Nice roaming through Salland | Lifestyle

When only a few centimeters of snow fell, the whole of the Netherlands moved to the Limburg hills. When entering the parking lot at the Lemelerberg in Overijssel, warning signs prove that it can be crowded here on weekends as well. After all, we all long for a break and even though the terraces are closed, even on a weekday it is quite busy in the parking lot of the ‘mountain’.

We go out with Wil van Lieshout, who at the age of 87 and despite a pacemaker still does voluntary work for the Buitencentrum Sallandse Heuvelrug in Nijverdal. We opt for a beautiful 10-kilometer loop, indicated by blue arrows. Fortunately, we soon notice that, despite the large number of cars in the parking lot, there is enough space to clear your head.


Together with the brave, elderly lady we set off on beautiful, sloping sandy paths. Because the soil was too dry and poor to work and farmers could only let sheep graze here, you can enjoy not only beautiful forests and many juniper bushes, but also extensive heathlands. Fortunately, because Overijssel has lost no less than 90 percent of its total heather landscape in the past hundred years.

However, those sheep around the Lemelerberg were a bit too enthusiastic. Overgrazing created sandy plains from which the sand started to drift. To counter this, conifers were planted. As a result, the sand was tamed and the heaths could recover, but now Landscape Overijssel wants to make the area more varied again by cutting away wood around the Lemelerberg to give heath and drifting sand more space.

Walking makes you talk. If you are lucky enough to walk with a nice older person, you will become a lot wiser. About life in the Second World War, for example, or the housing shortage, which is really not only current today. As early as the 1950s and 1960s, people moved from the Randstad to the east, where affordable homes were still being built.

That is why Wil van Lieshout moved from Heemskerk to Nijverdal. “We could have a house built there for more than half the price that was asked in the Randstad. Never regretted it, because you live here wonderfully. Of course you have to do something to be accepted. ”


After an hour we arrive at the 78 meter high Archemerberg from where you have a fantastic view over the otherwise flat area. The Lemelerberg and Archemerberg were formed by sliding glaciers, but according to popular legend they were created when a giant with a bag full of sand stumbled while crossing the Vecht and lost a large pile. Then he also stumbled over the Regge, wasting even more sand.

The mountain also contains an enormous amount of water that is purified by the sand and gravel present. In the past, nearby Ommen was supplied with drinking water by the mountain. There are still wells of Vitens right next to the mountain.

As we descend, we see a large flock of sheep further ahead. After Teun Heuver had roamed the heath with the herd for about thirty years, Anita Wickers took over after his retirement, along with a number of volunteers. The approximately 250 Veluwe heath sheep eat the grass and small trees away so that the heather can continue to bloom. They leave small fir trees, which are therefore removed by the shepherds. The herd is also guarded by border collies, one of which, when we take a picture of the herd, welcomes us enthusiastically.


Over time, the herders have seen the area change significantly. Some animals such as the grouse disappeared, tree and skylarks came back again. Stray dogs are anathema to the shepherds because they chase and sometimes even injure the animals.

When we are almost back and pass the ‘Dikke Steen’, an enormous boulder that has also been brought through the ice, the brave elderly lady has to catch her breath. Not surprising, because the paths are of loose sand and there are quite a few climbs. “I will soon have to see the doctor again for an examination. Then the pacemaker is also read. They will say: what have you done again? ” laughs Wil.

This is how you get there

The Lemelerberg is located between Ommen and Nijverdal, about 1.5 hours’ drive from Utrecht. From Dalfsen station you can travel to the mountain with local bus 568. Parking: Kerkweg 32, Lemele.

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