Filip H.A. Claeys

Trekking in Mountainous and Subarctic Regions


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Vinderhoutse Bossen

Vinderhoute is a community to the northwest of Ghent that is surrounded by quite a bit of greenery and several castle grounds. The area is currently being developed for outdoor recreation. Last week, the central wooded zone was opened to the public, after having been acquired from a private land owner some time ago.

We make a 36 km family cycling & hiking tour that takes us from home to Vinderhoute and back, passing scenic sections of the Leie river around Drongen. In Vinderhoute, we explore some of the new hiking trails.

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Packrafting Oude Kale

Historically, Poekebeek and Oude Kale were part of the same water course, but nowadays they are separated by the Schipdonk canal. Whereas Poekebeek has remained relatively fast-flowing, Oude Kale has no noticeable current.

After having paddled Poekebeek from Poeke to Nevele in the morning, Evert and I in the afternoon put in at the Landegem railway station for a 8 km descent of Oude Kale until the Bierstal bridge in Vinderhoute.

The first part of the trip passes the backyards of a couple of houses and the Merendree castle grounds, and is not particularly interesting. We pass under a small bridge in Merendree and as of this point the scenery becomes much more attractive as we now enter the Oude Kale nature reserve. We meet several obstructions caused by fallen trees and have to portage (me) or swim (Evert) in order to get passed.

Around 5 pm we reach the Bierstal bridge and take out after a very enjoyable day with succesful explorations of both Poekebeek and Oude Kale. Both creeks have proven to be quite well suited for packrafts – of course given sufficiently high water levels. We both cannot get over the fact that so close to home, and so close to the hustle and bustle of the city of Ghent, little adventures such as these can apparently be had!

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