Walking along fields of wild daffodils in the east of Belgium or rather between endless pear orchards in the Haspengouw fruit region? Make up your mind from this selection of spring walks. Including an alternative for the Hallerbos, also widely known as the bluebell forest. All of them are having te same super power: they add a serious portion of color to your day. Watching the landscape coming alive after all those grey winter days is fantastic, right!?
Bertem forest walk [Flemish Brabant]
The wood anemone is one of the first spring flowers to bloom. In Belgium, you can find them in many places, but if you really want to see them in large numbers, you should go to the Bertem forest in the neighbourhood of Leuven. The signposted ‘Bertembos’ walk will guide you through this ancient forest. This walk is certainly also suitable for children. You will even pass a nice playground along the way: ‘t Vossenhol.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION. The Bertembos walk is just over seven kilometers long and is signposted. The starting point is at the intersection of the Bosstraat and Vernagelstraat in Bertem (coordinates: 50°52’47.7″N 4°37’35.5″E). There is a parking available at the starting point. You can download the gpx of the walking route on the website of Tourism Flemish Brabant.
Walking in the Holzwarche valley [Liege]
Every year in April, wild daffodils are blooming in the Holzwarch valley. As the name suggests, this valley is located in the east of Belgium, close to the German border. With an extensive hiking network, this region truly is a paradise for hiking enthusiasts. You can use the route planner of the region to create a route yourself with the junction nodes. The natural beauty in this valley is unseen: there are meadows full of daffodils!
PRACTICAL INFORMATION. The car park along the Mürringer Weg in Büllingen is close to junction 50 and is therefore an ideal starting point for your walk (coordinates: 50°25’26.1″N 6°18’04.6″E). If you walk in the direction of junction 55, you will immediately see the first daffodil fields!
Walking between the pear orchards [Limburg]
There are many walking routes you can choose from in the Haspengouw fruit region but if I have to pick one, it would definitely be the pear orchard walk starting in the village of Zepperen (Sint-Truiden). Especially in the second half of April, when blossoms are opening up, this hike is a must do. Just as it is in summer time, when the fruits are almost ready to be picked. Be sure to also take a look inside the The Sint-Genoveva Church in Zepperen. The church is built in two different architectural styles and houses wall paintings from 1509. More travel inspiration for the Haspengouw region can be found here.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION. The pear orchard walk starts at the church of Zepperen. It is a signposted walk of 8,5 kilometers.
Nature reserves Overbroek-Egoven [Limburg]
You can choose between two different hiking routes to discover the Overbroek-Egoven nature reserves which are located in this area. The route marked with a green rectangle is three kilometers long, the other is marked with an orange circle and is five kilometers long. Both are classified as the ‘botten’ walk, starting at the visitor center in Gelinden. There, you can learn everything about the so-called marls and the different types of rocks you can find in this region. The visitor center is open every second and last Sunday of the month. When you start walking, you will soon notice the wide biodiversity of this area, with species such as wild daffodils, rapunsel bells, water forget-me-nots, etc. Please wear sturdy footwear as it can be quite muddy here.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION. The starting point of the ‘botten’ walk is the visitor centre in Gelinden (address: Kleinveldstraat 54, 3800 Sint-Truiden). There is a small parking lot nearby.
Walking in the Neigem forest [East Flanders]
The Hallerbos, also known as “the Blue Forest”, is a popular hotspot for photographers all over the world. But did you know you can also see the wild hyacinth in other places in Belgium? Just think of the Neigem forest, an old forest near Ninove. Today you can spot wood anemones and wild hyacinths in the Neigem forest. There are 3 short, signposted walking routes leading through the woods. For those who can’t get enough of walking, a longer hiking route (10,6 kilometers) is available via the junction node network. Keep in mind that the wild hyacinth only blooms for about 2 weeks, between late April and early May. Of course, this depends on the weather conditions.
PRACTICAL INFORMATION. You can download your hiking map here. The map offers an overview of the three hiking routes in the Neigem forest, as well as the parking areas. There is a small parking lot at the chapel of Bevingen and another one at the Neigembosstraat.
Always stay on the hiking trails, even when it’s to take that one unique instagram shot. Spring flowers generally are very sensitive, so do not trample them and leave them in their natural habitat. Don’t pick them, no matter how beautiful they are.