Nowhere in Friesland is former peat-mining activity so clearly visible in the landscape as in the area between Heerenveen and Akkrum. Here, in the so-called "Low center" of the province, lies the nature reserve De Deelen. Peace, space, and nature dominate in this beautiful area. That was very different in the first half of the twentieth century. Around 1920, excavation of peat started in the area and therefore it was a very busy area. The so-called ’pet-holes’ were created by excavating; in between, small pieces of land were spared where the excavated peat was laid to dry: the "legakkers" or "laying fields". The peat was removed via a specially dug ring canal, which connected to Ulesprong on the Nieuwe Vaart and to Haskerdijken on the Heerensloot, which was already dug in the sixteenth century for peat extraction.
After the completion of peat extraction, a unique nature area has developed, where many species of water birds feel perfectly at home. Partly due to the presence of rare species such as the black tern, the purple heron, and the harrier, the area has acquired the international status of ’Wetland’. Staatsbosbeheer has set two walking routes through the 500-hectare nature reserve (1.5 and 3.5 km respectively). Special boat excursions to and through the area can be made from the "It Damshûs" museum in Nij Beets. A route dedicated to the history of the area is "Domela’s Paad", named after Domela Nieuwenhuis, the well-known pastor and politician who has made a special effort to improve the miserable living and working conditions of peat workers in the area. The 25-kilometer route runs through the area between Tijnje and Nij Beets and is suitable for cycling or walking.
There is plenty to do in and around Tijnje. Car enthusiasts can visit the "1st Dutch Opel Museum" in the village itself, for example. Lovers of regional products will enjoy themselves at "Kaasboerderij-De Deelen" (on the road to Aldeboarn) and "Kaasboerderij-De Gelder" on the road to Luxwoude. Ulesprong, northwest of Tijnje, is a paradise for art lovers: here you will find gallery and sculpture garden "La Lanka" and you can view (by appointment) work by sculptor Lia Versteege. And across the street from the Nieuwe Vaart is the Sudergemaal, built in 1924, where changing exhibitions are held by artists involved in the Frisian landscape. The Tripgemaal, which was built on the Ringvaart in 1876, is also used for that purpose. There is also a small museum here that gives a picture of the peat mining and fishing in the area.
The Trip pumping station was part of the system of mills, pumping stations, dikes and locks that served to drain and keep the area south of De Deelen dry in order to bring it back into culture. In this area, the former municipality of Aegwirden, the excavation of the peat had already begun in 1800. Due to the rigorous way in which this happened, 30 years later Aegwirden consisted of more than half water and the remaining land had largely become unsuitable for any further use. In order to make the so-called "onland" suitable for agriculture, the "Polder of the Fourth and Fifth Veendistrict" was established in 1833.
To the north of De Deelen flows De Boorne, a drainage river of the Drents Plateau that in the old days flowed into the Middelzee, a sea arm that divided Friesland into a western part (Westergo) and an eastern part (Oostergo). Just like the Nieuwe Vaart and Heerensloot, the Boorne is part of the (large) Turfroute, a 230-kilometer sailing route through Friesland, Drenthe, and Overijssel. Aldeboarn, located on the Boorne, is known for the annual Aldeboarnse-gondelvaart in August. This event has been around since 1946 and has evolved from a parade on the water to a spectacle with 15 floating objects that in fact form complete theater productions. It is obvious that thousands of visitors come to this every year and that it has evolved into one of the main attractions of Friesland.