Cycling through the Heide
Fietsen door de Heide

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A charming bridge across the heathlands on a 4km cycling route in the Hoge Kempen Park.

Enter into Hoge Kempen Park from the Maasmechelen entrance to start on a new journey. Cycling Through the Heide is one of the park’s newest additions. If you’ve enjoyed Cycling Through the Trees in Hechtel-Eksel and Cycling through the Water in Bokrijk, this is another route you shouldn’t miss. Known as Fietsen door de Heide, this bridge is a safe and pretty crossing on cycling junctions 550 and 551. You need to take a pre-set journey or make your own to get to the bridge in the park.

The bridge is 300m long and goes across the heathlands of Hoge Kempen to give you lovely views. While the bridge is just 300m, the full cycling route is 4km. We think the bridge is the best highlight along the way, though you’ll see plenty of nature and charming sights along the way in Hoge Kempen. The full 4km cycling route takes you through pine forests and the heathlands of the park.

The wooden bridge itself has gotten plenty of attention thanks to its cute style, but it's the view of the heathlands from the bridge that really makes the trip worth it. At 700 acres, Mechelse Heide is one of the biggest heathlands in Flanders. Get those wheels turning and pay Fietsen door de Heide a visit.

  • Ecofriendly: as much as the builders could manage, they made the bridge in advance and then put it together at Hoge Kempen. This helped to protect and avoid disrupting Mother Nature.
  • Hoge Kempen now has three beautiful cycling routes. Cycling Through the Trees has gotten the most attention so far worldwide after winning gold at the International Design Awards in LA. Visit Cycling through the Heide now before the tourist crowds get to it!
  • The bridge is built at junctions 550 to 551. The quickest way to get to the bridge is from junction 60 at the Terhills Maasmechelen entrance gate. You can see the map and download a GPX file here

The Kruinenpad

Elevate your experience in more ways than one by adding the Kruinenpad or "Tree Crown Path" to your cycling route. The path passes through the treetops on an elevated bridge in the mine subsidence area (mine subsidence is when the roof of a man-made mine under the surface collapses, causing the ground above it to subside). Check out the consequences of the mine subsidence on this unique trail and come face to face with insects and birds who have made their homes amongst the trees.

The Kruinenpad is located just north of junction 55 in Maasmechelen. Whilst it's not a part of the Cycling Through the Heide 4km trail, you can easily add it to your own, personalized route to discover both.

  • quatationmark

    They say in Flemish Limburg is the paradise of biking… I can say that’s how it really felt.

    — Becky Hensen

Updated on 10 January 2022

Tips and Tricks

  • The cycling route is popular when the weather is at its best
  • If you want to do the fully mapped out 4km cycling route, you’ll have to get the map from Hoge Kempen here

Route details

  • You can choose from a variety of cycling routes in the park. We've picked a 13.8km route for you that starts at junction 60 and takes you over the bridge. You can park your car at the Terhills Maasmechelen entrance gate.
  • Map and GPX file available here
  • No signage available
  • Starting point: Kampeerverblijfpark Salamander, Joseph Smeetslaan 280, 3630 Maasmechelen, Belgium

Prefer to visit the heathlands? Beautiful in summer, this 52km cycling journey takes you over the bridge and also past the Kruinenpad. You can always cut it down if you prefer a shorter journey.

  • Starting point: Visit Maasmechelen, Zetellaan35, 3630 Maasmechelen.
  • Map, GPX and waypoint file available here

Getting There

  • By Car: nearest parking spaces on Spoorwegstraat, 3630 Maasmechelen and Europaplein 7, 3630 Maasmechelen.
  • By Bike: the entrance to Mechelse Heide is on junction 60. There aren’t any bike rentals nearby.

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