You don’t have to be in the mountains to set out on a trail run, though a little elevation gain is always fun – especially the descents.
So, the challenge for trail runners who do most of their training in Flanders is to find trails with plenty of up and down. This is my kind of challenge! Of course, you can’t simulate an alpine adventure here but for those who still want to test their legs in a relatively flat region, the Flemish Ardennes are a good alternative. These are the routes in my 'backyard' that I invariably fall back on when training close to home.
The Flemish Ardennes are best known for the spring cycling classics. However, trail runners looking for challenging courses and some elevation close to home can also have a blast here. The accumulation of tough short climbs through varied landscapes of open plains, fields and forests make for an ideal training setting. This Collection is both for those preparing to run in the high mountains and for novices who want to try running on rough terrain close to home. There’s something for everyone in this Collection.
The trails are accessible all year round. Just bear in mind that some trails may resemble a 'mudfest' rather than a 'trailfest' in persistently wet weather. In that case, make sure you have trail shoes with deeper lugs.
The Kluisbos is the place where I do most of my training kilometers on unpaved terrain. Here you can find the largest height differences in the Flemish Ardennes at a relatively short distance.
Not only the altimeters make this course my favorite. The variation in surface, the peaceful surroundings and…
The artists' village of Kwaremont is best known for the Oude Kwaremont - cobbled slope and executioner in the Tour of Flanders and other spring races. The Panorama route proves that not only the bicycle has its place here. You are guaranteed to have fun here even with your trail shoes!
This route has…
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Short and sweet, that is the Koppenbergtrail. The 'Bult van Melden', as the Koppenberg is also called, is a stone's throw from Oudenaarde.
Known from and feared in the Tour of Flanders because of its gradient of up to 22%. During this Tour you conquer the Koppenberg and surroundings on foot, on, over…
In the XL version of the Kluisbergen trail, you combine the Kluisbos trail with the Panorama route - which are also included as separate routes in this Collection. The Tour is good for 600 meters of altitude difference spread over 30 varied kilometers of which 60% are unpaved.
You can start both in the…
The area around the Berendries throws you a few sturdy but short climbs under your feet. You walk here through a number of smaller forests and nature reserves that are part of the larger area that you cross.
About halfway through the route you climb on unpaved paths along the flanks of the Berendries…
Are you a starting trail runner and do you want to run unpaved without too much height difference on an easy surface? Then this is your route par excellence. The wide avenues through the woods included in this Tour make walking pleasant and always possible without stopping.
Meandering on the language…
From the foot of the Kanarieberg you immediately start with the first climb towards the top of the Fortuinberg. Together with the Muziekberg, this slope forms the core of the Muziekbos of the same name.
After passing through the Muziekbos, the trail continues to slope towards the small but equally beautiful…
A compact Tour that can be divided into two ascents and two descents, straight through the Hotondbos and the Scherpenbergbos. You can pick up quite a lot of altimeters here at a relatively short distance.
The Tour is perfect for training on climbing. The passage through the Hotondbos is slightly longer…
This 25 kilometer long Tour is 70% unpaved. You will discover the region around Geraardsbergen between the fields and through the forests that are located along the flanks of the Bosberg. Via the typical Flemish Ardennes country roads, up and down, the connection is made between Geraardsbergen and the…
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