• two pilot activities were held as part of the SIGWAY project The weekend of March 16 and 17 2024.

  • Two cycling activities on greenways in Wallonia, in Pays de Herve, and Flanders, around Herentals-Aarschot.

  • The aim: promoting physical activity, health awareness and socialization, and of course the pleasure of cycling!

>> Cycling around Line 38

The first one activity took place on Saturday March 16, to discover nature and heritage through the greenway, line 38 of the RAVel in the Pays de Herve.

Organized in collaboration with the Pays de Herve Tourist Office, member of the EGWA, integrating the “nature” and “heritage” approach; and of course, have fun!

The participants were the “Dagasses” of the Patro de Thimister-Clermon t, which is part of the Youth Movement of the region.

The activity began with a presentation of the SIGWAY project, the Voies Vertes network in Europe and Belgium, and the opportunities of the Erasmus program for young people and sport, in particular the opportunity to travel by train in Europe, and combine with greenways.

The bike ride followed the the Pays de Herve cyclo-quiz to discover the region’s rich landscapes and cultural heritage.  Starting from the Tourist Office, and following the signposting of the nodal points along some twenty kilometres, the young participants, equipped with a nodal bracelet and their smartphone, made the corresponding stops to answer the 20 observation questions. Léon Ernst, the activity guide, provided information on the landscape and history along the route, as well as safety tips at crossroads. Highlights were the stops in Clermont, one of the most beautiful cities in Wallonia, with the corresponding historical explanation, and in Fort Battice, in this case with explanations on nature and environment by Francine Kalbusch. Enjoying all along the way the unique landscape of bocage that characterises the beautiful countryside of the Pays d’Herve,

At the end, return to the Maison du Tourisme de Pays d’Herve, with a practical information session on how to use a defibrillator, like the one installed at the tourist office, an action that can save your life!  Followed by information on the benefits of a sports activity, and stretching. All this with a drink and snack at the end of the activity, sharing experiences, which the participants really enjoyed.



>> Cycling around Herentals – Aarschot greenway

The second activity took place on the greenways around Herentals – Aarschot greenway, enjoying nature, this time organised in collaboration with the province of Antwerp and the Welkome Café Velo Club.

In this case, with the participation of a group of sport cyclists, coordinated by Jo Helsen, the team’s “coach”. The activity also began with a brief explanation of the aims of the project before starting the tour along the Herentals-Aarschot greenway and no motorised network around. A number of stops were made along the way to reflect on some of the issues faced by two-wheeler users of the old railway line (e.g. crossings at junctions, oncoming traffic, slow and fast cyclists, families with children on the way), cycling, courtesy, …).

In addition to the Herentals-Aarschot greenway, the route also included an old line leading to a former military base, which is now designed as KAMP C – centre for sustainable construction and housing in the province of Antwerp : https://www.kampc.be/ to also raise awareness about the environment and the circular economy, also objectives of SIGWAY.

The tour ended with a drink and a delicious spaghetti at the Welkome café, and big smiles from all the participants, reflecting the sense of wellbeing that this activity brought.

Two activities with very different participant profiles which have in common the use of the bike on greenways and other non-motorized routes, in the heart of nature, in safety without cars. The result is the pleasure of cycling along greenways, discovering the landscape with friends, having fun doing sport in good company, which is good for your health and good for the environment!

Big thanks to all those who have made these amazing activities possible!


Mercedes Muñoz Zamora
European Greenways Association, Director

Location: Herve & Herentals (Belgium)