Similar to other places in the Groningen countryside, elemental forces left considerable marks in Appelbergen near Glimmen. These forces formed a wooded land with small lakes, hillocks and drifting sand. While it is a popular destination for family outings near the city, be aware of the occasional viper in the undergrowth!
Venture out into a prehistoric site not far from the city bustle. The Appelbergen heathlands are scattered with small round lakes, known as pingo ruins, formed by underground ice that pushed the soil up. After the ice melted, water-filled craters developed. However, not all of Appelbergen is prehistoric. During the Middle Ages, cart tracks formed deep trenches. Do you see them in the field? For centuries carts driving to and from Groningen and Coevorden uprooted plants from the sand, leaving the area exposed to the wind. The loose sand was blown to form countless small hillocks, which Groningen residents refer to as ‘bergen’.
So where does the apple in the name Appelbergen come in? In this context, the Dutch word ‘appel’ refers to pine cones and fir cones. However, many Groningen residents emphasise the /e/. The word ‘appèl’ (roll call) refers to the fact that for years this was a military training area. The Pieterpad trail runs through Appelbergen, as do other shorter routes. The signposted walk from Glimmen (Hereweg 52) is a lovely excursion for children. What bird do I hear there? Who can spot the most mushrooms? And don’t forget to visit the playground afterwards and enjoy a well-deserved pancake at the Paviljoen Appelbergen.