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MTB - Circuit of Belgium and the Netherlands 47.5 km

Description >

This MTB route of 47.5 km runs on both the Dutch and Belgian side of De Groote Heide. The Venbergse Mill in Valkenswaard is (about) the northernmost tip of this magnificent route. From this starting point you head to Borkel and Schaft through De Malpie. The leg alongside the Dommel river is a joy for every mountain biker. Nothing compares to the feeling of working your way across nature surrounded by peace and quiet on all sides. From Borkel and Schaft you cross the border to Belgium via the Plateaux-Hageven. And by going through the Vossenmeren and along the canal you eventually arrive in Neerpelt, where the Oud Dommelhof makes for an excellent pit stop. Between Neerpelt and Hamont-Achel lies the nature reserve of the Buitenheide, through which you arrive at the Achelse Kluis. Having one of their famous trappist beers just might make this route that much more special. After that it's the Leenderbos that you are invited to feast your eyes upon. Halfway through the forest you leave the Leenderbos via Zeelberg to return to the start at the Venbergse Mill. This route offers lots of nature and water and is definitely worth the effort.

Practical information >
Accessibility
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Sheep

And then you suddenly come across a flock of sheep with a shepherd. Great chance that the Kempian heath is sheep of the Strabrechtse Heide or the Great Heath herd.

More about sheep on the Great Heath>

Directions
Grafheuvels Hamont-Achel

In the Haarterheide nature reserve between Achel and Hamont, the eight tombs of Hamont-Achel lie. The grave hills originate from the Iron Age (about 700 BC). They are partly restored in their original state.

More information on real estate

Orange Nassaustraat 8C, 5554 AG Valkenswaard, Netherlands

040 204 9841

visit website

Directions
De Grevenbroekmolen - Hamont-Achel

In the municipality of Hamont-Achel is the Grevenbroekmolen, or 'Het Mulke', an underwater water mill on the Warmbeek, built in 1770. She served for grinding grain and buckwheat. In 1774 an oil mill was placed opposite this mill. In 1920 she had already been shut down, while the thrust was moved in 1973 and a bridge was built. The building is still present, although the watercourse has disappeared.

More information>

Broekkant 83, 6021 CV Budel, Netherlands

0495 491 552

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Directions
Venbergen Water Mill

The Venbergen Water Mill is beautifully located on the banks of the Dommel. It is a grain mill that has been mentioned as far back as 1275, but has probably been in production before the year 900. The mill is no longer in use. Nowadays it's a stopping place with a bar and outdoor terrace. It’s an ideal starting point for cycling and hiking trips across De Malpie, or canoe trips on the Dommel in summer.

More information

Directions
De Malpie

Enjoy the feeling of spaciousness while walking or cycling the many paths of the Malpiebergse Heide and forested areas near Eindhoven and Valkenswaard. The Malpie nature reserve is part of a much larger heathland area near the town of Valkenswaard.

More info

Tussenstraat 10, 3910 Neerpelt, Belgium

011 80 26 77

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Directions
Chapel of Our Lady in Emergency

Oldest chapel of Achel, located at the edge of the De Warande hiking lane, on the corner of the Military Dike. The chapel was built in 1838 on behalf of widow Wauters-de Sallez, interest rate star in Hasselt and then resident of Genenbroek castle.
A nice place for rest and reflection. Or to shelter.

Website real estate>

Google Streetview>

Jacob Reviuslaan 25, 5644 TP Eindhoven, Netherlands

040 211 4786

visit website

Directions
Beverbeek Heath

Many place names in Hamont-Achel still refer to the heath that used to be commonplace. A beautiful example is the Beverbeekse Heide. It wasn't until the second half of the last century that the heathlands here were converted to pine forest. Did the heath completely disappear? No, not entirely. Here and there, at the edges of the forest and in clearings, it survives. Those brave remnants have recently gained a lot more space through natural connections.

