One region in Belgium is developing a series of imaginative biking projects to cement its place as the cycling tourism capital of the country. The latest is a sensational 360-degree experience — a daring forest cycle trail that gradually rises 32 feet in the air to propel cyclists through a canopy of trees.

During the past few years, a cycling renaissance has occurred in the Belgian province of Limburg through a handful of unique cycling experiences created by the tourist board. The latest is a forest cycling trail called Cycling through the Trees that runs through Bosland, the largest adventure forest in Flanders.

Aerial view of a raised circular bike trail in a forest
Cycling through the Trees ©Luc Daelemans

Cyclists follow a circular track that gradually takes them up into the air (ten meters/32 feet) so they can enjoy 360-degree-views of the forest canopy and the nature reserve below. Recycled tree trunks form rest and information spots on the trail. The trail, designed by Belgian studios BuroLandschap and De Gregorio & Partners, was shortlisted for infrastructure project of the year at Dezeen Awards 2020

Cyclists ride through a circular forest cycling trail
The trail is designed to encourage people to explore the countryside by bike ©Luc Daelemans

The cycling trail is the second in a series of imaginative cycling projects in Limburg and follows in the tracks of the Cycling through Water project in Bokrijk. That particular trail cuts through a pond, with water on eye level on either side, to make cyclists feel like they are riding on water.

Bottom view of the cycling through the trees trail
The trail rises ten meters/32 feet into the air ©Luc Daelemans

A third project, Cycling through the Heathland, is scheduled to open in Hoge Kempen National Park at the beginning of 2021. It's a 300-meter long cycling bridge that runs through heath landscape and brings cyclists even closer to the evergreen surroundings of the national park.

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A resting spot on a cycle trail made from recycled tree trunks
Recycled tree trunks form rest and information stops ©Luc Daelemans

With these trails, the tourists board said Limburg is stepping up its game as a pioneer in cycling tourism, taking advantage of improved infrastructure and facilities for cycling tourists. The province now has 2000 kilometers of paved, safe and largely car-free cycling trails that are connected through the cycle node network. Limburg, which welcomes more than 300 million cycling tourists each year, is widely regarded as Belgium's premier cycling province. It's also home to unique camping experiences like these suspended teardrop tents.

A two-lane cycle trail running through a canopy of trees
The trail is connected to Limburg's network of cycle code trails ©Luc Daelemans

Igor Philtjens, president of Visit Limburg, said the cycling trails are designed to promote sustainable tourism and encourage people to get out into the countryside and explore their natural surroundings by bike. "And what a success it is," he said. "Because the number of cyclists that visit Cycling through Water and Cycling through the Trees is continually growing. And the projects are receiving more and more international acclaim."

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