When you're visiting the country of Belgium, there is an endless stream of sights to see and very special places to visit. It can give you a serious case of sensory overload. If you enjoy getting close to nature and hiking, some of the most amazing trails in the world await you. Hiking in Belgium gives you a break from the grandeur of the elegant architecture and rich history and helps you to step back to process everything you've taken in. This traveler's guide to hiking in Belgium points out the best trails to check out while you're there.
1. Crossing the Semois Valley
Crossing the Semois Valley is a 15 km hike that is difficult at points along the way. It's recommended for experienced hikers with plenty of stamina. The starting point of the trail is at Bouillon Castle. The locale is within mere kilometers of Belgium's border with France. The castle is a historical site built in medieval times. hikers depart the castle to traverse through a myriad of forested hiking paths with steep climbs and descents which require a fair amount of stamina. It's wise to bring water along on this challenging hike, and perhaps a few energy snacks.
2. La Roche a l'Appel Geological Park Trails
The La Roche a l'Appel Geological Park is a moderately challenging hike that begins at Florenville, on the border of Belgium and France. The geological park features ancient forests with a diverse collection of plants and animals that will appeal to any nature lover. From Florenville, hikers cross streams and wind their way through the forest paths that take them to the ancient town of Muno. The hike continues from Muno in an uphill jaunt that takes them to the summit of La Roche a l'Appel. There are two winding paths that hikers may choose from the reach the 360-meter summit. The views of the South Ardennes are panoramic from the top offering some of Belgium's most beautiful scenery. It's the ideal spot for a picnic.
3. Old Village of Weris Hiking Trail
The Old Village of Weris Hiking Trail is found to the south of Liege. This is one of the most beautiful hiking trails in all of Belgium. The trail begins a the village of Weris, which is an idyllic village. It winds through the rural countryside that winds through farmland and forests Hikers view prehistoric landscapes that date back to the neolithic age. You will see stones that stand in a row in a line that runs for 8 kilometers. These rocks have been set in place since 3000 BC. The path winds around the forest to form a circle that leads back to the original starting place in Weris.
4. Waterloo Historical Walk
The Waterloo Historical Walk is an easy walk to make. It's a long one. The starting point of the hike is at the Waterloo Battlefield. This landmark is the site of the 1815 battle that ended the Napoleonic Wars. The historical walk combines a tour of the area that is rich in history. More than 200,000 soldiers fought in the world-changing conflict. Hikers walk around the battlefield tracing the steps that the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon walked. The trails take you around monuments in the area where you will learn more details of the historic battle. Along the way, hikers have the option of climbing the Lion's Mound monument which offers spectacular views of the countryside below. The walk circles around and takes you back to the starting point in Waterloo.
5. The Orval Abbey Hiking Trail
The Orval Abbey Hiking trail begins at the Notre-Dame Abbey of Orval. The building is a Cistercian abbey located in the southwest portion of Belgium. Construction of the building ended in the year 1132. Hikers participating in this hike may freely explore the attraction before embarking on the journey through the forest. The trails extend into the Eastern regions of France. When you reach the midway part of the journey you will be in Chaeleux, a quaint and tiny French village. The trail takes you through valleys with beautiful meadows in France, then cross back over the border into Belgium to arrive back at the starting point, the Abbey of Orval, where you may enjoy the finest beer in all of Belgium.
6. La Fagne de la Poleur Didactic Path
The La Fagne de la Poleur Didactic Path is an easy trek that begins at Mont-Rigi, not far from Malmedy. The hike takes you over an elevated walkway in the High Fens, through the moors and bogs of Eastern Belgium. The path is wheelchair accessible. The ease of the trail is ideal for the entire family. All are welcome to participate. Many informative posters are placed along the way to describe the surrounding ecosystems. This trail is a circular path that leads back to the starting point after circling berry bushes and lovely natural scenery.
7. Chateau de Franchimont trail
The Chateau de Franchimont trail begins at Chateau de Franchimont, Theux. It takes you through medieval forests to the Chateau de Franchimont castle. This structure is one of the most beautiful castles in all of Belgium. It has a rich and storied history. It is a fortress built to keep out invaders. Some of the most ferocious battles ever fought during medieval times took place in this area. The trails start at the castle ruins and take hikers into the town of Theux, which serves as a rural marketplace. On the route, you will view the Mosan style church. Hikers may take time to explore this quaint little town. They may also visit the local spa to enjoy some of the ancient massage therapies before hiking back to the starting point.
Written by Dana Hanson
Read more posts by Dana Hanson