Rosdel is a nature reserve managed by the Flemish nature conservation organisation Natuurpunt. It’s an attractive area of undulating fields and farmland stretching to the east of Hoegaarden. It’s described in the blurb as an oasis of tranquility, and apart from the first and last kilometres, it’s exactly that.
There are three excellently signposted footpaths – 7.5, 9 and 12 km in length – which pass along wide footpaths, farm tracks or fairly recently laid concrete paths. Starting point is the car park in the centre of Hoegaarden, where there are plenty of cafes should you require sustenance prior to or after your walk.
I took advantage of what might be the last warm day of the year and walked the 9 km path. Red admirals and speckled wood butterflies were also making the most of the sunshine. The woods held the usual bird species such as green and great spotted woodpeckers, and even a singing chiffchaff. Above the fields a number of buzzards soared, while crows tried to chase away a couple of kestrels. In one damp field I saw five herons feeding – maybe looking for frogs. Towards the end I was delighted to have a good view of a roe deer as it bounded across the fields and into a copse.
Here’s a Map of Rosdel – and below are some pictures of my morning in and around Rosdel. And here is a map of the area that you can download/print, with various possibilities for short-cuts/extensions.