Do you have a question that is not in the list below? Please contact us, we’re happy to help you.
What are the opening hours of Grenspark Kalmthoutse Heide?
The park is not fenced. You are free to visit the area between sunrise and sunset.
Are dogs welcome?
Yes, dogs are welcome in the park (almost everywhere) if they are kept on a short leash. Within the grazing area dogs are not allowed. There are a few off-leash dog areas, where your four-legged friend is allowed off the leash. Even over there, please mind your dog: they are not allowed to run after game or hinder other recreational activities. More information can be found on Taking your dog.
Where can I not take my dog with me?
Dogs are not allowed within the grazing and resting area, not even on a leash. This basically means that dogs are not allowed on the trails ‘Dune’, ‘Sheep’, ‘Roe deer’ and ‘Lizard’ because these trails traverse grazing areas and cross cattle grids. The other 21 signposted waymarked hiking trails are accessible with a dog, if they are on a leash.
Are the hiking trails waymarked? Is there a hiking map?
You can find an overview map and all 25 hiking trails at each entry gate and starting point. The paths are waymarked with an icon in a certain colour and with a particular symbol. This makes it easy to follow the route without a map. You can buy a hiking map at the entry gates of the park, at the VVV tourist offices, De Vroente, Dienst Toerisme Kalmthout and from the hosts of the park (price 2€). The hiking maps are not for sale online. More information: Hiking
Why are there gates and grids in the area?
Sheep and cows (sometimes horses) help manage the heathland. A number of paths traverses the grazing area. As a hiker you can see these “heathland managers” at work and observe their behaviour. However, stay on the permitted waymarked hiking trails. Dogs are not allowed within the grazing area (not even on a leash), and cycling is not allowed within the grazing area either. Always keep your distance and do not feed the animals. Never leave a gate open, otherwise the cattle can escape.
Can I cycle in the area?
For recreational cyclists, cross-border cycling routes have been mapped out using existing cycling junctions in cooperation with the surrounding municipalities of Stabroek, Kalmthout, Essen and Woensdrecht. These ‘Poortfietslussen’ (entry gate bike loops), each about 30 km long, start from the 4 gates of the Grenspark and show you the most beautiful spots of the area and of the surrounding border municipalities.
Is mountain biking allowed?
Mountain bikers will soon have their own trails in Grenspark Kalmthoutse Heide. There will be a number of intensive mountain bike trails that will be connected to a cross-border connecting trail. The intensive trails will be located on the Dutch side, in Stoppelbergen-Wildernissen, the Staartse Heide and Abdijbossen.
The trails will run through areas where nature is less vulnerable and less prone to disturbance. Mountain biking in the grazing and rest area is forbidden. Some mountain bike trails are used for recreational cyclists too. Always be courteous, pass other recreational cyclists at walking pace and be careful.
Can I go horseback riding in the park?
Horseback riding is only possible on the bridle paths marked with a horseshoe symbol. Some paths are used for other visitors too. Always be courteous, pass others at walking pace and be careful. Most bridle paths are located in the north of the park. Riding in the grazing and rest area is forbidden.
Can I organize a picnic?
Of course you can! At the entry gates or along the waymarked hiking trails you will come across benches. These are also marked on the hiking maps and at the starting points. Make sure not to leave any rubbish. The park also has a real picnic service, organized by the Piknikfabrik.
Can I organize an event or a group activity?
If you want to organize an event or group activity, you need to apply for an approval or permit, both on the Flemish and on the Dutch side of the park. Contact us and we will gladly help you: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I shoot professional film or photo footage?
For all recordings or footage on the Flemish side, you need to apply for approval from Natuur en Bos. More information can be found on https://www.natuurlocaties.be/filmloket. If you want to shoot footage on the Dutch side, contact us and we will put you in contact with the right manager or contact person: email@example.com.
I am an (amateur) nature photographer. What do I need to take into account?
The park offers excellent opportunities to depict nature. Observe the general rules for visitors. Stay on the paths and take care not to disturb nature. Photos can always be shared on social media with #grensparkkalmthoutseheide. If you want to share your photos on our website, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I reach the park by train?
Grenspark Kalmthoutse Heide can be easily reached by train from the station of Heide/Kalmthout (B). From thereon, there is a path leading you to entry gate and visitor centre De Vroente (follow the footsteps). More information about accessibility can be found here.
What exactly is the breeding season? When does it take place?
Most birds breed between March and July; we call this the breeding season. It is the time when birds mate, choose nesting places, build nests, lay eggs and raise their young. The Nature Conservation Act puts forward that no disturbance, in any form whatsoever, may occur to nests, eggs and young. The breeding season is also the season of the young hares, rabbits, fawn, etc…
During this period it is very important not to deviate from the walking paths and keep dogs on a short leash, so as not to disturb the birds that breed on the ground. Some connecting hiking trails in the area are closed during this period to give the animals the rest they need.
The breeding season is set from 15 March to 30 June.
What is the grazing and resting area?
A large part of the central resting area in the park is fenced off with a grid because these parts are also grazed by sheep and cows. Within the grazing and resting area (in between two grids) visitors can only walk on the marked paths. Dogs are not allowed here (not even on a leash), and neither are cyclists or mountain bikers. Stay on the paths and mind the gates. Never leave a gate open, otherwise cattle can escape.