Since the beginning of the pandemic, walking has rapidly become our new favorite pastime. It was the perfect excuse to get out of the house and breathe a little while catching up with a friend – whether that was over the phone or in real life. And all of a sudden, we all jumped on the bandwagon. After a few months, we upgraded our city sneakers for a pair of hiking boots and now that we’re over a year into Covid-19, we’re all looking like we could participate in some rapid-walking competition.
All that time spent walking also means we often have to look for new places to go. You could of course choose to stay local and walk the same route in the park a thousand times – sometimes you don’t even have a choice – but if you’re allowed to go a bit further, it’s nice to have a change of scenery from time to time. And because the whole walking hype is quite new for most of us, that means we spend hours behind our laptop, looking for the perfect trails. Preferably some 95% of other people don’t know about it because firstly, crowds aren’t so funny during a pandemic and secondly, it’s always nice to be the one who discovers new gems.
1. RivierPark Maasvallei
If you live in Belgium or the Netherlands and you’re looking for a challenge, there’s one trail in particular that’s worth exploring. The hike we’re talking about lies in the RivierPark Maasvallei and makes you cross the border between both countries – quite an exotic experience these days, isn’t it? The route is a whopping 137 kilometers long and connects 11 different municipalities, making it perfect for a long weekend. If you’ve got the legs for it, that is.
2. Local fauna and flora
You will probably not be the only one to walk the route, however, as it has recently been chosen as the most beautiful long-distance trail in the Benelux at the Fiets en Wandelbeurs Online Experience. No wonder, as it takes you not only through beautiful villages like Kessenich and Thorn but also through the beautiful RivierPark Maasvallei, a nature reserve located around the river Maas. On your way, you’ll be able to spot birds, rare plants, all kinds of animals and even art. If you wish to go the distance yourself, you’ll find more info on their website. There’s also a page dedicated to the different hotels in the area, providing a roof over your head if you go walking for several consecutive days.