More info

Molenstraat 21, 5664 HV Geldrop, Netherlands

040 286 3574

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Directions
Leenderbos-Groote Heide

The Leenderbos is an area of almost 5000 acres that attracts about one million visitors each year. The forest consists mainly of conifers and is home to many species of birds, including the nightjar, bittern, honey buzzard and kingfisher. The area is also populated by roe deer, foxes, hares and rabbits. In the Leenderbos there are of course plenty of hiking and cycling options. And what's more, the area also has an extensive network of bridle paths that are often also suitable for horse-drawn coaches.

More info

Directions
Plateaux-Hageven

Borders fade in the Plateaux-Hageven, a Dutch-Belgian nature reserve. Walk through forest and over heath and past fens and water meadows: a water system of the early 19th century! In spring you will find orchids here, and in autumn the meadows turn a lovely shade of purple.

More info

Leenderweg 1, 5583 TC Waalre, Netherlands

040 221 2892

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Directions
Haarterheide

Between Neerpelt and Hamont-Achel lies the Haarterheide, a nature area with some beautiful cycling and hiking routes. There's also some additional sights, such as the old Torenburcht de Tomp and eight Iron Age burial mounds.

More info

Molenstraat 211, 5556 TA Valkenswaard, Netherlands

040 201 2220

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Directions
Buitenheide-Drie Bogen

Buitenheide-Drie Bogen is a nature reserve in Neerpelt characterised by high banks and three arch bridges that used to cross the railway to Achel.

More info

Directions
The wire

The Wire, also called Dodendraad or Dodenhek, was a wire barrier created by German occupiers during Belgium during the First World War along the border between occupied Belgium and the neutral Netherlands. In German pieces, the barrier was officially referred to as Grenzhochspannungshindernis. The barrier was under deadly electric tension and had to prevent war volunteers from escaping Belgium. At the same time, the fence had to prevent spying messages from occupied territory from reaching Allied spy services through the Netherlands and served to stop the smuggling.

Tomperweg, 3930 Hamont-Achel, Belgium

0474 83 52 15

visit website

Directions
Klankenbos

The inhabitants of the Klankenbos are contemporary works of musical art that stimulate not only your sense of hearing, but also your sense of sight. The sound installations are captivating works of art that are very intriguing to both listen to and look at.

More info

Directions
Boseind Play Forest

The Boseind Play Forest offers hours of enjoyment in nature for children and their parents. Spend your free afternoon or day with the kids here and allow them to experience the versatility of nature.

More info

De Kluis 20, 5591 KC Heeze, Netherlands

06 21912031

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Directions
Kolisbos Play Forest

The Kolisbos nature reserve, located in the municipality of Neerpelt, is a forest that has a beautiful play area for children. Hours of outdoor fun guaranteed.

More info

Bosstraat 45, 5553 CL Valkenswaard, Netherlands

040 207 6153

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Directions
Kettingbrugbos

This special area is a playground for young and old alike. Want to be free to fully delight in nature? You've come to the right place.

More info

Directions
Municipality of Hamont-Achel

The spacious farmlands, wide open spaces, auromatic pine forests and surprising historic landmarks of Hamont-Achel make it an ideal destination for hikers and cyclists. Hamont-Achel is located centrally in the cycling route network of the Kempen area of Brabant and Limburg. The 450 kilometres of cycling trails will lead you to the most astonishing monuments and nature of the region. There are also a great many marked and connected hiking trails. Discover the cross-border charm of De Groote Heide by foot, bike, car or bus, on your own or with a tourist guide.

Rul 31, 5591 TV Heeze, Netherlands

06 53236704

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Directions
Achelse Kluis

The Saint Benedict Abbey, also known as the Achelse Kluis, is located on the border between Brabant (NL) and Limburg (BE). It is surrounded by vast forests, heath and farmland with endless options to go hiking or cycling. And the historical Achelse Kluis itself is also well-worth a visit. The monumental building is of exceptional beauty and truly a feast for the eyes.  The restaurant and café at the Achelse Kluis also make it is a popular place to rest up.

More information>

Directions
Castle Grevenbroek

Castle Grevenbroek is located in Hamont-Achel. In the area there is everything to see. Forest, heath and beautiful buildings, where Grevenbroek Castle is one of them. To enjoy a meal and a drink, visit the brasserie located near the castle. The address is Catharinadal 3 in Hamont-Achel.

