Wandelroute - hotspots

Railway bridge across the 'Canyon'

Around 1900, the local railroad company ‘Noordoosterlocaalspoorweg-Maatschappij’ had problems with the construction of the railway line from Assen to Stadskanaal. The slope from the Hunzedal up the Hondsrug was too steep to manage for her steam locomotives. The railway company therefore had this ‘Ravine’ of approximately one kilometer in length excavated in the Hondsrug ridge to create a gentler slope. The company had to build this railway bridge over the ravine so that the farmers from Gasselte could reach their northern fields.

The 'Canyon' near Gasselte
The railroad bridge accross the ‘Canyon’ near Gasselte

In the soil profile of the Hondsrug, the last three ice ages are still clearly discernable. At the bottom is the shimmering white sand of the Elster Ice Age. In the middle you can see a layer of boulder clay from the Saale ice age. It is glacial debris, crushed under the weight of the moving ice cap. At the top is a layer of cover sand that the polar winds of the Weichsel ice age chased across the plain. The soil profile summarizes the geological history of approximately 435,000 years of geological heritage.

Three ice ages made visible
Three ice ages made visible in an outcrop along the N34, spanning almost half a million years

An interesting walk

Recently a hiking trail has been created that takes you by the nicest and most interesting spots in te area.


Gieterweg 2, 9462 TD Gasselte, Netherlands

Coordinates: 52°58’57.0″N 6°47’13.2″E

The Canyon