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Between the sources of the Boorne and the Tsjonger, two rivers that drain the water of the Drents Plateau in a westerly direction, there is a varied landscape with forests, heaths, sand drifts, peat bogs, and peat reclamations. It is the border region of the three northern provinces. Allardsoog is the "three-province point". Here lies the "Landweer", a late-medieval defensive wall with ditches on both sides, which was constructed against possible attacks by Drenten and Groningers. This was the first nature reserve to be acquired by the provincial nature conservation association, It Fryske Gea, shortly after its founding in 1930. Nowadays it is part of the Mandefjild-Bakkeveen, a beautiful, varied nature area of 261 hectares, with cycling and walking paths and a wheelchair-friendly path.
The immediate surroundings of Bakkeveen have traditionally been an attraction for tourists and day visitors. Attractions in the area include an outdoor swimming pool, a maze path and a modern ’belvedere’ (lookout tower). Northeast of the village lies De Slotplaats, an estate that originally dates from 1668. The former country retreat now serves as a restaurant, teahouse and meeting location and is surrounded by a classical garden with a moat. The entire estate forms one of the larger forest areas in Friesland. Very special is the star-shaped "schans" (fortification) discovered in the forest around 1995 and restored at the beginning of this century.
Immediately south of the De Slotplaats estate is the Heide-van-Duurswoude. This nature reserve takes its name from the village of Duurswoude, which was merged in 1973 with the neighboring Wijnjeterp and Wijnjeterpstreek to become Wijnjewoude. With an area of 145 hectares, it is the largest contiguous heathland area in Friesland and is bordered on two sides by forest. The area is characterized by a number of smaller and larger, round pools. In part, this concerns so-called "pingo ruins": remains of ice mounds from the last "small" ice age, in which the Netherlands were not covered by an ice sheet, but it was so cold that the surface was permanently frozen (permafrost). The ice mounds were created because relatively warm groundwater seeped up through weak spots in the frozen ground, froze just below the surface and pushed up the ground above. Due to the continuous supply of groundwater, the ice core grew steadily and the layer of earth slid down at a given moment. As the temperature rose, the ice melted and a water-filled hole remained, surrounded by a ring wall: the pingo ruin.
Another special area is the so-called Blue Forest, which lies between Waskemeer, Haule and Haulerwijk and is so named after the bluish spruce that grow there. The coniferous forest is interspersed with deciduous forest, grassland, water, and heath. In short: a very varied area. The entire complex is freely accessible and is perfect for exploring on foot, on horseback or by bicycle
With the explicit mention of the above-mentioned areas, the rest of this region is actually being done wrong. The forest and heathland areas are surrounded by extensive peat reclamation, which is also worthwhile in terms of landscape and cultural history. And where in some places there are also important natural values, such as in the Haulerpolder, south of Haule.
The peat mining history can be read from the very regular landscape. This regularity is the result of the often "straight" neighborhoods. These dug ditches were important for the drainage and served for the drainage of the peat. The further distribution took place via the Opsterlandse Compagnonsvaart. This boating connection is nowadays part of the (large) Turfroute, a 230-kilometer boating route through Friesland, Drenthe, and Overijssel.
All in all, it is not the individual, special areas that make this region so attractive, but rather the unique combination of the different types of landscapes on the one hand and the natural and cultural-historical values on the other.