Are you a nature lover who likes cycling but now that you have a child (or more) you think that you must stay at home? Sarah wants to prove you wrong and takes you on an all-terrain trail in the High Fens, all that with a child bike trailer!
42 km/ 56km
My name is Sarah, I’m in my thirties and I’m in a relationship with Samuel, a seasoned sportsman who has always adapted his biking excursions to my low level. We have a little girl, Rosie, who is one and a half years old. Since her birth, we strive to keep active and to combine family/friends, sports and leisure. So we invested in the necessary biking equipment so that Rosie is comfortably seated in all conditions. It also allows me to follow Samuel everywhere by balancing our levels without investing in an electric bike 😉
What gear do you need for a bike ride with your child?
A child bike trailer with good suspension is super important for the comfort and safety of your baby. Sunshade, a rain tarpaulin, and cabin ventilation are some of the details that you must pay attention to when choosing the trailer model that best suits your needs. When riding a bike with a child, you must be prepared for all eventualities so you don’t find yourself in a stressful situation. Food, drinks, nappies, a change of clothes, good shoes, sun hat, cream, repair equipment… better safe than sorry! A nice little extra? a picnic blanket to sit on everywhere and keep dry. Download here our checklist, which includes everything you need to take on a trip with your child.
Where to go for a family bike ride?
There are many beautiful family-friendly bike rides in the Eastern Townships. For some inspiration, visit the Ostbelgien website , and download the Kids on Tour brochure. Did you know that the RAVeL network also goes through the High Fens?
This Saturday, we met with a group of friends for a nice bike ride. We met in Stembert because we are from the region, and were heading to Ovifat to spend the night after the first stage.
If you want to combine the ride with a family weekend in the Ardennes, you could choose to start in Goé and stay in one of our beautiful holiday homes (this would reduce the difficulty of the trail 😉) Such as this house, for example.
Our itinerary for this family outing:
At 11 am, we start our 42 km and 800 m of D+ ride. We leave Stembert in the direction of Hèvremont, it is a good climb to Foyr and Herbiester. With meadows as far as the eye can see, the landscapes are superb. Rosie fell asleep a few minutes after we left and woke up at Herbiester. We took a break so she could stretch her legs. During our outings, we always try to respect Rosie’s rhythm to the maximum, and not to impose ours. This is important so that she does not feel that time is too long in her little caravan.
Then, we got to a more wooded area and headed towards the High Fens Nature Park. At the bottom of the hill, Samuel explains to François that cycling with Rosie allows him to keep his level because even if he rides slower and/or for a shorter time, the extra load he carries adds some difficulty. Unconvinced, François offers to take care of Rosie until dinner. His face at the top was worth it. Conclusion: do not attempt to go on trails where you have to climb a lot if you do not have the fitness level; because those 30 kg extra are not a piece of cake.
In the heart of the High Fens, we took a dinner break. Some in the sun, others sheltered by a tree, with an incredible view, we are just a few kilometres away from home but it feels totally exotic.
Just a little more
A few kilometres further, we feel like we are on a Safari! it’s beautiful, but the thighs start to burn. Rosie amuses the audience by singing in her carriage! We give a last (big) push before arriving at the Park House, an ideal place for children and adults. Located on the highest point of Belgium, the Park House offers, among other things, a large wooden playground that is very well maintained, a permanent exhibition on the High Fens and many craft beers on the menu at the cafeteria! For Rosie, it’s tea time, and for us, it’s already time for an aperitif!
Around 4:30 pm, we get back on the saddle for the last kilometres of our ride until we arrive at our destination for the evening: the Baraque Michel. We booked a table for dinner. The end of a beautiful bike ride in the Ardennes.
If you are looking for a holiday cottage near the Baraque Michel, here is one that can accommodate your family to enjoy a moment of relaxation after such effort.
On Sunday morning, the bike ride continues for our group, even if there is no great difficulty anymore. From Baraque Michel, we head to the small village of Solwaster, then Jalhay via Charneux. Finally, we let ride down to Stembert where our bike journey ends.
- Mainly on bike trails, no major highways
- The variety of landscapes
- The different possible stops for breaks: the Gileppe, High Fens Park House, Baraque Michel, Peak Bear
- Possibility to make a loop when staying in Goé, or to cut the route when staying in Ovifat
- The elevation gain, 800 D+
- The length of the loop if you start from Goé