Between Baarlo and Velden you can stroll along the Maas via one long natural ribbon through the urban area of Venlo. Sometimes only on the west side, but also regularly on both sides. It is urban nature at its best. It is the front or, if you prefer, the backyard of Venlo. But then one of many tens of hectares and one where everyone can walk freely.
An almost entirely continuous complex of dry heath, wet heath and fens forms the impressive De Hamert Estate. The dry heath is mainly located on the drifting dunes that occur naturally here, the parabolic dunes. The wet heath is adjacent to the fens. The months of August and September are, for many people, the period when the heather is at its most beautiful because of the massively flowering shrub heather, the heath type of the dry heathland.
In 2011, the Ravenvennen was given the status of 'Dragonfly Reserve' by De Vlinderstichting, the second largest in the Netherlands at the time. This does not say everything about this area, but it does indicate what the Ravenvennen is in any case very important for. The area of almost 400 hectares consists of several dozen fens surrounded by heath and dry coniferous and deciduous forest.
The Groote Heide is located east of Venlo, bordering Germany. This area of more than 250 hectares has more in store than heath alone. Although the largest area is heathland, the presence of fields, barren grasslands and forest makes the area extremely varied and rich in plants and animals. Several hiking and cycling trails run through the area.
The Zwart Water area is located on the south side of the Maasduinenketen. The bottom consists of a number of old Meuse beds from times long past. The Venkoelen in the middle of the area is the largest body of water and was created by peat bogs. It is surrounded by forest that was mainly planted from 1930 onwards. On the northeast side, the forest is interspersed with small but valuable grasslands.