The Drowned Forest of Schalkwijk!

Alligator Alley? No, Just The Drowned Forest of Schalkwijk!

The Drowned Forest? That sounded intriguing and even a little morbid! However, this name piqued my curiosity to visit this area in Schalwijk, close to our hometown, Nieuwegein, in Utrecht. Today, we got a glimpse of this unique forest up close and learned about its history.
The name is fitting; this wetland looked quite different in the past. Once, this area was a beautiful forest along the Schalkwijksewetering. However, drainage was a problem, especially when heavy downpours occurred. The solution to this problem was to allow the water surplus, causing the drowning of the trees. The stumps in the pond above the water line are a silent reminder of their death.

The area looks similar to the mangrove-like forests I have seen in Florida. The logs in the water even sparked funny thoughts of alligators (though I know they’re not native here!), their snouts poking out of the water. I must have been in Florida too long now that I suspect alligators are also floating around here in the Netherlands.


We sat down briefly, listening to the calming, rustling reeds. The boardwalk that runs straight through the “forest” made it look like we were “walking on water.” So, despite the macabre name, this Verdronken Bos in fact offered the opposite: a beautiful spiritual escape in the heart of the Netherlands.


Friday, June 10, 2022


1.88 miles

Moving Time

0:42:50 hours


67 °F, gentle breeze, clouds