ODS Autumn hike 2021

17 October 2021


Explore the magnificent environment of Maasmechelen on 17 October 2021.

Please note: participation with online pre-registration only!
NO day registrations possible.

The greatest vista of Vlaanderen can be experienced in National Park Hoge Kempen.

On the spot where the Eisden coal-mine was fully operational until 1987, the landscape nowadays has completely transformed. In one view you can see thousands of years of history. Human activities have greatly impacted the landscape, which is clearly visible during your walk. So, everything you see is never ‘100% natural’. You’ll be surprised by this landscape mosaic in which geology, historic land use and industrial development are very noticeable. We hope you will enjoy your day in this truly spectacular nature area in Vlaanderen (B).

What makes this National Park so special

The National Park is a large nature reserve of nearly 60 km2 with a rich flora and fauna. It is the only National Park in the Province of Limburg (B) in the triangle Genk – Maastricht – Maaseik and the Park is well-known for its great walks, cycle trails and relaxing scenery. Each year, over 1 million visitors find their way to the National Park. In mid-2020 the park has been substantially expanded.

The Gates to the National Park

There are six entrance gates for the ideal start of a visit to the National Park. It is a conscious choice to help hikers on their way when visiting the nature reserve. In addition, the locations are easy to reach and well-spread to prevent too much pressure on nature. Terhills is the main entrance gate and in this part of the National Park you will find the famous Terhills which boast the best panorama of Vlaanderen.

Rangers and nature

The walk will become even more interesting when you hear the stories behind this unique nature reserve and its mining history. The Rangers know all about this and are happy to share their stories with you.

Enjoy yourself in the Speelput

After the nice walk the kids can lose any surplus energy in the Speelput. This is a spacious playground at the entrance of Terhills with equipment suitable for both smaller and bigger kids.

Dogs are welcome

Dogs on leash are welcome. In this way we take each other’s walking pleasure and safety into account.


09:30 hrs Check-in at ODS information desk, Terhills location, National Park Hoge Kempen. You will receive a ‘knapsack’ with surprise items for on the way, some vouchers for food and beverages and information about the trails.
12:30 hrs At this time you can only choose the short trail.
14:00 hrs Closing time check-in desk
17:00 hrs Last participant to finish
17:00 hrs End of programme

The hike will be organized in all weather conditions!


Food and beverages ‘to go’
ODS provides great catering to its hikers and that also applies this time in which we have to observe the 1.5 m rule , the strict hygiene rules and the safety of participants. Our catering will therefore be set up differently this year. Upon check-in you will receive an ODS knapsack with yummy contents for on the way. There are several picknick benches where you can enjoy the view as well as the snacks. In this way the 1.5 m rule is perfectly feasible.

Please respect nature.

Health, safety and an eye for a positive contribution to the environment are priorities for ODS.

Do not leave any garbage on the trail, but take it with you in your ODS bag and deposit it in the appropriate garbage containers.

This time no central rest area, but picknick benches along the route.

National Park Hoge Kempen is a fenced nature reserve. The restaurant and toilet facilities are located at the entrance at Terhills. No rest area for the 6 km nor the 13 km trail.

The trails:

ODS has marked out two beautiful routes for you in National Park Hoge Kempen. Extensive forests and moorlands, lakes and high peaks with endless vistas. You can experience it all.

Do you prefer a more flat route or are you up for a more challenging hike? You can choose between several distances. This is signposted by symbols along the route.

If you climb to the top of the terril on the 9,5 km trail, you will be rewarded by a unique vista of the surroundings; the best panorama of Vlaanderen.

Location and itinerary

The start and finish location of the ODS Autumn hike is Terhills, Zetellaan 54 Maasmechelen (B). You will see the ODS beach flags at the entrance.

Terhills is the main entrance gate of National Park Hoge Kempen.


You can park your car in the nearby car parks of Maasmechelen Village and Decathlon.

Because of the expected popularity of the Autumn hike, we ask you to car pool, in order to guarantee parking space for all cars.

Navigation address:
Zetellaan 54
3630 Maasmechelen, België

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