The Kempen is the largest green area in Flanders. There are about 5 nature reserves in a small radius around the Baalse Hei.
De Kempen is the largest green area in Flanders. In a small radius around Baalse Hei, you will immediately find 5 nature reserves. They all excel in their versatility. You will find forests, meadows, fens, and moorland, of course.
Some names that stand out are the Winkelsbroek in Turnhout and De Liereman in Oud-Turnhout, which is one of the oldest protected nature reserves in Belgium. You will find a visitor center and three signposted walks including a corduroy road.
Adjacent to Baalse Hei is the fens area of Turnhout, one of the most important heathlands in Flanders with many valuable fens and heath. These heathlands are the biotope of rare plants. Bird lovers will get their money's worth here. You can visit the visitor center Klein Engelandhoeve, and you can see this beautiful piece of nature through the 40-foot tall observation tower on the 'Bels Lijntje'.
If you follow the towpath along the canal, you will reach the Ravels state forests. They cover about 2100 acres.
The cycle nodes network in Antwerp Kempen has around 1250 miles of unrestrained cycling pleasure. The practical cycling nodes map clearly shows you all the options. No less than 50 signposted thematic routes—such as the strawberry route, the architecture route, the Trappist route—make choosing a little easier. In addition, two National Cycle Routes (LF routes) cross the Kempen: the Flanders Cycle Route and the Kempen Route.
For the hikers among us, there are literally dozens of signposted hiking routes, varying in length and theme. It goes without saying that there are just as many accompanying brochures available. There are also two beautiful hiking nodes maps, Kempens Landgoed and Kempense Kolonies, which are good for 530 miles of hiking pleasure. These hiking networks have also been digitized. You can plan your route online using wandelknooppunt.be. Choose the network of your preference, indicate on the map where you want to go hiking, and the planner will automatically calculate your route.
A canoe or kayak trip on the Kleine Nete is an attraction for the whole family. Relaxation and paddling. Enjoying nature. One or more hours. If you do not have a canoe or kayak, you can rent one at the different pick-up points.
Of the thirteen Flemish beguinages that have been on UNESCO's World Heritage List since 1998, no fewer than six are located in or near the Kempen: Antwerp, Lier, Diest, Turnhout, Herentals, and Hoogstraten.
And what about the Kempen abbeys at Postel, Tongerlo, and Westmalle? Do we even have to mention their amazing beers?
The largest amusement park in Flanders, only a 20-minute drive from Turnhout. Entrance tickets at reduced rates are for sale at Baalse Hei.