The Mechelse Heide is part of the National Park Hoge Kempen located in the province of Limburg in Belgium. There are several entrance gates as they like to name it where you can follow different trails with different lengths as well as different difficulty levels. They also have specific trails/paths suited for wheelchairs and baby strollers.
For this occasion, I’d decided to take on the BLUE trail which as per the map should be about 5.3 km and 1u20 to complete. I was up for the challenge as the weather was sunny with some clouds from time to time and a light breeze.
At the beginning of the trail, you immediately have to climb up the hill that will bring you to the highest point of the National Park.. It’s still not as high as some of the mountains in Belgium but in the province of Limburg this counts as being high 😊. From this point, you can continue to follow the BLUE trail, or you can deviate and follow the GREEN trail (approx. 3.5km) or the RED trail (approx. 7.5km). As mentioned before, I wanted to explore the BLUE one as I’ve never taken this one before. On route, I came across the beautiful heather which is still a bit in bloom (peak of the bloom is early September) so the purple flowers were still visible although as you can see from some of the pictures, they are almost all disappearing. Besides the heather, you also walk through different types of forest ranging from pines to high grass to broad-leafed trees.
On a good day, this trail is perfect for hiking as the scenery is amazing (you can even spot the double terhills from Connecterra in the distance) and you pass clear areas without any shade.
At the end of the trail, you come back to your starting point so you make full circle. Although I had a very good pace, and the distance is a couple of hundred meters longer than predicted, I managed to finish the hike within or on top of the 1 hour 😊
I’m planning to try each of the trails in the future, so stay tuned for more hiking stories!