Belgium’s Forests: Finding Serenity in the Wild

Every forest in Belgium is a distinct and magical experience. There is no shortage of jaw-dropping sights to take in, from the towering trees that seem to reach the sky to the rich assortment of plants and animals that make these forests home.

But, considering how small Belgium is, you might not anticipate it to contain such magnificent woodlands with roaring rivers that also cover the country’s highest mountains. And yet, here they stand, defying all predictions and leaving onlookers in wonder.

So join me as we explore Belgium’s enchanted woodlands if you’re prepared to become immersed in a world of natural beauty and bewilderment.

Sonian Forest

  • Location: South-east of Brussels
  • Size: 10,920 acres (4,421 hectares)

Known as the largest forest in Belgium, the Sonian Forest (or Soignes Forest) is a unique habitat for a variety of animals. Yes, there are small insects, amphibians, reptiles and birds in the forest, but what impressed me the most was the 18 species of bat. They are the most endangered animals in the EU.

There are also lots of larger animals as well like the fox, rabbit, deer and even wild boar. However, they are rarely seen during the day. Like most forests in Belgium, the management team has also ensured there are lots to do there too. From hiking and mountain biking to walking the dog or having a picnic.


Hallerbos, Belgium
Hallerbos, Belgium
  • Location: Outside Halle, South of Brussels
  • Size: 1,360 acres (552 ha)

Hallerbos is the Belgian forest everything talks about on Instagram. It is famous for the mind-blowing carpet of bluebell flowers that cover the forest every spring. You should certainly make an effort to catch this natural phenomenon if you can. And, the Brussels community even makes it easy to visit with shuttle buses from the train station during blooming season.

High Fens

High Fens, Belgium
High Fens, Belgium
  • Location: Liège Province, near Spa
  • Size: 165560 acres (67,000 ha)

The High Fens are one of the most well-known reserves in Belgium and has been protected since back in 1957. The area features of combination of moors and woodlands, with some areas being considered wilderness, for such a developed country. The High Fens are also one of the few places you can still see the Black Grouse. It is still on the brink of disappearing from the area, but many local and international groups are working to save it.

Meerdaal & Heverlee Forests

  • Location: 25mk south-east of Brussels
  • Size: 5065 acres (2,050 ha)
  • Features:
    • Ancient forest with a history dating back to the Roman period
    • Home to diverse wildlife, including badgers, foxes, and owls
    • Popular for hiking and cycling

Being so near to Brussels, the Meerdal and Heverlee forests are popular for hiking and cycling, even during the week. It is also a forest that has other mixed uses as it is both logged, and protected and researched by the University of Brussels. The predominantly re American oak forest has been here since long before the middle ages, and is still home to a large deer population today.

Great Forest of Saint-Hubert

  • Location: Ardennes & Luxembourg
  • Size: 197680 acres (approx 80,000 ha)

The Great Forest of Saint Hubert covers 6 municipalities in both southern Belgium and Luxembourg. This is the largest continuous forest in Belgium and covers a huge area that would take you days to explore. Of course, it is also home to countless species of bird and large mammals. And there are enough hiking paths to keep you busy for weeks. If you are in the southern Ardennes, be sure to come check it ou.


  • Location: Roms
  • Size: 333 acres (135 ha)

Literally, the “Music Forest” in Dutch, the Muziekbos is a small 10-acre forest located on a hill in the Flemish Ardennes. This is another forest where you can try your luck at catching the bluebells in spring. On top of that, the forest is also known for its wild hyacinths, small periwinkle and wild garlic, so be sure to bring your camera if you come in the right season.


Elevated Ring in Bosland, Belgium
Elevated Ring in Bosland, Belgium – Image courtesy of Wikimedia
  • Location: Limburg, Flanders
  • Size: 16,103 acres (6517 ha)

Bosland is the largest forest in Flanders. Not only is it a great forest to visit, but it also features an adventurous 600m long, elevated ring where you can walk or cycle. This fun addition to an otherwise impressive forest gives you one more reason to pop over on the weekend if you are looking for something new to do.

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