Lommel has a piece of nature that has been expanding like a desert and thus looks like (a tiny piece of) the Sahara. Surrounded by Bosland it is a heaven for cycling or mountainbiking, hiking, horseback riding and hanging around. And if we’re this amazed with cloudy weather, a bit of sun would make it shine even more!
This bit of desert originally appeared in the early 1900’s after sand extraction and a neighboring zinc production plant that made almost all vegetation disappear. The woods were planted afterwerds to stop this piece of desert from expanding. Now it’s a nature park with lots of wildlife.
Lommel is a 1.5 hour train ride away from Brussels, but the Sahara park is another 15min by bike from the railway station… so taking your bike along certainly makes life easier.
It’s perfect for a weekend away…but camping seems illegal there, so we still need to find a solution for that. You can easily spend a day walking around in the nature park of Sahara and another day cycling around Bosland.
It’s not all sand. A bridge crosses the canal into different kinds of “Heide” fields, so the hike does not get boring at all.
The whole Bosland is equiped with cycling lanes like the one below (but also off-road and hiking trails)… so it’s accessible to all, including wheelchairs.
The watchtower in the Sahara is a must do. We were there in the afternoon on a cloudy day, but next time we want to stay there for sunset. Assured impressive colors and views.
The artist Will Beckers made multiple installations throughout the woods of Bosland. His purpose is to create art that blends perfectly into nature without using conflicting colors or materials.
In bosland we did not follow a specific route but started by using the impressively nice cycling lanes through the woods, then ended up on one of the mountainbike parcours… and eventually crossing the woods off-road.