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Off the beaten track — mountain biking in Belgium

Horst Leitinger

Off the beaten track — mountain biking in Belgium

Mountain Biking Collection by Jesko

24

Tours

50:51 h

383 mi

28,975 ft

Belgium may be best known for road cycling, but there’s also plenty of mountain bike routes here. Whether in flat Flanders or mountainous Wallonia, the variety of routes is as surprising as Belgium itself. On some of the routes, especially in the Ardennes, you have the chance to master some challenging passages. Others are especially scenic and easy in terms of riding technique. I’ve created this Collection with something for everyone, from beginners to professionals.

Often there’s one starting point for several routes, which are distinguished either by the colour of the markings or by numbers. For example, there’s usually a red, a blue and a green route to choose from. This says nothing about the difficulty, and only indicates the colour of the respective directional arrows. Most signposted MTB routes in Belgium consist of a mixture of gravel roads, asphalt paths and the odd single track. In the Ardennes, the routes are often much more demanding than in Flanders, mainly due to the terrain. You need to be in good shape and have the right riding technique to master the many rocky obstacles in the Ardennes. But even in Flanders you’ll find plenty of exciting routes and have fun off the beaten track on dirt roads.

In this Collection, I present a small selection of Belgian mountain bike trails and there are many others. Just like the distances, the difficulty levels vary greatly. From beginner and family-friendly tracks, like in Hoeselt, to challenging trails with many obstacles, like in Houffalize, everything is here. Many of the trails can be combined with others for a full day or even a long weekend of fun. So, what are you waiting for? Hop on your mountain bike and discover what Belgium has to give off the beaten track.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Sankt Vith red – Mountainbiking in Belgium

    Intermediate
    02:21
    18.2 mi
    7.7 mph
    1,625 ft
    1,625 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Sankt Vith is located at the interface between the Eifel and the Ardennes, in the middle of the German-speaking community of Belgium. The border with Germany is not far away. The surroundings of the small town have a lot to offer mountain bikers. There is a small bike park, several signposted local routes

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  • Intermediate
    03:02
    26.7 mi
    8.8 mph
    575 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    The Black Round of Beringen runs around the spoil dump of the local coal mine. Not only are the markings on the direction signs black, the ground is also dark in color due to the coal deposits in many places. Around the mines, the landscape is characterized by sandy soils, heathland and extensive forests

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  • Intermediate
    01:07
    7.97 mi
    7.2 mph
    700 ft
    700 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    In the south of the Walloon capital, narrow trails, gravel paths and, above all, lots of shady forest await you. Experienced mountain bikers are not faced with too much of a challenge. In terms of landscape, it is pure enjoyment. You move above the Meuse valley in the foothills of the Ardennes. Although

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  • Intermediate
    01:37
    12.6 mi
    7.8 mph
    500 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Immediately adjacent to the Belgian capital, Brussels, you will not only find a genuine mountain bike route - the three routes from Dilbeek (blue, green and red) together make up a route network of 65 kilometers. There are no real mountains here, but they tried hard to find a lot of small climbs and

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  • Easy
    00:56
    8.30 mi
    8.8 mph
    350 ft
    350 ft
    Easy mountain bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Suitable for all skill levels.

    If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the Belgian capital for a short excursion, this round is ideal. It starts in Tervuren and leads you through the forest south of the municipality just outside Brussels. You drive over a mixture of forest trails and a few short single trails. The asphalt share

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  • Intermediate
    00:54
    8.32 mi
    9.2 mph
    175 ft
    175 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    In the small West Flemish town of Pittem, there are two signposted mountain bike routes, the red and the blue. Both start at the same place in front of the local sports hall. There are plenty of parking spaces here. If you combine the red lap with the blue one, you will cover almost 40 kilometers. A

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  • Intermediate
    01:55
    12.4 mi
    6.5 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,575 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    480 meters in altitude on 20 kilometers of route speak a clear language. There is a lot of ups and downs on this route. No wonder, since we are in the heart of the Ardennes, which are loved and feared for steep climbs. The small village of La Gleize is located on a rocky promontory above the Amel Valley

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  • Easy
    01:15
    11.0 mi
    8.8 mph
    700 ft
    700 ft
    Easy mountain bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The three signposted tours around Aubel lead through a beautiful landscape and pose few technical demands. With the exception of very short single trails, it is almost exclusively on quiet side streets and gravel paths. This makes the rounds ideal for beginners or families. All three routes start on

