When canals can be a feature to be one’s guide for exploring the city in a new way, why not look at all (former) waterways? I covered the largest and most important of them, the well known Dommel already. But anyone familiar with Eindhoven knows that more is available.
The map above shows most of them. For the map aficionados among you: check out these interactive maps of the Dommel Water Authority:
Waterway corridors that are fun to follow are:
The Ekkersrijt/Groote Beek. One way of doing it is starting in Son & Breugel, where the Groote Beek joins the Dommel. The confluence is in a little park behind the old church tower under an impressive old tree. One can follow the Groote Beek (as it is called here), mostly on a muddy trail next to it to near the old bridge crossing the Wilhelmina canal Ekkersrijt industrial park. Best to make your way as straight forward as possible through this area to Blixembosch East by way of the bicycle tunnel (under the highway) behind Ikea. Immediately after the tunnel , take a right and you’ll enter the great natural zone of the Aanshotse beemden. At its end, cross the Huizingalaan and follow the waterway park through the Achtse Barriere to where the Ekkersrijt (as it is called from here onward) flows parallel to the highway and can be followed on muddy trails all the way to where the railway tracks block your way.
The Oude Gracht in Woensel East, formely called the Dooie Gracht is a dead arm of the Dommel and makes for nice green corridor through three neighbourhoods and connects at both ends to the Dommel , so one can walk/run a nice circuit.
The Gender makes for another nice urban park, especially until it hits the Afwateringskanaal, and has trails on both banks. ls easily combined with the Dommel. But why not continue once beyond the Afwateringskanaal, through the Genderbeemd neighbourhood, to the other side of the highway, and on through Veldhoven, see how far you get!
The Tongelreep South of the Ring (Boutenslaan) makes for a great stream hugging trail all the way to the highway. Easily combined with the Genneper Parken but often overlooked by those not living close by.
Anyone looking at the map will see that Stratum has two water corridors that are not (former) rivers – or at least I cannot find info that describes which these would have been – but which make for green corridors through that part of town: the Jan van Eyckgracht and green zone (including the Sint Bonifacius park) from the Ring to close to Riel.
It also pays off to too look at streams when leaving the city, because they often make for great walks. Unfortunately the development of continuous river hugging trails is by far not complete but close look at the VisitBrabant interactive hiking map will reveal many longer sections where you can stay next to the river on (often muddy – take the right footwear) trails. And beyond that, an exploratory mindset will reveal sections not indicated on even that map. Examples ofv streams to explore are the Kleine Dommel, The Run(graaf), and the Keersop.
Let me end with something that is sure to lighten your mood: