The Landscape

The Ruiten Aa is a stream that has been meandering through the green landscape in the southeast of Groningen since ancient times. Its winding adventure begins near a medieval Crosier monastery, surrounded by one of the oldest forests in Groningen. The stream continues to meander through a landscape that feels intimate and romantic, characterized by a variety of fields, meadows, hedgerows, heaths, and forests. The centuries-old farms, hamlets, and the old fortress town Bourtange also contribute to this unique ambiance, each place with its own historical atmosphere.

The landscape in the Veenkoloniën originated in the 17th and 18th centuries through peat extraction. The originally peaty marshes were replaced by linear settlements, canals, waterways, and ditches. Agriculture, especially arable farming, significantly shapes this region. The predominant crops cultivated here include sugar beets, starch potatoes, cereals, and onions.

Forests and Heaths

Estates and Heritage

Swamps and Peatlands

Rivers and Streams

Bike with us

Virtual cycling in Dal van de Ruiten Aa and Veenkoloniën

Route map

You will bike in the vicinity of the towns of Ter Apel, Sellingen, Bourtange, Mussel, and Musselkanaal.

Start and finish at bike node 24 on the Boslaan in Ter Apel. However, this bike route is a circular tour, so it offers the possibility to start from any of the following bike nodes.

24 - 27 - 17 - 30 - 19 - 34 - 33 - 14 - 44 - 95 - 55 - 41 - 40 - 39 - 37 - 36 - 32 - 31 - 29 - 18 - 24

Elevation meters