More information

Catharinadal 3, 3930 Hamont-Achel, Belgium

011 75 01 90

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Directions
De Wulp visitors' centre

De Wulp is where you can gather additional information before heading out into nature. The more you know about nature, the more enjoyable and worthwhile to visit it. It is the gateway to the Plateaux-Hageven nature reserve, but can also be your starting point to explore other areas. The address of De Wulp is Tussenstraat 10 in Neerpelt.

More information

Directions
Canoeing on the Dommel

At Kanovaren Valkenswaard you can go for a fun day with the family. Young and old can enjoy a canoe trip on the Dommel. Here you have the choice of two trips, for the recreational skills (8km, 2 hours) and the more advanced / sporting skills (15km, 4.5 hours sailing). The address is Molenstraat 203a Valkenswaard.

More information

Molenstraat 203A, 5554 TS Valkenswaard, Netherlands

040 293 9078

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Directions
GPS Walking Valkenswaard

The ability to find the route without a map, no signs and far away from the inhabited world can be very difficult. With these hiking routes you will be equipped with a map, compass, gps and other necessities to walk the beautiful route. You are actively trying to find the right way, but at the same time there is the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful nature. The address is Molenstraat 203a Valkenswaard.

More information

Directions
The Dommel

The Dommel originates near the Belgian Helchteren and ends at 's-Hertogenbosch via the Dieze in the Meuse. Several or more extensive nature reserves have been established at several places in and along this brook valley, including at Waalre. The Dommel opens at 's-Hertogenbosch via the Dieze in the Meuse.

More information>

Directions
Warmbeek (BE) / Tongelreep (NE)

The Tongelreep is a small tributary of the Dommel and rises near Neerpelt. Here the river is still called the Warmbeek. The river flows past the Achelse Kluis, the Leenderbos, Valkenhorst and ultimately also passes through Genneper Parken. Eventually the Tongelreep flows into the Dommel river near Eindhoven.

More information>

Directions
Plateaux-Hageven birdwatching station

In order to not disturb birdlife, several observation towers and birdwatching stations have been placed in this nature area. Plateaux-Hageven is home to many different species of animal. It is therefore certainly worthwhile to have an observation tower here. From the tower you can easily spot birds and other animals. The address to get there is Groote Heide 120 in Neerpelt. Fun fact: the tower is actually located on the Dutch-Belgian border.

Directions
Plateaux-Hageven suspension bridge

In Plateaux-Hageven, close to the observation posts and birdwatching stations there is also a suspension bridge crossing the Dommel river. A special experience in a special piece of nature. The bridge can be reached from the De Wulp visitors’ centre located at the Tussenstraat in Neerpelt.

Directions
Wild boar in the Leenderbos

Wild boar - also called wild boar - can also be found on De Groote Heide. The wild boar occurs in dry and wet foody deciduous forests and mixed forests. Like the Leenderbos.

Read information about the Wild Swine

Watch a video of wild boar in the Leenderbos>

Photo J. Lazaroms

Directions
Eetcafé Zomerhof

Eetcafé Zomerhof is on the road from Borkel and Schaft to the Achelse Kluis. When you come along this route, you can rest on the terrace of the café. To entertain the younger guests there is a playground and children's farm. The Zomerhof is located at Maastrichterweg 265 in Valkenswaard.

Maastrichterweg 265, 5556 VB Valkenswaard, Netherlands

Beoordeling:

040 206 8207

Bezoek website

Directions
Cafe & restaurant De Venbergse Molen

The former mill house is a great place to sit back and relax, both inside or on the outdoor terrace. And from here you can immediately set out onto De Malpie. The mill house itself has a very interesting history too. The address is Molenstraat 211 in Valkenswaard.

Directions
Domein de Bever

At Domein de Bever you will find yourself near several cycling and hiking routes in and around Hamont-Achel. The Beverbeekse Heide is just around the corner. The address is Beverbekerdijk 50 in Hamont-Achel.

Directions
Parking area Provincial Domain Dommelhof

Parking is available at the Provincial Domain Dommelhof in Neerpelt. The Klankenbos is also part of this domain. From here you can reach Klankenbos, but also Speelbos Boseind ​​and Speelbos Kolisbos. The address is Toekomstlaan 5 in Neerpelt.

