A tour of the most beautiful Flemish parks

The national parks in Flanders are truly walking paradises. Put on your hiking boots and discover the many surprising faces of its undulating landscape.

If you look closely, you’ll see spring approaching on the horizon. Leaves are reappearing on the trees, the first flowers are popping up, birdsong is increasingly in the air, and the sun is shining longer. This automatically gives you an extra dose of energy, which you can put to use with an invigorating walk. Flanders has a lot to offer in this regard.

The Hoge Kempen National Park is one such highlight. It features 12,000 hectares of pristine nature of unparalleled variety. The landscape transforms again and again:  It ranges from vast pine forests to purple-blooming heathlands, from shifting dunes along bodies of water to towering treetops. This enormous wealth offers you a gorgeous setting for hours of walking. In the park you are certain to find a suitable walk along its total of 400 kilometers of hiking trails.

Do you enjoy a challenge? Are you up for a little more? Then the National Park Trail might be something for you. This is a loop of 110 kilometers through the entire park, divided into five routes of differing character. They lead you up a handful of fairly steep climbs, through a magical area of silence, into this region’s mining history, along dune belts, and past bodies of water, fens and picturesque forests. Would you like a taste of this special trail? VISITFLANDERS’ reporter Pedro has already explored it for you. You may come across one of the many micro-adventures you can experience here: spotting rare animals, stargazing, going on safari in the park, or waking up in nature. Whichever one you choose, you’re sure to have a wonderful time.

Flanders is very proud of the Hoge Kempen National Park, but has other jewels in its crown: Bosland (“forest country”) for example. This nature reserve in the welcoming province of Limburg also has several faces. It’s the largest wilderness in Flanders and you can explore it without a care in the world, far from hectic daily life. Walk, cycle or mountain bike to your heart’s content through untouched nature. It’s also a huge forest adventure for children, offering a range of treasure hunts, expeditions and games.

Bosland © Bjorn Snelders.jpg
Kempen National Park, Bosland, © Bjorn Snelders.jpg

The third is a little further north, where you’ll find the Meuse Valley River Park, a riot of nature around the mighty Meuse river. This river forms the border between Belgium and the Netherlands for a distance of 40 kilometers. Over the centuries, it has helped shape the landscape into a varied vista. It is a maze of old river tributaries, natural levees, flow channels and gravel banks. A network of more than 200 kilometers of hiking trails leads you past the loveliest spots of this wonderful river country.

Three magnificent parks have for 1,001 highlights, even though nature elsewhere in Flanders also has a great deal in store for you. Curious? Find all the beautiful nooks and crannies of Flanders.

Things to consider before traveling

load more

Some tips to consider while traveling

Want to know more about Europe?

Sign up to our newsletter here: