Some ideas for a few lovely woodland walks in Flanders region, Belgium
You can’t beat a woodland walk, can you? In autumn you can enjoy the crisp air, the crunch of the leaves beneath your feet, and the beautiful colours. In the heat of summer, a woodland offers welcome shade and cool.
But where to wander? In recent posts I have been extolling the wonders of the forests of Wallonia, so I thought it would good to focus on Flanders. It doesn’t have the huge expanses of forests that you can get lost in, that Wallonia does. But it does have a number of smaller woods that are worth exploring and enjoying. Here are Ten Wonderful Woodland Walks in Flanders; two per province, so wherever you are, there’s one near you.
Averbode Woods and Heath
From Averbode’s famous abbey there are paths leading off in all directions, not just through the woods but also covering the heaths, grasslands, marshes, and even a few lakes. You can start here and follow the routes on Walking around Averbode.
Situated in the pretty area of Hageland, this small wooded area is on an iron-sandstone hill, from where you can explore the IJsbeek valley and the Schollenkot. A good starting point is the Domein Tienbunders; and here is a map of the Tienbunderbos.
Variety is the spice of life, so a walk through the Munsterbos will certainly spice up your life. It has a bit of everything: old oak forests, birch coppices, ponds and pastures, with a few picturesque chapels thrown in too. You can start from the village of Munsterbilzen and then follow the routes on this Munsterbos map.
I love the Voerstreek; one of the most picturesque regions of Flanders. I guarantee that you will also love this area too, with its pretty villages, undulating fields, peace and quiet, and miles and miles of footpaths and cycle routes. Start from the village of ‘s Gravenvoeren and pop this map into your back pocket.
This little wooded area can be a bit muddy, so take your boots, but walking through the Molenbeek valley with its winding stream, marsh vegetation and willow trees is worth the effort. Start here and follow this Lovenhoek map.
The remains of a much larger woodland, the Waverwoud is now cut up into smaller woods. There are many starting points. You could start from the Markt in Sint-Katelijne-Waver. But as you can see from this map of Waverwoud, you can start elsewhere to cover different areas of it.
If you don’t know the Flemish Ardennes, you could be in for a bit of surprise. In contrast to the flatness of many other places in Flanders, it has gentle slopes, as well as some steep climbs. Enjoy the dense forests of the Raspaillebos, broken up by some scenic views over the surrounding countryside. Start from the De Helix nature centre, and you won’t get lost with this map of the Raspaillebos.
Another walk to enjoy the hills of the Flemish Ardennes, and even the steep edge of the Scheldt valley. Bos t’Ename is an attractive forest, made even better by some outstanding views over the valley. You can start your walk from the village of Ename and continue along this footpath.
If you thought that West Flanders was totally flat, a walk through the woods of the Heuvelland will make you think again; the well-known Kemmelberg (Mount Kemmel) is at 156 metres one of the highest spots in Flanders, from where you can enjoy views of Flanders Fields. Start from Westouter; here’s a map of the Heuvelland.
A short walk through a varied landscape of woodlands, grasslands, and a few lakes. Start here and follow this footpath.
All these walks are through Natuurpunt nature reserves (the Flemish nature conservation organisation), who also made the maps.
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Beautiful photos Denzil!The landscape reminds me of early Mondrian paintings.
Forgive my lack of knowledge Clare, I had to look that up. But yes (“Crumbs?” 🙂 , I agree with you! Thanks for educating me!
I only found them because I was made write anessay on him!! 🙂
What wonderful places to explore Denzil. Thank you for sharing these lovely photos.
Thanks Miriam. And this weekend we are blessed with beautiful blue skies, and warm with it too.
How lovely. Here too, finally we have our first taste of Spring.
I think you must be tryng to wear me out, Denzil! But I do like a bit of variety. Many thanks for so many suggestions. i hope to get to try them one day. 🙂 🙂
I’m sure they will be here for many more autumns to come Jo, so there’s no rush!
But I might not be 🙂 🙂
I love the fall colors 🙂
Beautiful aren’t they Rosaliene.
These are excellent photos, I like the trees reflected in the lake at Averbode, and the first shot of the walkers in front of a curtain of leaves. I love this time of year!
Thanks Robert, it certainly is a photogenic season; particularly also in your neck of the woods, I believe?
Yes, sumac and maples are my favorite “reds” but the beeches and oaks run a close second for fall foliage.
Great list, Denzil. There truly is something for everyone and those autumn colors are gorgeous. You do get around! 🙂
I haven’t been to all of these places Liesbet. It’s more of a general list of woods worth visiting (for me and my readers).
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Thanks again, Denzil. We did the first walk at Averbode yesterday in the early Autumn sunshine along with many other walkers, cyclists, horse riders. Trees are just about to change colour and the oaks were shedding their acorns. We finished with an Abbey beer and ice cream. A great recommendation.
Super! Thanks for sharing. It was certainly a wonderful sunny day for you. Beer and icecream sounds idyllic! Have a great week.
This sounds and looks so beautiful. Especially being surrounded by all the Autumn colour as you have captured.
A lovely guide, thank you
Hello Di, thanks for your comment. Where are you? Are you in London now? Hope all is well.
And that’s very kind of you for remembering….
Thank you so much.
Yes, we are in London now. We have been here a week already. I know the time will fly.
It’s been a great but surreal week.
Hope all is well with you too
Wow I guess everything must seem “up in the air”. I hope you both settle down quickly and have a really enjoyable time in London, and of course travelling elsewhere in the UK or further afield.
Thank you kindly, Denzil. Yes, it’s quite surreal that we are here but are finding a lovely little routine until we can move into the apartment I found last week.
Yes, Europe here we come….
I value your kind interest Denzil. I guess you really know what’s it’s like to resettle somewhere else
Your photographs are stunning Denzil. I was particularly drawn to Waverwoud.
Thanks Jill, and for stopping by, and also for educating me on hummingbirds!
Even the names of these woods are enchanting. I’d love to walk in any one of them. That very first photo, of the tall skinny trees beside the lake, gives a different meaning to the word “sky scraper.” Love the golden autumn colors.
Yes they are lovely to walk in at this time of the year Sharon, if sometimes difficult to pronounce correctly!
You’ve given so many lovely choices here, Denzil. These would be beautiful at any time of the year, but your autumn photo is particularly gorgeous.
They should keep folk busy for a few weekends!
Such fabulous woods.. And I love nothing better than walking through woodland.. And Autumn when the leaves crunch underfoot.. magical 🙂
I agree Sue, especially on a sunny day when the colours are at their best.
Mooi in de kijker gezet.Ik heb er al verschillende als wandelplek ontdekt