Neerpelt, De Malpie nature reserve and Leende

Pelt, Flanders, Belgium

Cycling route: 137341

Provided by:

56.7 km
03:20 h
999 kcal
42 m


This route takes you around the Achelse Kluis, leading you through the vast nature of the border region through special areas such as De Malpie. Along the way you will enjoy delicious Trappist beer.
After a nice stretch of cycling through the woods it is soon time for a snack and a drink. There are tempting things on the menu in the inn of St. Benedict's Abbey, better known as the Achelse Kluis. Achelse Trappist of course, but also Trappist ice cream with real butter. From the inn you can look through a large window at the spacious stainless steel tanks in the brewery. We work with the recipes of Brother Thomas, who made his mark in the Trappist monasteries of Westmalle, Westvleteren and Orval. Sounding names for beer lovers - Westvleteren may be less known to most people, but a few years ago it was declared the best beer in the world. Brother Thomas knew exactly what it should be for the Achelse Kluis: a light and thirst-quenching beer that still tastes characteristic enough. A pure beer, matching the simple character of the abbey, without artificial flavors or sugar. The land on which the abbey stands has been a religious site for centuries. A border chapel was built nearby in 1656. It was the end of the religious wars. Catholics from the Protestant Netherlands were allowed to hold their worship services here, just across the border. In the 17th century, Petrus van Eijnatten from Eindhoven founded a community of hermits: the Achelse Kluis. The Trappist monks of Westmalle founded the St. Benedict Abbey on this site in 1846. The small community of monks that remains today now relies on the sale of Achel's Trappist beer for its income. The abbey cannot be visited and the church is only accessible to attend the celebrations. The beautiful reception chapel next to the entrance to the guest house in the forecourt is accessible. Take a look before you leave. The Achelse Kluis is located on the border between the Netherlands and Belgium, the border line runs straight across the driveway. The abbey is located in a remote corner, as befits hermits. You will find extensive nature reserves all around. We only have to cross the road and we drive straight into the Leenderbos, a large forest and heath area that extends from the abbey all the way to the road between Leende and Valkenswaard, 7 kilometers away. Until the 1970s, the Achelse Kluis was a large agricultural company that employed about 100 monks, who provided a good income. When this became increasingly unprofitable, the brewery was founded to create new sources of income. Most agricultural lands were sold at the end of the twentieth century to the Flemish Region and Staatsbosbeheer, depending on the country where the land was located. The old agricultural lands were largely returned to nature. For example, the canalized river Tongelreep has been filled in to make way for a naturally winding stream. But in the Leenderbos you can still find a number of old camps: the former fields on the heath, surrounded by oak walls that were supposed to protect the crops against cattle and drifting sand. The Malpie nature reserve further away is very different from the Leenderbos, much more humid and rolling. The sand ridges date from the Ice Age. The wind then blew the sand away in some places, only to blow it into a pile further down the road. In this way, a whole series of small hills were created, with beautiful fens in the bowls. Meandering along the cycle paths you always have a different view of it. You drive back to the starting point along Neerpelt.
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Height Profile

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Below you will find various suggestions for breaks that you can visit during your route. These are divided into different categories, making it easy for you to choose.


# Description Distance
Forte (Forte, 3910, Pelt, Flanders, Belgium) 0.00 km
Dienst Toerisme gemeente Pelt (3910, Pelt, Flanders, Belgium) 0.35 km
241 (Boonskuilstraat, 3910, Pelt, Flanders, Belgium) 1.39 km
220 (Maststraat, 3910, Pelt, Flanders, Belgium) 1.53 km
220 (Maststraat, 3910, Pelt, Flanders, Belgium) 1.67 km
221 (Bergeiksendijk, 3910, Pelt, Flanders, Belgium) 2.98 km


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