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The Schrieken

  • Author: TrailExplorer

Vallei van de Aa

This walk first goes through a mosaic of hay meadows, peat bogs, thickets and brooks in the Schrieken nature reserve, before heading in the direction of the Visbeek valley. This valley is one of the most valuable stream valleys in Flanders. Finally, the Achtzalighedenboom is visited near the Rollekensberg in the forests of Lille.

Distance: 13.5 km.

Time: 3h30.

Grade: Moderate.

Type: Circular.

Gps Track: Yes.

Route description: Yes.

Wheelchair: Not suitable.

Dog: Allowed.

Height gain: Flat.

Trail: 90% unpaved.

Marking: Walking nodes.

Hiking shoes recommended.


Visbeek Valley.

From the parking lot you immediately enter the Schrieken nature reserve. The Schrieken are unique because the Kempen landscape has been well preserved. Until the Second World War, almost nothing changed in the appearance of the area. From wet to dry you will find peat bogs with flowery grasslands and brook forests, oak birch forests, fens and heaths that merge seamlessly into each other. The typical landscape was created thanks to the interplay of man and nature because it was important for heathland farming until the first half of the 20th century. The heathlands and inland dunes were intensively grazed, the sheep were washed in the fens, the grasslands were hayed annually, peat was cut and the wood was collected from the forests. You reach the Visbeek valley via wide unpaved roads. The Visbeek valley is one of the most valuable stream valleys in Flanders. You can enjoy a typical Kempen landscape with purple heather, wide sandy roads and flowery grasslands. In wetter places you will find fens, brook forests and gale thickets. The walk continues and takes you to the Achtzaliteitenboom near the Rollekensberg. Then you pass the Warandeplas, an old sand extraction pit. The last part you walk on beautiful forest paths through the forests of Lille to return to the starting point.

The Schrieken and Visbeek Valley

Some trails can be quite swampy.

Map & Poi's.

POI 1 - Achtzalighedenboom.

The Eight Beatitudes tree is a old Pine tree near the Rollekensberg in the Lilse woods. The tree is known for its capricious shape. Named after the eight beatitudes of Christ, the tree gets its name from the fact that it originally had eight trunks. Just before the Second World War, however, one diseased trunk would have been sawn off, in order to prevent further contamination of the tree. According to another story, poachers sawed off the tribe to take revenge on a ranger who had caught them earlier. His exact age could not be determined with certainty. It is estimated that it dates from around 1850. The tree was already mentioned in a work about the most remarkable trees in Belgium from 1910.

No extra information.