Since The Netherlands is relatively flat, I love to go hiking in Belgium. One of the areas I love to visit is the Flemish Ardennes. A beautiful area with rolling hills and beautiful forests. But you will also find beautiful valleys with winding rivers, like the river of Zwalm. This is the area I would like to tell you a bit more about in this blog post.
We picked the Zwalmriver hiking route, which is 13,2k long. We started our hike at Rekengemstraat, in Zwalm. Where you will find the Zwalm Mill, a beautiful piece of history of this area. As the mill was used to process grain.
You can park your car next to the mill. But there are multiple other parking lots along the route, where you can park your car. Along the route you will also find multiple little restaurants where you can stop for a drink or a bite to eat. Unfortunately restaurants “Klein Zwitserland” wasn’t open when we were there, but it truly looked so picturesque and it was situated right along the river.
The first part of the road you will walk along the river the Zwalm the entire time. You will pass multiple watermills. The calming sound of the water will join you the first part of the hike.
At the halfway point you will enter the backroads of the area. Here you will hike along the roads until about 1k until the end. I don’t like hiking on roads, but it does provide for some beautiful views. You can even watch the windmill on the “Molenberg”, which is the “Huisekoutermolen”. Which was a beautiful sight.
For the last kilometer you will hike along the river the Zwalm again. At first we thought we didn’t take the right turn, as it didn’t seem like a path, but after continuing for just a bit, we found that we were in the right place and we came across the route markings again.
We finished our hike back at the mill in Zwalm.
All in all a beautiful hike, but if you don’t like hiking along roads, this might not be the hike for you. Even though the roads aren’t busy with traffic, you will still have to watch out for cars now and then.
Let me know if you try this hike.