Frequently asked questions

Questions about registration and starter kit

In order to register for the Walk of Wisdom you pay an one-time registration fee to the foundation. Following the payment you will get the starter kit. You decide yourself when you start and how many miles you walk each day. In the starter kit you find the routeguide, a pin with the symbol of the route in 99mm steel and the pilgrimlace: a shoelace, with a pigeonband attached, with your unique registration number. To the pilgrimlace you clip  11 pigeonband that you collect along the way. These bands carry the name of the municipalities where you pass through, together a proof of completion. A little bit wiser?

You can register for one pilgrim, for another person as a present, or for multiple pilgrims. Pilgrims under 18 pay less.

After registration and payment you will receive the starter kit. According to the guidebook and the addresses for accommodation you will be able to plan your pilgrimage.

At departure you sign the Big Book at the Stevens church (opening hours). There you write down your name, registration number and departure date. At the end you sign out here as well and receive the signed pilgrimcertificate. Missing pigeonbands will be added to your pilgrimlace.

In case the church is closed, you can ring the bell at Stevenskerkhof 62. If nobody opens the door, please make sure you put a note with your name, registration number and departure date, in the letterbox at Kerkboog 2 (underneath the gate to the church).

At arrival please go to Café Open Slow in de Lange Hezelstraat. In order to reach the café, go down the stairs on the opposite of the entrance of the church and go right. Keep on going straight at the little square and you find Open Slow just after the snack bar on the left (opening hours).

The Walk of Wisdom, just with the routeguide?

No, that is not possible. If you like to make a nice walk, there are plenty of possibilities in the Netherlands. The Walk of Wisdom is set up as more than just a nice walk. Therefore the routeguide is part of the starter kit and comes together with the other symbols of the Walk.

Have a look at wandelnet.nl for beautiful trails!

You can buy the starter kit without delivery charges at the Stevens church in Nijmegen. The church is the starting- and ending point of the Walk of Wisdom. The Stevens church is mostly open between 10.30 and 17.00 hrs. In case the church is closed, please go to Stevenskerkhof 62 and ask for Rens. He is the administrator of the church.

Click here for opening hours.

Children have wisdom! That’s what they say. That’s why children pay less for the registration when they walk with an adult. With this link you can have a look at the starter kit for two people or more.

You can register as a group of 2 or 3 people using this link.

You like to walk in a group of 6 pilgrims or more? Please contact us. With our experience we could provide you with tips to spend the night.

Questions about route and accommodations

We suggest to walk the route consecutively. This is the best way to let go of your daily business and to experience being on the road.

If for whatever reason you like to do it differently, feel free to do so. Patricia Akkermans made a schedule of the public transport, in order to go home after each stretch: link.

The route has been signposted everywhere, apart from the Reichswald in Germany, where we didn’t get permission. However it is also easy to walk that part of the route, since you have the routeguide with 34 maps with detailed description of the way to go. For pilgrims there is a GPS-track available.

Overview places to stay

In the starter kit you find a guidebook with places to stay near the route. You can also find this list with addresses on the website (link).

In the confirmation email of your registration as pilgrim, you find an easy printable excel-list with 10 pages of B&B’s and host families. The list has been composed by Mieke Klaver, for which we thank her a lot.

Send an email to [email protected] mentioning your registration number in case you don’t have the confirmation mail.

Inner path

The Walk of Wisdom is a pilgrimage: what goes around in yourself is more important than what goes around in the outside world.

Having said that, according to many people we have a beautiful itinerary. Crossing three provinces and two countries. From new wilderness in the Ooijpolder to height differences unusual for the Netherlands in Berg en Dal. You are passing a vast forest (Reiswald), one of the most beautiful forests of the Netherlands (Jansberg), the Mookerhei, the swamps of the Hatertste Vennen and old fortress cities like Grave and Ravenstein, and the Heerlijkheid Leur and Hernen.  

One of the few castles that has never been under siege (Hernen) is situated on the route, just like a special open air work of art, designed by Jac Maris (Bergharen). Start- and endingpoint of the route is the medieval Stevens church in the self-proclaimed oldest town of the Netherlands, Nijmegen.

Fun? You have a vast repository in your self. Or visit the church and look for a sainted woman with a beard (sint Ontcommer). There is a story about her..  

More information about the route.

The Walk of Wisdom with a dog

Except from two spots the route is accessible with dogs. However, in natural areas dogs should be on a leash. Check the signs at the entrance of a natural area.

When walking along meadows where cows are grazing, keep your dog on a leash and pick up the dog poo. Dogs feces could contain a bacteria (neospora) that cause miscarriages for pregnant cows. Pilgrims don’t want to be the instigators?

