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The Rodeberg

  • Author: TrailExplorer


This beautiful walk takes you from the Sulferberg, a complex of spring forests, through an open landscape to the Hellegatbos. From the Rodeberg you walk to the beautiful Douve valley. Wooden stairs lead you through the Broekelzen nature reserve, the source area of the Broekelzenbeek. You walk back to Westouter past meadows and fields with beautiful views.

Distance: 12.5 km.

Time: 3h30.

Grade: Moderate.

Type: Circular.

Gps Track: Yes.

Route description: Yes.

Wheelchair: Not suitable.

Dog: Allowed.

Height gain: 323 meters.

Trail: 66% unpaved.

Marking: Walking nodes and WP's.

Hiking shoes recommended.



Once you are out of the village you gradually start the climb to the Sulferberg. This is a complex of source forests. Along the way you will already be presented with some beautiful views. Via the Hellegatstraat you walk to the Hellegatbos, also called Kotje Piepersbos. The Kotje Piepersbos owes its name to the village figure Cyriel Vanuxem, better known as Kotje Piepers. After all, before you could enter the forest, you had to give him a 'pieper' or kiss. Like many other inhabitants of the region, Kotje Piepers and his wife Maria Lenoir were not very well off. To bring in a little money, Maria smuggled butter across the Schreve (border). She made pockets in her wide skirt in which she put packets of butter. In the summer, however, things sometimes went wrong when the butter began to melt: hence her nickname Marietje Beuterbille.

Out of the forest you stand on the Rodeberg. You pass the Lijstermolen and start a descent with a beautiful view of the landscape on your left. There is a nice picnic bench at the Gildestraat. You are now heading towards the beautiful Douve Valley, a stone's throw from France. You pass an old standard orchard at a farm. You climb through a varied landscape and are rewarded with a beautiful view. The next part takes you to the nature reserve Broekelzen. This area consists of a patchwork of forest and grassland. The Broekelzenbeek originates at the highest point in a spring forest that is colored in the spring by Wild hyacinth, Wood anemone and Dotterbloem. You walk back to Westouter through an open landscape of meadows and fields.


Download PDf for nodes to follow and route description.

Some paths can be soggy.

Map & Poi's.

POI 1 - Sulferberg.

This reserve, located in the municipality of Westouter, is located in a complex of spring forests, moist spring and slope meadows and dry coulter soils on stony soil. The vegetation in such a gradient-rich environment in particular is very varied and species-rich. In particular, the source meadow at the Brandersbos and the source forest vegetation of this forest are among the best developed vegetations of this type in the entire West Flemish hill country.

No additional information.

POI 2 - Hellegatbos.

The Hellegatbos denotes the forest area that covers the top and the northern and western flanks of the Rodeberg. The name refers to a deep "ravine" at the bottom of the hillside. At the top of the mountain you will find dry sandy soils. Here larch and pine predominate. The vegetation on the flanks shows more variation. Especially in the spring, woodland anemone and wild hyacinth provide a carpet of white and blue tones. Even lower, at the foot of the mountain, a thick layer of clay from which various springs originate. Characteristic plants here form marsh marigold, giant horsetail and wild garlic.

No additional information.

POI 3 - Lijstermolen.

The Lijstermolen is close to the restaurant 't Molenhof and the Rodeberg cable car. The wooden windmill is a post mill from the Lijsterhoek in Beernem. The mill was active until 1947. In 1957 the mill came to Westouter at the request of the Provincial Committee for Monuments and Sites of West Flanders. The mill was traditionally rebuilt between 1958 and 1960.

No additional information.

POI 4 - The Broekelzen.

The Broekelzen consist of a mixed spring forest with adjacent meadows and fields. In the wetter parts you will find a lot of marsh marigold and slender primrose. Wood Anemone and Wild Hyacinth grow on the drier areas.

No additional information.