To the northeast and east of Leeuwarden is a very special area. Hardly anywhere in the Netherlands can you see such different landscapes at such a short distance from each other. Forests, reed swamps, meadows, peat lakes, tree girths: the Trynwâlden offer a lot of variety.
According to legend, the area takes its name from a rich widow, Tryntsje. She left her seven sons a farm with a lot of land. According to the story, the sons each built their ’own’ village around their farms. Âldtsjerk (Oudkerk) was named after the eldest son, Oentsjerk after son Oene, Gytsjerk after Gieke, Roodkerk after Rode, Ryptsjerk after Rype, Tytsjerk after Tiete and Wyns after Wynse. Opposite the village café in Oentsjerk is a work of art that depicts Tryntje and her seven sons.
The six ’church villages’ lie on a narrow, north-south-facing sand ridge. This wooded area used to be popular with the nobility, who had their country houses built there. A number of them have been preserved: De Klinze, Stania State and Vijversburg. All three are surrounded by a 19th century park in the English landscape style, designed by the renowned Lucas Pieter Roodbaard.
In a westerly direction, the enclosed landscape abruptly changes into a vast polder landscape. Here, participants of the Elfstedentocht (Eleven cities Ice skating tour) cover their final kilometers before they finish on the Bonkevaart, which runs right next to the western access road to Leeuwarden. The bridge over the Ouddeel has been transformed into a unique monument for the ’Elfstedentocht’.
South of Giekerk lies the De Grote Wielen nature reserve, which consists of ponds, reed marshes, and low-lying meadows. An ecological connecting zone has been created between this area and the Ottema-Wiersmar nature reserve further to the east: the Bouwe Pet, a marsh-like area.
To the east of Oenstjerk, the transition from forests to the open peat fields area is much more gradual. Here forest plots are interspersed with open spaces, which results in beautiful views from the small country roads, sandy paths, and bridleways.
It will be clear: the Trynwâlden actually have everything to offer for a pleasant stay. A beautiful, varied landscape, varied nature, water and a rich cultural history. And all within cycling distance! But in addition to cycling, the area is also ideal for hiking and is a paradise for riders and (small) water sports.