Last updated on 28/05/2013
Forest of Soignes
Put your boots on, grab a coat and enjoy an afternoon amidst nature in the Forêt de Soignes, only minutes away from Brussels. The Forêt de Soignes is the Brabantine continuation of the Bois de la Cambre and offers many activities
Otherwise known as "Brussel's Lung", it surrounds the South-East of the Region. A third of its 4000 hectare area lies within Brabant, the rest covers parts of Flanders and Wallonia. This extensive area of forest is home to various activities.
Green Belt of the city::
Over time, the Forêt de Soignes became the immense beech forest it is today. Since 1785, beech trees were planted over hundreds of hectares to satisfy the demand for wood. Today there are still lots of trees to provide you with shade during your long walks. You will be glad to have your walking boots on as you tackle one of the many routes such as the Ganzepootvijver; a walk stretching more than eight kilometers from its starting point at the Groenendael station car park. There are actually 14 different routes to choose from, all tracks are marked and can be found on the IGN map of the the Forêt de Soignes.
Travelling by foot is not the only option; you can cycle or even ride a horse. Throughout the forest, you are allowed to cycle on any road accessible to cars or use any cycling track available. The forest spreads across three regions all of which propose lots of different cycling routes. Riding a horse through the trees offers a different take on the forest. Horse riding is a lovely way to enjoy the surrounding nature whilst listening to the birds sing without disturbing them. This is probably the reason why about twenty riding schools have chosen to set up here, offering activities ranging from initiations to day-long outings. Less common activities are also available such as Nordic walking, running, or fishing in the lakes close to the Rouge-Cloître in Auderghem. As you can see, Brussel's Lung is a great reserve of activities. Ursula Piller