4 child-friendly cycling routes

4 child-friendly cycling routes

Fun bike rides with the children

Child-friendly cycling routes, which are routes with manageable miles and lots of fun stops along the way. Cycle from play forest to watchtower and back. These four cycling routes in East Flanders are sure to satisfy your family's needs!

1 Het Leen cycling route

Het Leen was formerly used by the military, but was converted into provincial property by the province. You will find a gigantic forest, a beautiful arboretum, an observation tower no less than 21 metres tall  and some pleasant walking paths there. A major plus point? The wide and paved surface makes this area very accessible for wheelchair users, as well as families with buggies or bicycles. So ideal for young cyclists too!

Thanks to its many assets, Het Leen has become a real draw for schools and families alike. This beautiful nature preserve is the starting point for the first cycling route. The route is only 26.5 kilometres long, making it perfectly feasible for young cyclists.

Cycling along the waterfront

Once you leave Het Leen, cycle for a while along the Schipdonk Canal to eventually arrive at the Beirtjesbrug, a romantic spot especially loved by fishermen. Take a breather in the former Akkerhoeve, now De Farmerie. There are artisanal ice cream, pancakes and other sweet sins are on the menu here. Children can enjoy the enclosed playground and animal pasture. After a nice break, you'll cycle through the Lembeekse bossen, finally ending up again at the provincial domain. 

Play Forest

Do your children still have some energy left? Then they can have fun in the Play Forest, a defined area where children can romp freely. There is also a proper playground. Still, do you prefer a little more peace and quiet while watching your children play? Then enjoy a drink at the cosy cafeteria. Do you want to make it an educational trip? Then be sure to visit the Forest Information Centre, where you will find answers to all your questions about flora and fauna. Who knows, maybe your child will bag the forest gnome certificate here! 

1 Het Leen cycling route

Provinciaal Domein Het Leen Eeklo.JPG
Provinciaal Domein Het Leen Bosinfocentrum Eeklo (1).JPG
Provinciaal Domein Het Leen Uitkijktoren Eeklo (2).JPG

Het Leen was formerly used by the military, but was converted into provincial property by the province. You will find a gigantic forest, a beautiful arboretum, an observation tower no less than 21 metres tall  and some pleasant walking paths there. A major plus point? The wide and paved surface makes this area very accessible for wheelchair users, as well as families with buggies or bicycles. So ideal for young cyclists too!

Thanks to its many assets, Het Leen has become a real draw for schools and families alike. This beautiful nature preserve is the starting point for the first cycling route. The route is only 26.5 kilometres long, making it perfectly feasible for young cyclists.

Cycling along the waterfront

Once you leave Het Leen, cycle for a while along the Schipdonk Canal to eventually arrive at the Beirtjesbrug, a romantic spot especially loved by fishermen. Take a breather in the former Akkerhoeve, now De Farmerie. There are artisanal ice cream, pancakes and other sweet sins are on the menu here. Children can enjoy the enclosed playground and animal pasture. After a nice break, you'll cycle through the Lembeekse bossen, finally ending up again at the provincial domain. 

Play Forest

Do your children still have some energy left? Then they can have fun in the Play Forest, a defined area where children can romp freely. There is also a proper playground. Still, do you prefer a little more peace and quiet while watching your children play? Then enjoy a drink at the cosy cafeteria. Do you want to make it an educational trip? Then be sure to visit the Forest Information Centre, where you will find answers to all your questions about flora and fauna. Who knows, maybe your child will bag the forest gnome certificate here! 

Address
Gentsesteenweg 80
9900 Eeklo
Length
26,7 km
Time
1u 30min tot 2u
Difficulty
vlakHeight profile
Terrain
97% Paved
Actions
View this route

2 De Gavers cycling route

In addition to Het Leen, recreation area De Gavers, where you can also rent bikes, is the perfect base for a fun children's bike ride. The De Gavers bike trail is 13.1 kilometres long and you will only cycle over paved roads. So perfect for children.

Once you have left De Gavers, you'll soon see looming in the distance the 13th-century Abbey of Beaupré, which is listed as a monument. Take a breather in Dender-Mark, Flanders' first quiet area.

Once you're sufficiently rested, this child-friendly cycling route will take you as far as Idegem Lock. This lock is still equipped with an authentic metal drawbridge. There is even still a lock-keeper, who operates the locks.

The last stop is Geraardsbergen. Once you get there, you have definitely earned a mattentaart, the typical local product. Do you have any more time to spare? Stroll through the historic city centre some more before starting the return trip toward De Gavers.

Romping in De Gavers

Do you want to enjoy the beautiful weather for a while once you get back to De Gavers? Then feel free to stick around in this beautiful recreation area for a while. De Gavers offers numerous other child-friendly activities. Swimming and mini golf are just two examples from their wide range of offerings. Besides those, there is also a swimming and beach area with a playground where your children can romp from May.

Enjoy a drink or snack in the cafeteria or outside on the nice terrace while your child is playing. There are also adapted facilities for people with disabilities everywhere.

2 De Gavers cycling route

Fietsen_langs_Dender_in_Geraardsbergen.jpg

In addition to Het Leen, recreation area De Gavers, where you can also rent bikes, is the perfect base for a fun children's bike ride. The De Gavers bike trail is 13.1 kilometres long and you will only cycle over paved roads. So perfect for children.

Once you have left De Gavers, you'll soon see looming in the distance the 13th-century Abbey of Beaupré, which is listed as a monument. Take a breather in Dender-Mark, Flanders' first quiet area.

Once you're sufficiently rested, this child-friendly cycling route will take you as far as Idegem Lock. This lock is still equipped with an authentic metal drawbridge. There is even still a lock-keeper, who operates the locks.

The last stop is Geraardsbergen. Once you get there, you have definitely earned a mattentaart, the typical local product. Do you have any more time to spare? Stroll through the historic city centre some more before starting the return trip toward De Gavers.

Romping in De Gavers

Do you want to enjoy the beautiful weather for a while once you get back to De Gavers? Then feel free to stick around in this beautiful recreation area for a while. De Gavers offers numerous other child-friendly activities. Swimming and mini golf are just two examples from their wide range of offerings. Besides those, there is also a swimming and beach area with a playground where your children can romp from May.

Enjoy a drink or snack in the cafeteria or outside on the nice terrace while your child is playing. There are also adapted facilities for people with disabilities everywhere.

Address
Onkerzelestraat
9500 Geraardsbergen
Length
13,3 km
Time
1u tot 1u 20min
Terrain
99% Paved
Actions
View this route

3 De Ceder cycling route

In Deinze, you will find holiday centre De Ceder. Here, you can recover in peace after a hospital stay. But the estate is also very attractive for ordinary holiday-makers who want to explore the Lys region. Moreover, a fun bike route departs from this holiday centre that is ideal to do with your child.

Do you want to make it an educational afternoon? Then be sure to stop at the Museum of the Deinze and Lys Region along the way. Besides a great deal of art, you will also find an exhibition of old toys and prams made in Deinze a century ago. What a difference from the toys your children have now!

Playground with animal park

De Ceder children's cycling route will also take you past the Briel Marshes recreation area. Are your children tired of cycling for a while? Then swap those two wheels for the playground at the recreation area. There is also an animal park, a mini golf course and a maze. This will keep your children busy for a while! And as a parent, meanwhile, enjoy a nice drink on the cafeteria's terrace.

Enjoyment also takes centre stage at Brasserie BrunO, just a while further. This former warehouse combines classic dishes with a dose of local art. There is also a wonderful terrace at the Leieboorden. Especially in the summer, this is a great place to be. 

Along the Lys

Meanwhile, after all that lazing around, you'll have enough energy to continue your family bike ride. The route will take you up to the Leiemeersen. Here, you can cycle pleasantly along the towpath beside the Lys for about three kilometres. The wide, paved roads are also very accessible for younger (and still somewhat wobbly) cyclists.

Do you want to teach your child some local history before you return to recreation area De Ceder? Then be sure to stop by Astene Lock. The authentic drawbridge and lock-keeper's house are protected heritage sites. Next to the bridge is the Oud Sashuis ('Old Lock House'), an authentic café run by lock-keeper Wim and his parrot Boris. You'll find a whole collection of ship attributes and paintings there. It's a special sight, so it would be a shame not to walk in here!

3 De Ceder cycling route

Deinze markt 1 David Samyn.jpg

In Deinze, you will find holiday centre De Ceder. Here, you can recover in peace after a hospital stay. But the estate is also very attractive for ordinary holiday-makers who want to explore the Lys region. Moreover, a fun bike route departs from this holiday centre that is ideal to do with your child.

Do you want to make it an educational afternoon? Then be sure to stop at the Museum of the Deinze and Lys Region along the way. Besides a great deal of art, you will also find an exhibition of old toys and prams made in Deinze a century ago. What a difference from the toys your children have now!

Playground with animal park

De Ceder children's cycling route will also take you past the Briel Marshes recreation area. Are your children tired of cycling for a while? Then swap those two wheels for the playground at the recreation area. There is also an animal park, a mini golf course and a maze. This will keep your children busy for a while! And as a parent, meanwhile, enjoy a nice drink on the cafeteria's terrace.

Enjoyment also takes centre stage at Brasserie BrunO, just a while further. This former warehouse combines classic dishes with a dose of local art. There is also a wonderful terrace at the Leieboorden. Especially in the summer, this is a great place to be. 

Along the Lys

Meanwhile, after all that lazing around, you'll have enough energy to continue your family bike ride. The route will take you up to the Leiemeersen. Here, you can cycle pleasantly along the towpath beside the Lys for about three kilometres. The wide, paved roads are also very accessible for younger (and still somewhat wobbly) cyclists.

Do you want to teach your child some local history before you return to recreation area De Ceder? Then be sure to stop by Astene Lock. The authentic drawbridge and lock-keeper's house are protected heritage sites. Next to the bridge is the Oud Sashuis ('Old Lock House'), an authentic café run by lock-keeper Wim and his parrot Boris. You'll find a whole collection of ship attributes and paintings there. It's a special sight, so it would be a shame not to walk in here!

Address
Parijsestraat 34
9800 Deinze
Length
16,1 km
Time
1u tot 1u 20min
Terrain
97% Paved
Actions
View this route

4 In the Zwalm region cycling route

The beautiful Zwalm region is also well worth exploring with your children. The child-friendly bike trip 'Cycling in the Zwalm region' is ideal for that. You start at the Galerijpad in Zwalm. Along the way, you'll encounter plenty of fun little cafés and cool challenges.

Not only are these challenges exciting, but your child will learn something too. The water play element at the Zwalmmolen (mill) in Munkzwalm  is one example of this. Here, children learn through a water game how the flow of a river causes a mill to start turning. 

Playing and learning

A second highlight of this fun cycling route is provincial nature education centre the Kaaihoeve, which is located in one of the most beautiful areas of nature in the Flemish Ardennes: the Kaaimeersen. Let your children romp around in the giant play area or venture down the barefoot path together. Fun guaranteed! Here, you can again combine the useful with the pleasant and make sure your children learn something.

De Kaaihoeve also features  numerous exhibitions perfectly tailored to children. Of course, all that biking and romping will make you hungry and thirsty. Take a breather at De Klokke restaurant. This is known for its French cuisine. Or at summer bar Klein Zwitserland or café De Casino. There, it seems as though time has stood still.

4 In the Zwalm region cycling route

De Kaaihoeve Meilegem.jpg
Kaaihoeve.jpg

The beautiful Zwalm region is also well worth exploring with your children. The child-friendly bike trip 'Cycling in the Zwalm region' is ideal for that. You start at the Galerijpad in Zwalm. Along the way, you'll encounter plenty of fun little cafés and cool challenges.

Not only are these challenges exciting, but your child will learn something too. The water play element at the Zwalmmolen (mill) in Munkzwalm  is one example of this. Here, children learn through a water game how the flow of a river causes a mill to start turning. 

Playing and learning

A second highlight of this fun cycling route is provincial nature education centre the Kaaihoeve, which is located in one of the most beautiful areas of nature in the Flemish Ardennes: the Kaaimeersen. Let your children romp around in the giant play area or venture down the barefoot path together. Fun guaranteed! Here, you can again combine the useful with the pleasant and make sure your children learn something.

De Kaaihoeve also features  numerous exhibitions perfectly tailored to children. Of course, all that biking and romping will make you hungry and thirsty. Take a breather at De Klokke restaurant. This is known for its French cuisine. Or at summer bar Klein Zwitserland or café De Casino. There, it seems as though time has stood still.

Address
Eikstraat
9630 Zwalm
Length
23,6 km
Time
1u 20m
Terrain
91% Paved
Actions
View this route

View the child-friendly cycling routes on a map