12,000 hectares of untouched nature. To extensive pine forests to purple flowering heathland, from sandy dunes and large lakes to high peaks that give you a stunning view. Every part of the Hoge Kempen National Park is a joy to behold. But why only tell you about it, when we can show it to you too?
To really appreciate this beautiful domain, you have to be able to see it. So Visit Flanders reporter Pedro put on his hiking shoes and set out on an adventure. In this series of vlogs, he hikes the new long-distance hiking trail: a loop of 110 kilometres that is divided into five sections. He starts at Kattevennen, one of the nine entrance gates to the National Park. The trail takes in the 40-metre high Bliksemtrap and leads to the silent area. The only thing you can hear there is the birds.
Hoge Kempen National Park is all about flora and fauna. So you will also run into animals there, as Pedro discovers in the second episode. Once past these living lawnmowers, the route continues to the Mechelse Heide, a unique view and ecosystem.
The Terhillsentrance gate perfectly summarises this area. The high headframes are a reminder of Limburg’s mining past, and a little further along lies untouched nature. Day three of this trip leads to Bergerven. The area contains 50 hectares of open water, making it an ideal biotope for birds. Pedro gets his binoculars out of his backpack for an even better view.
A hearty breakfast sets Pedro up for the final – and sometimes quite difficult – part of his journey. The Duinengordel area undulates considerably, sometimes in fine sand. Ideal for experienced hikers, but it’s a great place for a family outing too. For the little ones this section is a huge sandpit. You will also find many beautiful picnic spots there.
On the final day of his adventure, instead of diving into nature, Pedro dives into the past of this National Park. Pedro reaches the Mijndepot, a museum dedicated to life in and around the former mining site. An important story behind this beautiful domain.
An educational end to a rewarding trip through Belgium’s only National Park. In the Park, Pedro hiked through forests and sand dunes, past lakes and heath landscapes, conquered seven challenging climbs and was greeted with stunning views. The Park offers so much to enjoy. Why wait a moment longer until you visit?