Experience and discover
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The ‘Schulensmeer’ visitors’ centre is located in the vast ‘Schulensbroek’, on the largest man-made lake in Flanders. For centuries, ‘Schulensbroek’ was one large natural floodplain, which was under water several times a year. The fertile land proved appealing to farmers. The ‘Schulensmeer’ was dug in the mid-1970s for the construction of the E314 motorway and as a back-up basin to collect excess water from the River Demer.
While the area is a top location for bird lovers, where no less than 250 different bird species have been spotted, water sports enthusiasts, hikers, cyclists and epicureans can equally indulge themselves there.
What is there to do?
Sports on and alongside the water
The ‘Schulensmeer’ is the ideal location for various water sports. You can come here with your own or rented equipment to surf, sail, sup, kayak, raft or row. Beach volleyball, jogging, mountain biking, team games, geocaching or kubbing are also possible. Fishing boats equally welcome, subject to registration. Sports and nature camps are regularly organised during the holidays.
Nature and sports centre
The nature and sports centre is not only the place you can turn to with all your questions, you will also find an exhibition about the ‘Schulensbroek’ there. Nature walks or courses are organised on a regular basis. Schools can visit the centre for workshops and themed walks. Even children's parties are held there. And with binoculars, you can spot rare birds from the roof viewing tower. You can also recognize them using the handy spotter cards.
A wide range of group activities and facilities are available at the ‘Schulensmeer’, ranging from sports days, teambuilding days, meeting rooms, guided hikes, right through to natural arts and crafts workshops. Even birthday parties are possible!
All information on fishing on the ‘Schulensmeer’ is available from the ‘Verenigde Vissers Schulensmeer’ fishing club.
A chance to clear away the cobwebs while hiking around the ‘Schulensmeer’ or to discover the beautiful nature of ‘Schulensbroek’ … It's all possible with the various signposted hiking trails that start at the ‘Schulensmeer’ nature and sports centre. Find your favourite route on www.wandeleninlimburg.be
buy the hiking map
Hiking areas nearby
The ‘Schulensmeer’ is located on the Limburg cycling route network that connects the entire region. The cycling map is available from the UiTbalie. If you prefer the signposted cycling loop, then select one of the cycling loops through the ‘Wijers’ with the ‘Wijers’ cycling map or ask the UiTbalie for the 'Populierenroute' (Poplars’ Route). Bikes can be rented via www.toerismelimburg.be/nl/fietsservice
buy the cycling map
Food & Drink
You can enjoy the tranquillity and vast nature south of the ‘Schulensmeer’. No fewer than five watercourses – the Demer, the Gete, the Herk, the Mangelbeek and the Velpe – come together here and form a large swamp area, the ‘Schulensbroek’. With all that water, the vast meadows and numerous water and meadow birds, the polders do not seem far away. Discover this oasis of tranquillity and greenery via the signposted hiking trails that start from the ‘Schulensmeer’ nature and sports centre or from the 'old tower' in Schulen.
On the other side of the railway is the welcoming ‘Lummensbroek’, where fish-farming ponds were dug in the 1970s. Several hiking trails lead you through the area full of birds, dragonflies and amphibians. You start from the idyllic ‘Kleen Meulen’. On the way, you will also find a bird observation cabin.
The ‘Schulensmeer’ is adjacent to ‘Webbekoms Broek’ on the way to Diest. Since the end of the last century, ‘Webbekoms Broek’ has been a controlled flood area of 240 hectares. From the visitors' centre on the ‘Halve Maan’ in Diest, you will discover this area full of reed beds and woods.
Domein van de Duizendjarige Eik
For centuries, this tree has been on display in Lummen. It is a silent witness to a rich past. The grounds are freely accessible for picnicking, hiking or enjoying the tranquillity. An educational package and facilities are provided for schools.