearby, tolerance to wild camping decreases. Do not camp with many other hikers.
Pitch your tent when it gets dark and leave early. Avoid national parks.

When caught, be a sport and do not argue with the police; they are doing their job.

Youth Hostels: There are no Youth Hostels along the Trail, but when arriving in Amsterdam you
can stay in the Stay-Okay; the (silly) Dutch name for Youth Hostels.

Booking:To be certain of a bed at the end of the day, my advice is to book at least oneday ahead. Do not show up at a pension in the evening and assume there will bea bed available; the owner might be away or all the accommodation might be booked.

When making a reservation, write down or mark the accommodation you have booked!! This will save you confusion or even embarrassment the next day.

Language: In Amsterdam is might appear that English is the national language in the Netherlands.
A very large percentage of the Dutch speaks or is able to converse in English and in general asking the way or shopping will be no problem. However, people in the more rural areas and some of the older people, hardly speak English. This might pose a problem when booking accommodation; in that case try to let the people at the location your are staying, make your reservation for the next day.    

Other facilities along the Trail

Shops: Shops are usually open from 9:00 o'clock to 18:00 o'clock. Closing time on Saturday is 17:00 o'clock. Expect shops to be closed on Sunday. Some shops are also closed on Monday (morning). Shops  are indicated on the map.

Banks: Most (but not all) villages on or alongside the Trail have cash dispensers/ATM's (Automated Teller Machine). However in small villages the ATM is often located in the local supermarket and is only available during shopping hours. Be sure your bank supports withdrawing money abroad! The cash dispensers are indicated on
the map.

Public transport

There are several bus lines along the Trail and most places can be reached by bus. Some places along the Trail can be reached by train.

When you intend to make use of public transport regularly, get an OV-chipkaart. This card can be used to travel on the train, bus, tram and metro in the Netherlands. It can be obtained at railway stations, some Bruna bookstores, and some tobacco stores. The card costs about €6 and has to be charged with your bank card.

When you use public transport; train, bus, tram, metro, you check in with your OV-chipkaart on a special machine on the railway platform or at the entrance of the bus or tram. When ending your trip check out with your card. The fare is then withdrawn from the card. For more information: www.ov-chipkaart.nl

In the Appendix a map with available bus lines and railway stations on or near the Trail is given. Call 0900 9292 or use the internet www.9292.nl for point to point information on public transport.


Train: 
Long distance travel in the Netherlands is done by train and there is an extensive network of railways with frequent trains. When traveling by train, be aware that on some type of trains they forgot to order toilets!

Bus: Local travel is done by bus and most of the destinations in the Netherlands are within reach of a
bus-stop. The busses usually run at least once an hour. During Saturday the frequency is reduced and on Sunday some lines are not running. During school holidays the frequency is reduced.

Bus and
accommodation:
While transporting luggage is not common along the Trail, the network and frequency of bus connections offers an alternative; it is often possible to stay at an accommodation for a few nights and use the bus to get from this accommodation to the Trail and back again.

Animals

Wildlife: Chances are that you will encounter small wildlife like hares and water birds. In the
spring swans sometimes nest on or near the Trail.

Cattle: The Trail passes through some areas where cattle (of the male and female type) are roaming around. The general rule is to keep your distance, do not pay attention to the animals and take care that you do not inadvertently corner them (because then the only way out for the cattle might be the place where you are
standing).

Dogs: Dogs are usually behind a fence or on a leash and are rarely a problem.

Ticks: Ticks transmit Lyme disease; the Trail often passes through grass and forest; a habitat for ticks. An active prevention of tick bites is recommended:

-   Wear clothing with long sleeves and long pants

-   Wear your pants inside your socks

-   Wear light clothing so ticks can be spotted

-   Use an insect repellant

-   Check you body for ticks

When bitten by a tick and a red rash develops (can develop after several weeks) or the tick has been on your skin for more than 24 hours, seek medical advice.












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