Torhout's green lungs: Wijnendale Forest and Aertrycke Provincial Domain



18.7 km
102 m

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Description by the author

West of the north-south axis through Roeselare to the coast there is not much forest, especially in the northern part of the province . Therefore, this region near Torhout seems to be the first green lung of the coastal region.

On this hike, you can still fully enjoy the small forest that the region has to offer . If you want, you can go on a day trip : first a visit to Wijnendaele Castle , then Aertrycke Castle, where you can enjoy a (large) lunch at Koetshuys.

We start at the Wijndendalebos car park . It is also possible to arrive by public transport .

We enter the Fonteinpad and soon reach the Chapel of Our Lady. A little further we pass the entrance to the ice house.

So far the trees have obscured the view, but a little further we have a nice view of Wijnendale Castle. We continue along the Fonteinpad and now have to go up the slope that forms the Ruidenberg ahead. Right then left we cross the field to the Roopipe reservoir and fountain with its Grade I listed fountain house. This is where the Brunnenbach rises.

We leave the forest on the cobbled road and reach the chapel of the Sisters Clarastraat. We walk down the street and turn into Fonteinstraat . We pass a Carving Koen totem pole and a covered picnic area. We are now 5 km away.

We walk to the edge of the forest and turn left twice to return. Turn right to the Wulvedreef, named after the Wulvemote. At the end we reach a picnic area at the Planterijdreef playground . We follow him back to the parking lot.

We follow the car park parallel to the Oostendestraat to the left, cross it and take the Breestraat . The Breestraat becomes the Smissestraat and this leads us to the old railway line 62.

We turn onto Consciencestraat and turn left onto Aertrycke Castle Road. At the edge of the forest we turn left and a little further we enter the forest . We cross this straight ahead and reach the edge again, where we turn right. On the left we see the burial chapel of the Aertrycke family. We can go to the alley that leads directly to the chapel, but unfortunately this is private.

We return and come to a foothill of the castle pond. The path leads us through the landscape park to the neoclassical nave. If we go down the stairs briefly, we see the footbridge under the house. We take a walk around the castle to admire the front, crossing the bridge and past the old bath house.

Past the historic round pigeon tower we reach Koetshuys , which is now a brasserie and fondue restaurant with a brasserie . We're still getting there to a playground and exit the domain. let us continue from Moubeek to the old railway line, the green 62. In the distance we see the estate of Verloren Kost . When we reach the old railway line, we first make a detour to the old Wijnendale railway station . It was demolished and replaced with a modern brasserie.

We go back and follow the old railway line until we turn right into Steenveldstraat and further left at the chapel into Hillestraat . Here we are at an altitude of 39 m and on a clear day we can see the blunt Kemmelberg triangle 40 km away on the horizon.

We now enter through a sunken stretch of road, which is unusual in the region. Here, to the left, on a natural amphitheater meadow, Rock Torhout, the first day of the legendary two-day Tornhout/Werchter Rock Festival from 1982 to 1995, was at its peak.

When we reach the buildings , we turn right onto a path. Further on, after the last house, the path becomes single-track between fields and forests. Another beautiful piece of nature and a breath of fresh air before returning to the busy Oostendestraat, the end of the walk.


Also, check out the sightseeing information while you're there. They tell you what you can see!


Source: Willem Vandenameele

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