ANTWERP – The MAS, Hobokense Polder, Rivierenhof and Park Spoor Noord are some of the new highlights on the virtual walking network in the province of Antwerp. The network is expanding significantly with 355 kilometers of walking routes in Antwerp, the Antwerp districts, Ranst, Wijnegem and Wommelgem. A navigation app on your smartphone is sufficient to get out there.
Just like the virtual walking routes in the Zuidrand, this is a realization of Tourism Province of Antwerp in collaboration with municipal authorities, tourist services and nature and landscape associations. Hikers are increasingly using digital tools, both in preparation and during their trip. It is logical that the walking offer follows that trend. In June, Tourism Province of Antwerp presented the first 150 kilometers of a new virtual walking network in the Zuidrand.
These are carefully selected and attractive walking routes, connected via junctions. This time there is no signage on the site or accompanying walking map. You walk using a navigation app on your smartphone.
In Antwerp, the network links together the top tourist attractions: KMSKA, Cathedral of Our Lady, MAS, Havenhuis or Cogels-Osylei. About ten parks provide a surprising amount of greenery: from ‘century-old’ Rivierenhof to castle domains to hip city oases such as Park Spoor Noord and Park Groot Schijn.
Other beautiful places to get some fresh air are the Hobokense Polder nature reserve, Oude Landen in Ekeren, Zevenbergenbos and the forts. The tranquility in Berendrecht-Zandvliet-Lillo forms a fascinating contrast with the hustle and bustle of the port of Antwerp.
Tourism Province of Antwerp combined its walking expertise with the product and terrain knowledge of the City of Antwerp, the tourist services of the municipalities involved, Natuurpunt, Regional Landscapes of Voorkempen and Rivierenland and Provincial Groendomein Rivierenhof. The collaboration with Wandelknop and RouteYou guarantees a smooth flow of information to the digital platforms. This way, the hiker always has up-to-date route data.
In addition to quality and service, Tourism Province of Antwerp also consciously chooses sustainability. Mireille Colson (N-VA), deputy for tourism: ‘Together with the routes in the Zuidrand, we realized 500 kilometers of new walking routes this year. Without one extra pole or signage board. Moreover, the routes are easily accessible by train, tram or water bus. There are plenty of reasons to further expand the virtual walking network in our province next year. This will happen in the spring of 2024 in Mechelen, among other places. A wider range also reduces the pressure on popular walking spots and thus creates more walking comfort. A double bonus.’
You explore the virtual walking network with a navigation app (Walking Junction or RouteYou) or GPS. Let us guide you step by step on how to do that here.
The 355 kilometers of new virtual walking routes are located in Antwerp, Berchem, Berendrecht-Zandvliet-Lillo, Borgerhout, Deurne, Ekeren, Hoboken, Merksem, Wilrijk, Ranst, Wijnegem and Wommelgem.
There is a connection with the 150 kilometers of virtual walking routes in Aartselaar, Boechout, Borsbeek, Edegem, Hove, Kontich, Lint and Mortsel and signposted walking networks Kempense Heide, Kempense Hoven, Kempense Netevallei and Rivierenland. (EM / Photo Province of Antwerp)