4.6 mile Loop from the Netherlands to Germany and Back
If you’re exploring the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) region and want a relaxing place to soak up heather filled meadows, lush green forests and super friendly people, then this town and hike is for you.
It makes for a great stop on the way to Dutch flower fields, Amsterdam or as a ski, golf. and hiking destination for people who love to get off-the-beaten path.
Plus, it’s really fun to hike to Germany and back with your kids!
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TL;DR Skip Directly to Brunssummerheide Trail Guide
Golfers will LOVE the Golf-Resort Brunssummerheide surrounded on all sides by lush, verdant greens and direct access to the Nature Preserve and it’s leafy hiking trails.
Year round, skiers will enjoy SnowWorld Alpine Hotel, the largest indoor ski resort in Europe.
Each hike includes detailed GPS guidance (without any special apps) so it’s simple and not frustrating to find your way, get local food recommendations, and history highlights.
How This Netherlands Trail & Brunssum City Guide is Organized
- Getting to Brunssummerheide Nature Reserve
- Brunssummerheide Trail Map
- Brunssum City & Area Guide
- Things to Do in Brunssumm
- Brunssummerheide Trail Guide
- Where to Stay in Brunssumm
- Beyond the Best Hikes in the Netherlands: Alta Via 1 in the Italian Dolomites
- Recommended Websites & Books
TL;DR Skip Directly to Brunssummerheide Trail Guide
Getting to Brunssummerheide Nature Reserve
The Brunssummerheide Nature Reserve sits on the border of the Netherlands and Germany between JFC Brunssum and Nato Air Base Geilenkirchen. It forms the eastern border of the mid-sized town of Brunsumm in the Netherlands.
It is just a short walk behind the AFNORTH International school.
This region is about 1:20 minutes from Brussels or Cologne-Bonn airport by car. It’s a 2 hour drive from Luxembourg International airport or 2.5 hours from Amsterdam International Schiphol airport.
If using a car, simply park in the ample parking directly behind AF North International school and the local soccer club.
Train connections can be found at Heerlan Station. Heerlen, Stationsplein 1, 6411 NE Heerlen, Netherlands. From there use the #3 bus to get to Brunssum, Langeburg, station.
It’s a 20 min ride. It’s a 5 minute short walk to the trailhead from there. Use AFnorth international school in your GPS to get there. The trail is directly behind the school.
Brunssummerheide Nature Walk Trail Map
6.5 Miles or 10.5 km
Brunsumm, the Netherlands
How to use this map: Use your computer mouse or fingers to zoom in and out. Click on the icons to get more information. Click the arrow on the top left corner for the written index. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your google maps account. To view the saved map on your smartphone or PC, open google maps, click the menu button, and go to “your places”/ “maps.”
Brunssumm City & Area Guide
In the Heart of Benelux
Skip Directly to Trail Guide
Located withinIn the heart of the Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg), this regio is an underrated. Limburg, located in the south part of the Netherlands is filled with rolling hills, dense forests and soft hiking trails.
I had a hard time finding anyone that did not speak good to excellent English.
It feels much more “chatty” than most parts of West Germany but with the same sense of efficiency and order. The streets and houses are exceptionally tidy and clean, but modest.
We had fun by hiking through the Brunssummerheide from the Netherlands, all the way to Germany and back. *Hint: It’s not far.
There are about 30,000 people living in Brunssumm and most of the community is connected by bike trails.
Things to Do in Brunssumm
Hiking, cycling, Indoor skiing, and golfing top the list of fun things to do in and near Brunssum. If you’re there in Spring, do yourself a favor by hopping over to the Keukenhof gardens for a day. It’s tulip heaven that even the toughest of dudes and manly men will appreciate.
SnowWorld Landgraf Indoor Skiing
Snowworld Landgraf offers Indoor skiing, a hotel and apres ski. Located only 12 km from Brunssum and open year round.
There are 5 ski slopes, 4 restaurants and the Snowworld Alpine Hotel. You can take ski or snowboard lessons, engage in a VR game, or even do the outdoor high ropes adventure course.
Bring your dogs to the hotel!
Enjoy Baby Lambs in Spring
In early April you can book a reservation to be in the reserve to watch the local sheep have their baby lambs and other festivities. Book here.
2-3 Day Guided Cycling Tour
The local tour company Trans Limburg will set up a guided bike tour with accommodations. Book a trip by bike here.
Directly within the Nature preserve sits the Golf Club Brunssummerheide. Call +31 (0) 45-5646300 to learn more and book a slot. They have 45 holes, a restaurant and a golf resort hotel, directly in the serene course.
City Break to Maastricht
Brunssum is only 30 minutes from the charming city of Maastricht, a destination for curious travelers wanting to feel the vibrancy and heart of the Netherlands. A day trip here is highly recommended for shopping, people watching and visiting super cute coffee shops.
Best Time to Hike in Brunssum
March – November
Easter would be the absolute best time to hike due to the regions incredible flowering bulbs. It would be a perfect hike to pair with a stunning trip to the Keukenhof Flower Gardens.
However the trails are accessible year round and are not especially muddy during the winter and shoulder seasons.
If planning this as a winter (or late fall, early Spring) hike, carefully consider your daylight hours due to the high latitude and consider using winter traction devices like microspikes.
If you’ve got to do the night hike thing, take a serious Headlamp it’s got 900 lumens to illuminate your path.
A Very Brief History of Brunssummerheide
Dating back at least 2,000 years, it’s a land having been ruled by the Spanish, German, Dutch, French and British throughout history. That means the food choices really are quite interesting and varied for central Europe. Indonesian food, Spanish tapas and even authentic Mexican food line the main street of this sleepy town.
