It’s the Saturday between Christmas and New Year and the weather looks nice. I tell Boyfriend I’d like to get out and do something. I’ve spent the past weekends toggling away on articles, blog posts and social media updates. I need a bit of fresh air. And I know exactly where I want to go: the provincial domain of Het Vinne in Zoutleeuw here in Belgium.
Het Vinne in Zoutleeuw
I’d just read an article about the provincial domain Het Vinne in Zoutleeuw. The photos accompanying the article looked nice enough and Het Vinne is only a half an hour-drive from where we live. Perfect for a Saturday afternoon walk!
Het Vinne, which means ‘the water pond’, is the largest natural lake in Flanders. The official address is at Ossenwegstraat 70, Zoutleeuw, where you can find the parking lot and main entrance to the walking route. There’s also a bistro where you can have a drink or grab a snack after your walk.
We park our car and start the walking route to the right of the bistro. Along the first part of the path we find several installations meant to teach children things about the fauna and flora around the lake in a playful way.
A bit further starts the wooden path going over the water. This is what I saw pictures of in the article and I’m excited to be walking here myself.
Isn’t this great? I was reading about a place just hours ago and now I’m actually there!
The path ends and we’re back on solid ground. Well, solid… It’s so muddy because of previous rains and I feel a certain respect for the runner that passes us on this part of the walk.
There are four walking routes going around the lake (2, 3, 3 and 5 kilometers) and I have no idea which one we’re on. We’re just following the path around the lake and it takes us little over an hour to get back to our starting point. I did stop a lot to take pictures and have a peak in one of the bird watching cabins.
Het Vinne is a great place to watch birds, as it’s located under an important bird trekking route. There are several bird watching spots.
The provincial domain Het Vinne is open every day from sunrise until sunset. There’s also a visitor center that’s open Monday-Friday (on request from October 1 until June 30 and from 10 am until 4 pm from July 1 until September 15), Saturday (from April 1 until September 30) and Sundays.
For those who want to do more than walking, the visitor center rents out binoculars, bikes and an ‘exploration’ backpack.
Other nice places in Belgium to go for a walk