The stunning bike path in Belgium that leaves cyclists feeling like they’re riding through water


If there were Oscars for the most incredible bike paths – this one would surely be in the running for a gong.

Behold the unique ‘Cycling Through Water’ experience, a 200-metre-long (656ft) section of bike path that cuts through a vast pond, with the water on either side at eye level.

The trail, which is three metres (10ft) wide, scythes through one of the 1,000 ponds in the beautiful De Wijers wetland area in the 550-hectare Bokrijk nature park near Genk, in Belgium’s Limburg province.

The unique ‘Cycling Through Water’ experience is a 200-metre-long (656ft) section of bike path that cuts through a vast pond 

Since it opened in 2016 around one million people have used it and it was included in Time's list of 'The World's 100 Greatest Places' in 2018

Since it opened in 2016 around one million people have used it and it was included in Time’s list of ‘The World’s 100 Greatest Places’ in 2018 

The trail, which is three metres (10ft) wide, scythes through one of the 1,000 ponds in the beautiful De Wijers wetland area in the 550-hectare Bokrijk nature park near Genk, in Belgium's Limburg province

The trail, which is three metres (10ft) wide, scythes through one of the 1,000 ponds in the beautiful De Wijers wetland area in the 550-hectare Bokrijk nature park near Genk, in Belgium’s Limburg province

The park already had an open-air museum with a unique collection of authentic buildings, from various Flemish regions and eras, an arboretum and outdoor playground – but it’s safe to say that the cycle path has stolen the limelight.

Since it opened in 2016 around one million people have used it and it was included in Time’s list of ‘The World’s 100 Greatest Places’ in 2018.

Not surprisingly, it’s been a hit with Twitter users, with cyclists tagging pictures of the path using the hashtag #fdhw.

Following the closure of coal mines, Limburg has pioneered cycling tourism to bolster the economy.

Cycling Through Water has been a hit with Twitter users, with cyclists tagging pictures of the path using the hashtag #fdhw

Cycling Through Water has been a hit with Twitter users, with cyclists tagging pictures of the path using the hashtag #fdhw

Following the closure of coal mines, Limburg has pioneered cycling tourism to bolster the economy

Following the closure of coal mines, Limburg has pioneered cycling tourism to bolster the economy 

Over the past 25 years the province has created 2,000 kilometres (1,242 miles) of paved and largely car-free cycling trails, with a second unique bike path opening in June 2019 in Bosland adventure forest – the thrilling 360-degree Cycling Through The Trees experience.

Here cyclists pedal in a double circle along a 700-metre (2,300ft) path that reaches a height of 10 metres (32ft).

‘You grow along with the trees and see, feel and smell the forest,’ said Visit Limburg.

The region of Limburg boasts 2,000 kilometres of paved, safe and largely car-free cycling trails, which it has built up over 25 years

The region of Limburg boasts 2,000 kilometres of paved, safe and largely car-free cycling trails, which it has built up over 25 years

Visit Limburg also opened Cycling Through The Trees last year in Bosland adventure forest

Visit Limburg also opened Cycling Through The Trees last year in Bosland adventure forest

Cyclists pedal in a double circle along a 700-metre (2,300ft) path that reaches a height of 10 metres (32ft)

Cyclists pedal in a double circle along a 700-metre (2,300ft) path that reaches a height of 10 metres (32ft)

Visit Limburg is planning to open Cycling Through The Heathland later this year, which will feature a 300-metre cycle path in the Hoge Kempen National Park

Visit Limburg is planning to open Cycling Through The Heathland later this year, which will feature a 300-metre cycle path in the Hoge Kempen National Park 

Both concepts – Cycling Through The Trees and Cycling Through Water – were thought up by Visit Limburg, after being inspired during a study trip to Norway by its ‘Scenic Routes’, carefully designed road trip routes that take visitors closer to nature.

Igor Philtjens, President of Visit Limburg, said: ‘This gave me the idea of building a cycling trail through water, through the treetops, underground… All in strategic and iconic locations in Limburg, with plenty of potential to increase the interaction between cyclists and the landscape. And that’s how we are continuing to build our cycle node network of the future.’

Not resting on its laurels, Visit Limburg is also planning to open – lockdown permitting – a third project towards the second half of 2020.

Cycling Through The Heathland will feature a 300-metre (985ft) cycling bridge, which will connect the Hoge Kempen National Park on both sides.

Cycling Through Water was designed by Bart Lens of Lens°Ass Architecten and BuroLandschap – headed up by landscape architect Pieter Daenen – redesigned the existing pond landscape around the cycling trail.  



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