The Brunssummerheide Nature Preserve hosts an array of wild animals. Schoonbeek sheep are a highlight along with deer, many birds and wild boar.
It has free admission.
Several NATO and United States military bases are located in the area and host a diverse population. It’s quiet, orderly and friendly.
Who is This Guide NOT for and What are the Alternatives?
You’ll pass many quiet green spaces, but the hills in the Netherlands are gentle and it’s likely you’ll pass other walkers or people out walking their dogs.
This guide would be suitable for sport strollers. If you want to make a workout out of the hike it would also be great for backpacking your kid with a comfortable Osprey Baby Carrying Pack.
If you want something more naturally dramatic try hiking the Dolomites in Italy.
The Alta Via 1 trek in the Dolomites offers massive climbs and scenery that will take your breath away around every bend in the trail. High elevation mountain huts are positioned along the trails so you can sleep in a comfortable bed and eat delicious, hot food each night.
—> Want to hear what it’s like for a family with preteens doing the Alta Via 1. Listen to the Trails Worth Hiking podcast to learn the history and experience from the point of view of an American family undertaking a 5 day section of the Alta Via 1 trail.
Cycling Pitstop Between Rotterdam and Basel
You’ll have a hard time understanding the extent of the bike paths in the Netherlands until you see it yourself.
The lanes are almost flawless, even here in the countryside. They are smooth, protected from car traffic and literally everywhere.
There are curbs built between the car lane and the bike lane. They are at least 8 inches high so that if a car starts to swerve, the tires will hit the barricade instead of the cyclist.
There are lights for cars and for bikes to avoid confusion. Be careful if walking, check for bikes and not only cars.
♀️ If bikes are your thing and you want to explore Limburg and Brunssum area by bike, this tour will book all of your accommodations and show you some off the beaten path gems.
Brunssummerheide Trail Guide
Free Google Maps Guide: Just follow the blue dot to never lose your Way.
Komoot App with GPS Tracking: You get one free zone with this free app.
Location: Limburg, the Netherlands. 30 min from Maastricht, 5 minutes from JFC Brunssum
Trail Guide: Brunssummerheide Nature Walk
Type of Hike: Loop to Germany and Back
Distance: 4.6 miles, 7.4 km
Elevation: 175 ft up/down
Duration: Approx. 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy on soft paths, some paved sidewalks
Start/end point: Parkeerplaats SV Langeberg
Camino de Santiago: No
Something Good to Eat: Want to eat authentic Mexican in the Netherlands? The El Comal restaurant features vibrant colored decoration, delicious foods and a cozy fireplace right next to the tables.
Where to Stay in Brunssum: An Indoor Ski Resort!
Check out the links here from Booking – I always use them for my city and multi-day hikes because they are trustworthy and helpful to keep organized.
Best for Golf Lovers
Golfers will LOVE the Golf-Resort Brunssummerheide surrounded on all sides by lush greens and direct access to the Nature Preserve and it’s leafy hiking trails.
Best for Ski Lovers
Skiers will enjoy SnowWorld Alpine Hotel, a hotel located next to the largest indoor ski resort in Europe.
The Parkstad City Hotel offers family rooms, breakfast and a great location for a stay to explore the Brunssum.
On a Budget?
Going budget and have an SUV? It’s completely legal to sleep in your car (but only one night in each place) in a parking lot. Make it comfortable with a comfy SUV air mattress.
These paths are not at all technical. Crocs or sandals would be okay. The nature reserve is extensive and it’s entirely possible to stay on wooded paths, but we thought it would be fun to “walk to Germany and back” so we took some paved sidewalks to achieve this.
We got to go through the prettiest golf course we’ve ever seen. I’m not really into golf and have many stressful memories of running 5K cross country races through them. So when I say it’s pretty, I really mean it.
Don’t be like me and get eye pre-cancer, protect your eyes from the damage inflicted by the sun with cat 3-4 sunglasses.
Bring your own water as there’s no spring to fill up your canteen. You should be able to stop at the golf course bar if you want to pay for a drink.
Beyond Hiking in the Netherlands: Fisherman’s Trail in Portugal
If you’re looking for some breathtaking coastal scenery on the last wild coast of Europe, the Rota Vicentina Fisherman’s Trail will be a delight. Hike and stroll over the path of actual fishermen today and over the past 1000 years.
It’s a 2-3 hour bus ride from Lisbon and wanders over sand dunes and cliffs along the rugged Atlantic ocean. Here’s a detailed planner needed to complete a 4 day Inn to Inn hiking trip.
Best Hikes in the Netherlands
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy this Brunssumm city and hiking guide.
Please share your stories of your awesome outdoor adventures over on our facebook group European Hiking & Food Travel Planning.
If you’re going to pick one section of a hike in Germany to max out dramatic landscapes, castles, wine pit-stops and culture – this is the one for you.
Recommended Books for Exploring the Netherlands, Golf, Hiking & Cycling
Looking for an amazing Hut to Hut Hike of a Lifetime? Stimulate the senses in the Italian Dolomites! Alta Via 1 Cicerone Guidebook
Reliable Rental Cars : Rent a Car and Explore
EU Classic Rick Steves Guidebook – This brand is so awesome, get some cool ideas.
USA : Rick Steves
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Author profile: Morgan Fielder is a passionate hiker and writer, physical therapist, and European Cornhole Commissioner. She is living near Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany and featured giving science-based hiking tips and advice.
When not out exploring the mountains or sea, she’s writing articles and gear reviews to empower Outdoor Journeys that include family and good food. She is actively involved in the community and advocating for connection and sustainability with her community projects at Cornhole Europa and Sustainable Investors Group.