HILVERSUM SPORTPARK - BAARN (7,9 KM)
The Westerborkpad is one of the many long-distance hiking trails in the Netherlands. If you follow the Westerborkpad, one thing is certain, the trail is not far away and that has a reason. This path is a reminder of the deportation of Jews from Amsterdam to camp Westerbork. The short seventh stage of the footpath lies between the towns of Hilversum and Baarn. During this stage, you walk through a wooded area and end up at the Jewish monument (De Marinier) near Baarn railway station.
You start this stage in the Laapersveld, which is located right next to Hilversum sports park station. With its ornamental pond, this small park immediately gives you the feeling of being outside, a very pleasant start of the hike. From here you walk through a suburb of Hilversum in the direction of Anna’s Hoeve, a recreation area with sand and heath land next to the railway. From here on you keep following the railway line for almost the entire route, but the area is quite varied.
After you have passed the A27 motorway, you are in the midst of nature for the first time. Here you are at the beginning of the Hooge Vuursche, a forest area that is managed by Staatsbosbeheer. In the past, this area was used a lot for the production of wood and you notice this during the walk. Most of the paths are straight, wide and tightly constructed. But the surroundings are no less beautiful for that.
In the future, this will only improve as the diversity of this area has been greatly stimulated. The forest is quiet and different types of forestation alternate. Every now and then, you can hear a train rumbling along the track in the distance, something you will never completely let go of during this hike. But that’s exactly the intention of the Westerborkpad.
Towards the end of the hike on the Westerborkpad, the forest slowly merges into the town of Baarn. But on this side of the station, you’ll find only one district, with luxury houses blending into the wooded surroundings. Most of the town is on the other side of the track, so the station is also on the edge of the forest, which makes it seem as if it suddenly appears out of nowhere. Just before you reach the station and with it the end of the walk, you walk past the Jewish monument that displays forty-five names of Jews from Baarn who were deported and eventually murdered in extermination camps.