Enjoying the Sonian forest is easy from the different Gateways. These gateways are located at the edge of the forest, are easy to reach and are therefore the perfect starting point to discover the forest.
Some hints to reach the Sonian Forest easily:
- Preferably use public transport that brings you quickly and safely to the gateways of the Sonian Forest.
- Cycling to the forest is not only quick, but also pleasant. You can park your bicycle safely in the bicycle sheds at the various gateways.
- Do you want to save energy for a long bike ride in the forest? Think about taking your bike on the train, tram or metro.
- Bear in mind that car parks are often full in the weekend and when the weather is good. Preferably use the large Park & Ride car parks from where you can use public transport to reach the forest.
- Use Google Maps to calculate the best and quickest route from your door to one of the gateways of the Sonian Forest.
On the general map of the Sonian Forest the gateways are marked with large green circles.
Park van Tervuren
Enjoy beautiful views during a walk on the long drives, along the ponds and the impressive buildings. Between Tervuren market and the park, the Visit Tervuren visitor centre in the CC Warandepoort offers information for forest visitors. Those fascinated by culture and history can visit the Africamuseum.
Tervuren Kerk: (5’ walk)
Tervuren Station (10’ walk)
You will find bicycle racks at the reception of Visit Tervuren in CC De Warandepoort.
Underground Parking Markt Tervuren, 220 parking lots
Between the gateways of Park van Tervuren and Jezus-Eik you can find The Geographic Arboretum of Tervuren. A hidden pearl in the Sonian Forest where you can discover more than 400 tree species from all over the world.
Jezus-Eik Kerk (20’ walk)
Eikestraat (20’ walk)
Ravenstein (25’ walk)
Parking De Flos, Jezus-Eik
If you start your visit to the woods at the Groenendaal gate, you will be immersed in the history of the Groenendaal Priory. A visit to the Jan van Ruusbroec Forest Museum and the arboretum should not be missed. The surroundings guarantee a very varied forest excursion. Groenendaal also has a dog area where you can let your dog run free.
Train Station Groenendaal
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The gateway of Groenendaal lies along the cycle path that runs from Hoeilaart to Sint-Genesius-Rode.
The village of Jezus-Eik originated as a place of pilgrimage in the middle of the forest. In the meantime, it has become a place of pilgrimage at the edge of the forest and next to the E411 highway. Today, the many catering establishments serve the forest visitor rather than the pilgrim and the name of the community centre ‘de Bosuil‘ refers to the village’s connection with the forest. The master plan for Jezus-Eik aims to strengthen that bond even further. For example, there is already a large play area.
Nearby you will also find the entrance to the Geographic Arboretum of Tervuren where you can discover more than 400 tree species from all over the world.
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You can leave your bicycle safely in the bicycle shed at GC de Bosuil.
Middenhut is the newest gateway to the Sonian Forest and provides easy access to the forest from Sint-Genesius-Rode. From Middenhut beautiful walks start along lanes and valleys, but also cyclists will have pleasure cycling over there. In Middenhut there is a large new dog area where you can let your dog run free.
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Middenhut is situated along the cycle path that runs from Hoeilaart to Sint-Genesius-Rode.
At Middenhut you can find a large bicycle shed where you can leave your bike safely.
Parking Middenhut, 86 parking lots
Hippodrome de Boitsfort
This gate is closest to the centre of Brussels and is easily accessible by public transport. As the name suggests, you can visit the old horse racing track here, which is now used as a golf course, among other things. Near this historic location, you can visit the nature reserve the valley and the ponds of the Drowned Children.
Train station Boitsfort 10’ walk via drève des Tumuli
Train Station Boondael 20’ walk via drève de Boendael
Parking Hippodrome Boitsfort
Park & Ride Roodebeek, 189 parking lots. From there you can take Tram 8 in the direction of Louiza untill the stop Hippodrome de Boitsfort (25’).
This gate is easily accessible from Brussels by public transport. You can discover the 14th century monastery and its gardens. The exceptional natural value of the area lies mainly in the valley with the Klabots ponds, the Keizersbron and the slopes with their beautiful heath vegetation.
Herrmann-Debroux 10‘ walk via Parc du Bergoje
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Rouge-Cloître (10‘ walk)
Deux Chaussées (10‘ walk)
You can leave you bike safely in the bicycle shed next to the gatehouse.
Park & Ride Herrmann-Debroux under het viaduct, 104 parking lots
Park & Ride Delta, 386 parking lots. From there you take metro line 5 to Herrmann-Debroux.
Parking for persons with reduced mobility : There are some parking lots foreseen for persons with reduced mobility on the site of the Rouge-Cloître.
Domaine Régional Solvay
The Domaine Régional Solvay is designed in English landscape style. Amidst the vast meadows and ponds, you will find La Hulpe Castle, a magnificent structure built in 1842. The castle farm houses the Folon Foundation, a museum with more than 500 works by the Belgian artist Jean-Michel Folon.
La Hulpe, Etangs Solvay:
Train Station La Hulpe
A nice alternative! Travel to the Sonian Forest by train. The distance from La Hulpe station to the edge of the forest via the Domaine Régional Solvay park is only 2 km (25 minutes on foot or 7 minutes by bike) and can be covered on a nice walk or bike ride. It is useful to know that on sunny days and at weekends the car parks are usually full.