My previous post introduced you to an area (Mollendaal Forest) that is ideal for young children. However, I do not recommend Mechels Broek for young children, nor is the terrain suitable for buggies, push-chairs or wheelchairs. It’s an area of wetland at all times of the year, and particularly in the winter many of the paths are very muddy.
I would definitely recommend it for families with older children though, as on this nature reserve are two publicly accessible bird hides. In my experience, children love creeping up to a bird hide, quietly opening the wooden shutters, and peeking out to see what birds they can see.
Mechels Broek is located just south of Mechelen. The start of your walk is from a small car park next to café Het Brughuis in Muizenhoekstraat, 2812 Muizen. Here’s a map (Map_Mechels_Broek) which shows you the footpaths through the region and the location of the two bird hides. The slide show below takes you on an illustrated tour of a 6 km walk through and around the nature reserve, including a visit to both bird hides. Boots are not just recommended; they are essential!
At this time of the year the lagoons are full of birds – and noise! Ducks quack and whistle; geese honk, bark and trumpet; gulls screech and yelp. This weekend there were particularly huge numbers of pintail and teal. There was even a white stork there – and they are supposed to be summer migrants! Enjoy your walk, and let me know what you see!