Up until a few decades ago mines were a dominant feature of the Belgian-Dutch-German border country. The Green Route, awarded three stars by the German Cyclists’ Federation, links these industrial monuments as part of the region’s new focus on nature.
Cyclists along this route can experience the landscape in an exhilarating new light. Stretching from Düren in Germany to Beringen in Belgium, this was once one of the biggest coalfields in Europe. Evidence of this mining heritage is still visible in many places. There are miners’ estates, old palaces and museums along the route. Every now and then you come across a disused colliery that has been turned into beautiful parkland. The restored winding towers near Genk are a sight to behold; Hasselt is home to the biggest Japanese garden in Europe and the ‘Nature & Culture Park’.
Terrain: a predominantly flat route running through a system of major intersections. Some hilly sections with short steep gradients. Mainly on asphalt or crushed brick/stone and mostly traffic- free.
Scenery: traversing three countries, the Green Route runs through meadows, fields and pastureland, past leafy and wooded recreation areas and waterways, former colliery sites and slagheaps.