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  • Intermediate
    03:12
    20.4 mi
    6.4 mph
    2,200 ft
    2,175 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    This route runs along the Franco-German language border in eastern Belgium. Not only languages, but also cultures mix here and borders do not play a major role in everyday life. The red route is the longest of the three routes that start in Ondenval in front of the church. As is usual here in the low

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  • Difficult
    05:23
    36.4 mi
    6.7 mph
    3,950 ft
    3,950 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    On the longest lap of this collection, in addition to driving technique, a lot of stamina is required. 1,210 meters of altitude need to be conquered on unpaved roads and very little asphalt. The route is a real challenge, especially in wet and therefore muddy conditions. But even in the dry, the often

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  • Intermediate
    02:14
    15.5 mi
    7.0 mph
    1,850 ft
    1,825 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    La-Roche-en-Ardenne lies on a bend in the river Ourthe and is surrounded by steep cliffs. The place is very popular with mountain bikers and hikers. But not only the town itself is worth seeing - the surroundings are simply fantastic. Dense forest, imposing rocks and fantastic views characterize the

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  • Intermediate
    01:40
    11.9 mi
    7.1 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,325 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Deep in the Ardennes, off the beaten track, lies the tranquil village of Ferrières between the Amel and Ourthe rivers. There are several mountain bike routes here that will challenge you and make you sweat. The starting points of the various routes are somewhat distributed in the area and not all of

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  • Difficult
    02:52
    21.1 mi
    7.4 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,575 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Gedinne is just a few kilometers from the French border in the Ardennes, at the confluence of the Houille and Houillette rivers. In the picturesque city center you will find several restaurants and bakeries. In addition to the green route described here, there are also several other mountain bike routes

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  • Intermediate
    03:02
    23.0 mi
    7.6 mph
    2,125 ft
    2,125 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    You will find many natural paths, wide views and challenging climbs on the mountain bike routes around Malmedy. Unfortunately, nowadays you can no longer get to Malmedy by train, as passenger traffic has now been discontinued. However, you can easily travel by bike on the old railway lines. If you come

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  • Difficult
    03:15
    23.1 mi
    7.1 mph
    2,100 ft
    2,100 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The area around Spa is dominated by thick, mysterious forests and deeply cut valleys. Around the place you will find a multitude of paths and trails on which mountain bike routes are signposted. The route described here starts in the center not far from the Parc des 7 Heures. After a few meters you will

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  • Intermediate
    02:04
    13.9 mi
    6.8 mph
    1,675 ft
    1,725 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Aywaille is located in the valley of the Amel, which has dug itself deep into the landscape of the Ardennes and describes wide loops in this area. The various mountain bike courses around Aywaille take advantage of this fact. If you are looking for steep climbs and plenty of altitude, you are in very

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  • Intermediate
    02:26
    17.0 mi
    7.0 mph
    1,925 ft
    1,975 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Away from the tourist crowds, you will find some very beautiful and rather unknown mountain bike routes near Lierneux. There are no larger cities in the vicinity. So if you are looking for peace and secluded nature, you have come to the right place. The route is very varied in terms of landscape and

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  • Difficult
    01:59
    12.6 mi
    6.4 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,350 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    The MTB routes around Houffalize are more for advanced riders due to their technical and physical demands. There are always tricky passages waiting for you that are not easy to master. You start in the heart of Houffalize and quickly find yourself in the forest. Pointed rocks, roots and steep climbs

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  • Intermediate
    01:58
    18.0 mi
    9.2 mph
    225 ft
    225 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Like many of the Flemish mountain bike routes, this one is not particularly demanding. The asphalt share is relatively high and you won't find any technically difficult sections here. Nevertheless, it is a beautiful route on quiet paths that brings you closer to the beautiful landscape in northern Belgium

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  • Intermediate
    02:53
    25.6 mi
    8.9 mph
    725 ft
    725 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    There is an impressive mountain bike network around Genk. It is divided into several different routes that can also be combined with each other. The red lap is a good 40 kilometers long. There are no long climbs here, but the sandy ground and some gentle hills ensure that it is not too easy. The proportion

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    24
  • Distance
    383 mi
  • Duration
    50:51 h
  • Elevation
    28,975 ft

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