Exceptions for the dog

There are two spots where you should make a little detour, since dogs aren’t welcome there.

  • Map 3, at point 7 you cannot go through the gate. Go right here and turn left on the first street (Kruisstraat). Keep going left on a crossroad (Koudedijk) and go straight at the next crossing. Here you join the original route again (map 4, point 5) and you walk to the pedestrian ferry.
  • Map 27, point 10 you are not allowed to turn left through the hedge, but you should go straight on the Elzendweg. The route joins the original route (map 28, point 3).

Accommodation with dogs

On the list with addresses we have indicated the places where dogs are welcome. This also applies for the list with host families.

When you have finished the Walf of Wisdom with a dog, we like to hear your experiences in order to share those. Please contact us.

Picture in the Stevens church

Many pilgrims like to have a picture of themselves in front of the statue of the Pilgrim in the Stevens church. Officially dogs are not allowed in the church, but a few volunteers turn a blind eye. Ask politely whether it is okay, to bring your dog inside, and if it’s not okay, please respect the dutifulness of the attending volunteer: after all, thanks to this person the church is open!

If you don’t want to come using public transport, here are few tips to park for free. The tips are from our Facebook-group ‘pelgrims van de Walk of Wisdom’, a good place to find the most up to date information, tips and help.

  • Park the car at the Limoskazerne on the Groesbeekseweg in Nijmegen. From here it’s 1.5 kilometers to the Stevens Church or take bus 5 to the city centre.
  • Nijmegen-Oost is the safest neighborhood in Nijmegen. Where there is no paid parking, you can park your car for a week with little risk and go to the city centre by bus or walking. You can find an overview of paid parking zones here.
  • Park your car at Nijmegen-Lent station or Ravenstein station, and take the train to Nijmegen Centraal.

Some pilgrims prefer to have their luggage transported because of disabilities or for comfort. Check the addresses for accommodation for those that have a luggage transportation service.

More tips:

  • Stay in a B & B or host family in Nijmegen for a week. From many places on the route you can easily return by bus to the city center of Nijmegen.
  • BnB Veldzicht in Horssen at Bergharen offers to pick you up anywhere on the route. They also serve dinners.
  • Pitch your tent or park you caravan at camping de But in Groesbeek. You can reach it easily by public transport until late at night with bus 5 Nijmegen-Groesbeek. Get off at the stop Dekkerswald.

Sometimes we get questions if the route is safe for women walking alone. Especially the part in the Reichswald is something some women are worried about (map 10-12). We as foundation can only give you advice how to deal with this. Walking the tour is you own responsibility and you should act at your discretion, like you do in any other occasions. Until today no big incidents have been reported to us.

Advice in case you don’t feel safe:

  • Bring a whistle with you
  • Bring a walking stick with you or look out for a big stick in the woods
  • Bring a cell phone with you
  • Ask a friend to join you
  • Ask in the Facebook group ‘pilgrims of the Walk of Wisdom’ to join others.
  • Enjoy the walk and don’t let this experience be taken away from you by the people in the world who have bad intentions.

Nature is beautiful, but not only kind: even around Nijmegen you run the risk being bitten by a little leech called tick. A tick can be infected with Lyme disease and make you sick if it is not removed within 24 hours.

A few tips

  • Ticks do not fall from trees, but climb up from the ground to high grass and bushes. Check yourself well if you have walked through this.
  • Wear long pants and put the legs of your trousers in your socks. Ticks climb over your pants, finds no skin to bite into and lets go (bye!).
  • On the WoW route you will encounter high grass, especially in the Ooijpolder, a little beyond the Duivelsberg (Groesbeek) and in the Reichswald.

Other questions

Not only is the Stevens church a church building, but also an inspiring and cultural meeting point and one of the most beautiful monuments of Nijmegen. Concerts are organized there and also the Radboud University uses the church for ceremonies. The church towers the hill upon which the city is built, an icon for its surroundings.

The moment you have been in the church, you probably understand why we have chosen for this place as the heart of the route.

We were looking for something that connects acros borders and cultures and also beckons to a journey inside. Everybody carries a source of wisdom: your own intuition and experience, the possibility to learn from others and nature. Wisdom transcends one’s own interest and is not lightheaded at the same time. Nobody can decide for anybody else what is wisdom, it depends on the person and the situation. It is impossible to enforce wisdom, it needs space. A pilgrimage offers such a space.

We use an English word, for our ambition to make the Walk of Wisdom a worldwide network. English is the ‘lingua franca’ of these days. The translation of the word ‘wisdom’ into Chinese is something we don’t know yet.

By the way we have a solid Dtuch subtitle: ‘path of your inner wisdom’. Wich means stubbornness in Dutch as well, but you can forget about that…