Imagine riding a bicycle through the pond, under the water level, bringing you eye to eye with the calm water, and the curious ducks and swans. The innovative team of the “Cycling through Water’” trail, have created exactly that.
Located in the Limburg, Belgium, the trail takes visitors on an exceptional journey, through the serene and beautiful De Wijers reserve, where they get closer to nature. The best part is, that visitors can leave a wet suit at home; this trail is completely dry.
The cycle trail was opened in 2016, as part of an effort to boost bicycle tourism in the province. The reserve used to be difficult to explore, so over the last twenty years, Limburg has been developing cycling routes throughout the region, making it an appealing destination for tourists and cycling enthusiasts. The stunning nature reserve has a unique landscape of ponds, parks and historical buildings, including a 19th century castle.
Not only has the creation of this trail boosted the popularity of Limburg’s cycling tourism industry, but also it has had a positive environmental impact on the De Wijers reserve. Water quality in the area has improved, the number of amphibians has increased, and the growth in tourism has meant more funding for nature conservation projects in the reserve.
Over 650 feet long, and 5 feet deep, the trail has been carefully designed in such a way, that it does not disrupt the surrounding natural landscape. From a distance, onlookers only see the heads of cyclists gliding through the water.
If riding a bicycle isn’t for you, walking is always an option. At almost 10 feet wide, there is plenty of room for everyone, to enjoy the peaceful and immersive experience. The surrounding trails take visitors through fields, farms and villages, that offer beautiful architecture. With cafes, museums, and breathtaking nature, there is something for everyone in this fascinating place.
The first of its kind in Belgium, and in Europe, this trail and the wider network of trails within the region, has placed Belgium firmly on the international map as a desirable cycling destination.