The Nature Park Maas-Schwalm-Nette is located on the border of the German federal state North Rhine-Westphalia and the Dutch province Limburg. Within 800 km2 rivers, forests, heathland, bogs and varied cultural landscapes make it a very special attraction. In the heart of the park lie 10.000 ha of forests and nature reserves of European importance (NATURA 2000).
More than 30 nature reserves on both sides of the border and the Dutch National Park De Meinweg offer great habitats for numerous animals and plants. The Nature Park is a place for recreation and rest, for guided or independent hiking or biking trips, for gaining knowledge about nature and the local habitats.
After in 1965, the German Nature park Schwalm-Nette had been founded as an association of three districts in Germany, representing 17 communities, in 1976 the Nature park was enlarged to the German-Dutch Nature park Maas-Schwalm-Nette on behalf of a treaty between the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the state Northrhine-Westfalia. The transborder corporation at that time was managed by an advisory board.
In 2002 the transborder association German-Dutch Nature park Maas-S(ch)walm-Nette was founded with a transborder project office including Dutch and German staff to manage bilateral activities and projects.
The Nature Park took its name from the three rivers Maas, Schwalm, and Nette. The long-lasting cross-border cooperation makes that the border is yet hardly recognizable and doesn’t really play a significant role anymore.
The Nature Park Maas-Schwalm-Nette is an association of seven Dutch communities and the German Nature park Schwalm-Nette. Its office is located in the town of Roermond in the Netherlands right at the Dutch-German border.
Activities and goals
The Nature Park Maas-Schwalm-Nette is a wonderful place for hiking, biking, horseback riding, water sports, finding rest and peace, discovering nature, learning more about nature, savouring regional products, experiencing local hospitality.
Cross-border goals are to preserve and pro-actively maintain the precious nature and cultural landscape of this region. Visitors can feel at ease and enjoy recreation by means of the numerous biking and hiking trails. A large amount of activities and the Visitors Centres give all guests the opportunity to become more aware of environmental issues.
Further, the Nature park aims to support and develop local recreation and tourism and create a mutual transborder identification from inhabitants and visitors with the park.