Directions
Restaurant Koeckhofs

Next to the hotel there is also a Koeckhofs restaurant. Eating and sleeping is therefore possible at the same location in Hamont-Achel. Here you can go to 14:00 in the afternoon and in the evening again from 18:00. Before, during or after your trip you can go here to enjoy the most delicious meals.

Directions
Brasserie De Kapetulie

Brasserie De Kapetulie is a place for almost a day for a snack and a drink. Start your route here in Hamont-Achel and come back in the day to pamper yourself. At The Capetule there is something for everyone.

Dorpsstraat 5, 3930 Hamont-Achel, Belgium

Beoordeling:

011 64 34 58

Bezoek website

Directions
The Tomp

The Tomp is a residue of a tower mill and is located in Achel. During a cycling trip around the Warmbeek (BE) / Tongelreep (NE) in Hamont-Achel, a trip to the Tomp is definitely worth a visit. The old tower mill is surrounded by beautiful green nature and water. There was long doubt about the purpose of the ruin previously. The remains of a tower mill or the castle tower of a castle. In 1968 the tower was even erroneously restored, namely a castle tower. However, in the 1990s, they realized that they had made a mistake.

Tomperweg, 3930 Hamont-Achel, Belgium

0474 83 52 15

visit website

Directions
The Zevensprong

The Zevensprong is a small hotel that features nine rooms and a restaurant. In the beautiful north of Limburg (BE) there is an atmosphere of peace and relaxation. Hamont-Achel has a lot to offer with its beautiful nature and historic buildings. Far from all hustle and bustle you can enjoy mom nature here. The hotel is located at Sint Odilialaan 81 in Hamont-Achel.

More information

Sint Odilialaan 81, 3930 Hamont-Achel, Belgium

Beoordeling:

011 80 56 80

Bezoek website

Directions
Eetcafé De Woeste Hoeve

In the heart of Borkel, where many cycling and walking routes run, lies the café De Woeste Hoeve. Here you can go for a nice bite and drink after a route through nature. A delicious cup of coffee with pastries, a snack, a drink, a delicious simple card, seasonal specialties and a delicious stew or cup of coffee in winter. Here is an old-fashioned Brabant atmosphere. The Woeste Hoeve is located at Monseigneur Kuypersplein 6 in Valkenswaard.

Mgr. Kuypersplein 6, 5556 VS Valkenswaard, Netherlands

Beoordeling:

040 221 9107

Bezoek website

Directions
Restaurant de Zwaan

In Borkel and Schaft close to the Dutch-Belgian border is Restaurant de Zwaan. Here you can go for the best meals. At the restaurant you can enjoy the best dishes. It is near the Achelse Safe and Plateaux Hageven. Mgr. Kuijpersplein 18 Valkenswaard is the address.

Mgr. Kuijpersplein 18, 5556 VS Valkenswaard, Netherlands

Beoordeling:

040 206 8326

Bezoek website

Directions
Old Dommelhof

Near the center of Neerpelt, near the playgrounds lies Oud Dommelhof. The original mansion, which is 150 years old, still radiates the flair of the past. Here you can have a nice bite and drink. The address is Toekomstlaan 7 in Neerpelt.

Toekomstlaan 7, 3910 Neerpelt, Belgium

Beoordeling:

011 63 23 40

Bezoek website

Directions
Hotel-Restaurant Koeckhofs

The Koeckhofs is a 4-star hotel restaurant located in the beautiful Achel. Nearby are various hiking and cycling routes that are definitely worth the effort to follow. These routes take you along the most beautiful nature and various beautiful monuments. Koeckhof's hotel restaurant is located at Michielsplein 2 in Achel.

4 Michielsplein, 3930 Hamont-Achel, Belgium

Beoordeling:

011 64 31 81

Bezoek website

Directions
Camping Brugse Heide

Camping Brugse Heide is located south of Valkenswaard. The beautiful surroundings are formed by De Malpie and Het Leenderbos. With nature and museums a stone's throw away, there is plenty to experience at the Bruges Heath. It is located on the Maastrichterweg 183 Valkenswaard.

