Belgium - On the Road in the Hoge Kempen National Park
Hoge Kempen is the only national park in Belgium and is located in the province of Limburg. With over 5700 hectares of forest and heath, the park covers the municipalities of Dilsen-Stokkem, Maasmechelen, Zutendaal, Lanaken, Genk as well as As. Nature lovers will find a great variety of nature in the park: extensive pine forests, purple heath, large water areas as well as high peaks and many animals make the park a real experience. The national park has plenty to offer hikers, cyclists and mountain bikers, as well as horse riders.
Activities in the National Park
The extensive national park is particularly suitable for sporting activities. Visitors can find their way into the park via the five access gates and discover Belgium's breathtaking nature.
The National Park offers hikers 200 kilometres of walking fun. Each access gate is the starting point for great routes through the park. Visitors will find hiking trails for every level of difficulty in the park and routes ranging from 3 to 16 kilometres. These circular trails can be combined according to preference and stamina. The hiking trails are very well signposted on information boards as well as marker posts. The Hoge Kempen National Park is also suitable for walking tours lasting several days. Hikers can discover the park in two, three or four days on the 72-kilometre long-distance hiking trail. Real adventurers can camp at marked campsites. Among the hiking trails is a 2-kilometre barefoot trail. Here, stations with wood, stones and clay provide variety. An observation tower, a labyrinth and a suspension bridge also invite you to explore.
Tip: Every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month, a ranger with local knowledge awaits visitors at one of the access gates. The ranger shows visitors the most beautiful places in the park and informs them about the special features of the region. Reservations are not necessary, and visitors can join in spontaneously for a small participation fee.
The National Park is also a beautiful place to visit for cyclists thanks to the varied surroundings. The cycle path hub network links the paths together so that visitors can put together their own route. Here, every access gate also serves as a starting point and bicycles can be rented there for spontaneous tours. Many of the routes are car-free and pleasant to ride. Even though the routes include some climbs, cyclists are rewarded with a unique view at the end. The blue signs mark the paths and guide you through the park. In addition, e-bikers will find numerous charging stations in the park.
Action fans will enjoy the new mountain bike network in the park. Mountain bikers can experience the National Park on 160 kilometres of mountain bike trails spread over 6 loops. For particularly sporty visitors, the bike marathon is recommended: a challenging route of 80 kilometres marked with black arrows.
The Hoge Kempen National Park also has a lot to offer riders. Riders will find their excursion destination on over 140 kilometres of bridle paths and carriage trails. More than 85% of the paths here are unpaved and offer riders a natural experience. This network is also a hub system, which is why tours can be put together individually. The bridle paths rarely cross cycle paths or hiking trails and lead idyllically through the park.