Gooi & Vecht area
Het Gooi is the area around Hilversum in the southeastern corner of the province of North Holland. It is located north of Utrecht, between Amersfoort and Amsterdam. The boundaries are not clearly demarcated. It is generally the area between a dry ditch called the Gooyergracht, dug in 1356 to demarcate the border with the province of Utrecht, and the river Vecht. Het Gooi refers traditionally to the part of this area that lies in the province of North Holland. Often the term is used to refer just to the higher, sandy, forested part of this area. To the north of Het Gooi there is a body of water called Lake Gooi (in Dutch, Gooimeer), a southern extension of the IJsselmeer. An area called the Vechtstreek lies to the west of Het Gooi. Eemland in the province of Utrecht lies to the east. The towns of Weesp and Eemnes are also sometimes thought to be in Het Gooi. Their inclusion would mean that the region extends in the west to the Amsterdam-Rijnkanaal (not just to the Vecht) and in the east to the river Eem (not just to the Gooyergracht). However, historically and geographically these towns are not really part of Het Gooi. Weesp is part of the Vechtstreek and Eemnes part of Eemland.
To the west and southwest there are two lake systems called the Loosdrecht Lakes (Loosdrechtseplassen) and the Ankeveen Lakes (Ankeveenscheplassen). On 1 January 2002 the towns in the area of these lake systems was organised into a municipality called Wijdemeren. This municipality includes Ankeveen, Breukeleveen, 's-Graveland, Kortenhoef, Muyeveld, Nederhorst den Berg, Nieuw-Loosdrecht and Oud-Loosdrecht. Some of this area is fenland. Since then this area has also been considered to be part of Het Gooi, although historically not all of it was. Pasture land called the Utrechtse weilanden lies to the south. To the southeast lies a wooded area in the province of Utrecht called the Laagte van Pijnenburg, or Pijnenburg Depression, marking the transition to the central part of the Utrecht Hill Ridge.