More information

Maastrichterweg 183, 5556 VB Valkenswaard, Netherlands

Beoordeling:

0493 326 977

Bezoek website

Directions
Camping de Paal

Camping de Paal in Bergeijk is a few kilometers from De Groote Heide. At the campsite there is a lot to experience for young and old. De Paal is very close to De Malpie and a trip to here is more than worth the effort. The Camping is located at the Paaldreef 14 in Bergeijk.

More information

De Paaldreef 14, 5571 TN Bergeijk, Netherlands

Beoordeling:

0497 571 977

Bezoek website

Directions
Center Parcs De Kempervennen

Center Parcs De Kempervennen is a bungalow park located under Valkenswaard. From the park on the border of De Groote Heide you have the opportunity to enjoy all that the area has to offer. The Malpie is easily and quickly accessible, but Plateaux Hageven is also a short distance from the Kempervennen. The address of the bungalow park is Kempervennendreef 8 in Westerhoven.

More information

Kempervennendreef 8, 5563 VB Westerhoven, Netherlands

Beoordeling:

040 208 3333

Bezoek website

Directions
Apartments Campinoir

Apartments Campinoir is located in Neerpelt. From here you are in the Buitenheide and Plateaux Hageven. In this area there are enough hiking and cycling routes that show you the most beautiful places. In Neerpelt you have plenty of restaurants, cafes and bars within walking distance of your apartment. The address is Heerstraat 54 in Neerpelt.

More information>

Directions
Bike rental Valkenswaard

Bicycle rental Valkenswaard offers the possibility to rent bicycles, tandems, stairs and mountain bikes. From Valkenswaard there is the possibility to visit De Malpie, Plateaux Hageven or the Leenderbos. The address is Molenstraat 203A in Valkenswaard.

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Molenstraat 203, 5554 TS Valkenswaard, Netherlands

040 204 2593

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Heesterbikes

Heesterbikes is located just outside De Groote Heide in Westerhoven. From here you are fast in the area. At Heesterbikes you have the opportunity to rent bikes, tandems, oma-cars, mountain bikes, steps, high bikes and electric bikes. The address is Lange akkers 38 in Westerhoven.

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Lange Akkers 38, 5563 BV Westerhoven, Netherlands

040 201 7685

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Scoutsrally Neerpelt

Since 1945, the 9 hectare wooded area is an outdoor center for and for youth. In the course of history, this center has become a popular place for young and old. On the site we find various buildings useful as youth hostels and meeting rooms for the local scouts group, play and sports grounds, a safe and beautiful playground and a modern cafeteria.

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Ralley Avenue 3, 3910 Neerpelt, Belgium

011 81 28 68

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Finnish Skiing at Scoutsrally

In Neerpelt you can walk a Finnish slope of 780 meters. At Scoutsrally, located on the canal in Neerpelt. Furthermore, there are more opportunities to actively work with Scoutsrally. In Overpelt and further surroundings there are even more Finnish slopes to be found, see it here .

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Parking space Budelsebaan Valkenswaard

This parking is located on the Budelsebaan in Valkenswaard. It lies in nature near Hasselsven, Leenderbos and the Malpie.

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Parking Bergeijk

You can park at the Barrier 15A in Bergeijk. This parking lot is located near the cross-border nature reserve Plateaux Hageven.

(This photo is made by Wim Light).

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Parking The Fork

The De Vork car park is located near the Belgian-Dutch border. From here you are almost directly in the Buitenheide and Beverbeek Heide.

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The Owl Nest Smiles

The Uilennest is situated between three unique nature areas; The Leenderbos, the Groote Heide, the Malpie and the River Tongelreep. Here you can cycle, go hiking, mountain biking, rush or just niksen for days to enjoy the beautiful forest and heathland with its many friends. In 2013, Mart and Dian transformed their chicken barn into a cozy holiday home, equipped with all comforts.

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Bruggerhuizen 1, 5595 XA Leende, Netherlands

Beoordeling:

06 23909030

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Directions

De Groote Heide mapped