Groningen has a new hiking trail: the Pronkjewailpad, a 250-kilometre long route past the hidden gems of the city and province of Groningen. The name “pronkjewail” means “jewel” in the Gronings dialect.
By Marieke Bos / Translation by Traci White
The Pronkjewailpad was developed to meet the demand for the Tocht om de Noord, an annual walking event in the province which frequently sells out in a matter of minutes. The Pronkjewailpad is a trail and an experience: similar to Tocht om de Noord, hikers can sample local foods and enjoy theatre, music and culture along the way.
The route will follow the so-called G7 of Groningen, the seven highlights of the province. Country estates, dwelling mounts, churches, the Wadden sea, the Lauwersmeer, Bourtange and the city of Groningen. “The trail will lead hikers past estates and museums, a corn maze, and the Lauwersmeer National Park. Hikers can experience the flavour of the province by sampling local apples, eel and Gronings pofferts, and they can learn about the origins of the dwelling mounds.”
Groningen hospitality will play a prominent role along the trail, where hikers can experience a new hidden gem every couple of kilometres along the way. Approximately 150 sites across the north, including tourist sites, cultural features and recreational areas, will open their doors to hikers. From Thursday to Sunday, hikers can visit farms, cheese makers, bakeries, shops, a canoe company, a corn maze, museums, seal rescue centres, an eel smokehouse and fruit orchards.
The trail will be open between 12 April and 31 October and it’s up to the hikers themselves to decide when they start and how far to go. Hikers can sign up to walk the trail starting on 31 April for 38 euros. After registering, hikers will receive a Pronkjewail card where they can get stamps for “gems” they have found along the way, an app, and an invitation to a buffet on 17 November.
Hikers who get at least 60 stamps on their cards will be invited to a spectacular closing event in November: Camino Groningen. The trail hikers will enter the city to cover the last leg of the trail and head to the Martinikerk for a final celebration.
The Pronkjewailpad has been developed by Routebureau Groningen, Marketing Groningen, the province of Groningen and 100 “Voorlopers”. The trail will consist of two routes: the North Route, which will open in March of this year, and the South Route, which should open next year.