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Oude Diep

4 hour 13 minutes (19.0 km)
Managed by: Recreatieschap Drenthe

Living in freedom is a tremendous blessing. This feeling is evoked during the 17-kilometre ‘Oude Diep’ walking route from Hoogeveen. The route leads you past Second World War monuments.

The natural landscape to the north of Hoogeveen is varied and unique. The route guides you through the Spaarbankbos and the natural landscape of the Boerenveensche Plassen. You cross the Oude Diep brook near the smallest house in Drenthe. This smallest house was originally a turf hut but has undergone extensive renovation to become a holiday cottage.

The route passes the hamlets of Zwartschaap and Stadterij and the village of Stuifzand and runs right past Siberië. Woods, fields and meadows all vie for your attention before making your way to Hoogeveen once more.

Sights on this route

Starting point: Stationsplein 1
7901 AA Hoogeveen

Stationsplein 1
7901 AA Hoogeveen

Pesserstraat 24
7901 LC Hoogeveen

Hoogeveenseweg 5
7931 TD Fluitenberg

Hoogeveenseweg 7
7931 TD Fluitenberg

Wijsterseweg 13
7931 TR Hoogeveen

7931 TD Fluitenberg

7933 Pesse

Secteweg 36
7934 TD Stuifzand

7934 TC Stuifzand

Wijsterseweg 147
7934 TE Stuifzand

Kerkweg 44
7936 TK Tiendeveen

7934 Siberie

Hoofdweg 3
7934 PD Stuifzand
End point: Stationsplein 1
7901 AA Hoogeveen


Starting point: Stationsplein 1
7901 AA Hoogeveen
  • Hoogeveen was established in 1625. This is when Roelof van Echten purchased a large area of marshland in the parish of Zuidwolde. Roelof van Echten belonged to one of the oldest noble families in Drenthe and resided at Huis te Echten. For the extraction of this area, the Compagnie van 5000 Morgen (5000 morgen Company, a morgen is approx. 6000 hectare) was founded and a canal with side canals was dug to enable access. A village formed on the crossroads with the first neighbourhood (now the Hoofdstraat). Hoogeveen grew to become the largest peat producer in the Netherlands. One of the best-known buildings in Hoogeveen is the Reformed Church. This church dates back to 1652 and is also known for its statue of the Trommelslager (Tambour). Roelof van Echten opened his own chapel to the inhabitant for the Sunday service. Before the service, he would have a tambour make the rounds to gather the people.
  • The walking route starts at Hoogeveen railway station and passes a number of memorials. There is a war monument directly adjacent to the station, on the spot where a pilot lost his life at the end of 1943 when his plane crashed.
  • The route leaves Hoogeveen behind and now takes you into the Spaarbankbos. The wooded area to the north of Hoogeveen belongs to the municipality of Hoogeveen and to a number of private individuals. The name Spaarbankbosch is thanks to the Spaarbank Hoogeveen, who owned the site from 1902 tot 1974 and turned it into a woodland for the inhabitants of Hoogeveen.
  • The woods showcase three monuments that evoke the mournful events of the Second World War. The Spaarbankbosch monument commemorates the execution of three young men in the Spaarbankbos on 9 April 1945, one day before the liberation. The monument at the Wijsterseweg is to remember those who fell during the train shooting in August 1944. An impressive monument in the Spaarbankbos graces the spot where five residents of Hoogeveen where the German occupiers executed five inhabitants of Hoogeveen by firing squad on 1 August 1943 It was a retaliatory measure to a failed robbery on ration stamps.
  • After reflecting on the powerful memorials, the route sets off again towards the Boerenveensche Plassen. The Boerenveense Plassen is a 147-hectare open heathland with ponds and peat bogs. This area often stays very wet after winter, as several drainage ditches were reclaimed in the past and the subsoil contains lots of clay. One advantage is that this area is rich in rare plants, such as marsh gentian, marsh club moss, arnica and sundew. The site is also an interesting nesting site for birds, including breeding pairs of little grebes, great crested grebes and common teals.
  • The route continues towards the Secteweg near Stuifzand, the location of the smallest house in Drenthe. It was originally a turf hut for a family of peat diggers. The little house, made of stone by now, was threatened with demolition in 1998. It was saved and restored thanks to the intervention of the foundation Het Drentse Landschap and is now used as a holiday cottage.
  • The route crosses the Oude Diep brook, with great views across the brook valley. There are several monuments just off the walking route. Monument Zwarte Zaterdag (Black Saturday) commemorates train shootings on 5 August 1944. The monument for the Jewish labour camp Kremboong is situated near Siberië.
  • Siberië, a region with a road by the same name, is home to several farmsteads: legend has it that these were in such a remote and desolate spot that it reminded people of the harsh and terrible experiences Napoleon during his travels to Russia. However, old maps from that time make no mention of the region yet.
  • The route towards the village of Stuifzand leads past Organic Cheese Farm JUSTA. Justa means cheese and is derived from the old Germanic word for cheese. As the name Stuifzand (drift sand) indicates, there was sand in this area long before the arrival of the village. The first sand extractions took place in the 18th century and the first inhabitants started settling here from around 1850.

The route continues from the hamlet of Stuifzand back to Hoogeveen. The name Stadterij is derived from the Stadt family who once lived here. The ‘Oude Diep’ walking route finishes here. Recharge your batteries in a local cafe or restaurant to reflect on this amazing walk.

End point: Stationsplein 1
7901 AA Hoogeveen


  • Starting point:
  • Signposted: Yes
  • Explanation marking: