Hiking may not be the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking of Brussels, but the intricate network of trails is just as attractive as the cosmopolitan city itself! When a colder season arrives, and you discovered all the things Brussels has to offer during fall/winter season, head to the nature!
Did you know that you can discover over 7,440 hiking trails in Belgium? These trails are exciting and diverse, taking you through woodland areas and extraordinary views, perfect for a short Sunday getaway!
Belgium hiking trails are a paradise for nature enthusiasts! You may be familiar with the Belgian Ardennes region, but you should know that not all of the country’s best hiking paths are located there. Keep on reading if you’re in search of easily accessible yet challenging and enjoyable hiking routes for your next outing.
Here’s the list of the most exciting hikes in Belgium:
P.S. If you want to see our best hikes near Brussels on a map, check the end of the article.
This 8-kilometre trek is not too demanding, yet at the same time – exciting, and enjoyable. On the way, you might see long-haired cows and even spot some rare bird species. The trail is clearly marked, making it easy to follow. The Hobokense Polder is the greatest green space, situated between Hoboken and the Scheldt. It is a home to numerous plant and animal species and a wide range of landscapes. There are around 500 distinct kinds of plants and 360 kinds of mushrooms that thrive here!
- Difficulty: Trails are easy enough for beginners and experts alike.
- Length: The trails star tat 8 kilometres.
- Starting point: 2660 Schroeilaan, Hoboken
- Highlights: Family-friendly activities and bird watching are in store.
Large and sandy, the Lommel Sahara could be mistaken for a tiny desert. Here you will also find clear blue lakes, beautiful forests, and fragrant pines. Fun playgrounds, land art by Will Beckers, a pedestrian bridge, and the iconic lookout tower are all part of this popular hiking destination. You can choose from a 3, 6, or 12-kilometre hike. Hiking in this area is one-of-a-kind due to its beautiful scenery and a wide variety.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Length: From 3 to 12 km
- Starting Point: Event Hall De Soeverein, Sportveldenstraat 10, 3920 Lommel
- Highlights: Sandy landscape, desert views
Battlefield of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday, 18 June 1815, near Waterloo, which used to be called “ the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.” This is a famous place that any history enthusiast would enjoy enormously! The so-called “1815 tour” will take you all over the site where the Duke of Wellington ultimately defeated Napoleon Bonaparte in 1815. Here you will also get the chance to see the Lion’s Mound, the Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo, and the Hougoumont farm.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Length: 14 km
- Starting Point: Lion’s Mound
- Highlights: A museum inaugurated in 2015, the Lion’s Mound, the Panorama of the Battle of Waterloo and the Hougoumont farm.
Les Deux Vallée
This adventure is a bit further away from Brussels, but definitely worth the trip! Starting upstream from the Bayehon river, you’ll have to traverse multiple wooden bridges. When you reach the top of the more challenging ascent, look to your right to find the Cascade du Bayehon nestled in the depths of a little canyon. The third tallest waterfall in Belgium, this one is 9 metres high. It doesn’t look very tall from above, but as you get down to the waterfall, you’ll discover that it’s quite a sight! It rains a lot here, so the waterfall is always full. In the summer or during dry months, the water flow is minimal. The area is quite big, but don’t worry if you take a detour because exploring these surroundings is fascinating!
- Difficulty: Easy
- Length: 9 km
- Starting point: near Moulin du Bayehon (Route du Bayehon 64, Longfaye)
- Highlights: Cascade du Bayehon, Vieux Chêne (old hollow oak)
Hallerbos (The Blue Forest)
For a short period of time each year, the gorgeous Hallerbos, often known as Belgium’s Blue Forest, transforms into a magical place. In April, when millions of blue hyacinths blossom, this forest takes on a mystical quality. The Hallerbos is the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, yet it’s only a half-hour drive from Brussels! If you want to see the bluebells in all their glory, head there during April. Nevertheless, the forest is beautiful during any month. Well, it might be nicer if there’s a bit of sun peaking through the leaves.
- Difficulty: Easy
- Length: 4,8 km or 5,1 km
- Starting Point: Hallerbos parking 8 (Vlasmarktdreef, Halle)
- Highlights: Hyacinth blossoms
Our tip: hikers who come back to Brussels can enjoy a drink on one of the city’s many rooftop bars after a day in the outdoors.
So, here you have it! The list of our favourite hiking places around Brussels. Take a friend, pack your bags, and enjoy the beauty Belgium’s nature has to offer. If it’s your first time hiking, do not hesitate to review our checklist for a smooth hiking experience:
- A decent backpack to carry your clothes, food, and other necessities for the hike;
- Lunch Box for light snacks or sandwiches;
- Travel cutlery set: a fantastic addition to your lunch pack, can be used multiple times, and doesn’t require plastic;
- Water: essential for survival on the route, so bring a bottle with you;
- Durable hiking boots: A pair of waterproof boots is a must if you plan on exploring any swampy or wooded environment;
- Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture all the breathtaking beauty!
Here’s an easily accessible map with all the spots: