The Meerdaalbos is one of Belgium’s finest forests. Located just south of Leuven, you can get there by bike or by taking the train to St.-Joris Weert station, just 14 minutes by train from Leuven, followed by a ten-minute hike along a steep sunken road.
The woods are crossed by straight forest roads and meandering footpaths. Some areas like the ponds at ’t Zoetwater can get quite busy, but the more remote parts of the forest are fairly wild, at least for Flanders.
The walks take you past ancient chapels, old hunting lodges and an old vineyard. There is also a playground at ‘t Zoetwater and several restaurants where locals go for lunch or a beer.
Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.