Wednesday, 1 April 2020
Hallerbos 2020: Top Places to Visit in Belgium

Hallerbos Forest 2020: Bluebells Hyacinth Not to Be Missed

When:
1 April 2020 – 31 May 2020 all-day
2020-04-01T00:00:00+02:00
2020-06-01T00:00:00+02:00
Where:
Halle Forest
Vlasmarktdreef 4
1500 Halle
Cost:
Free
Contact:
Hallerbos

Hallerbos Bluebells Forest and Museum

The Flemish Minister of Environment in collaboration with Nature and Forest of the Flemish government announced that Hallerbos event is cancelled for this year to prevent the spread of the virus. The public is advised not to visit the vicinity to avoid the influx of visitors during this critical period. Source 

Hallerbos is an enchanting blue forest with purple-blue wild hyacinth flowers flourishing all over the place in spring. Also known as bluebells, such flowers are rare in the world and the Halle Forest is one of them. Therefore, the peculiar charm attracts many visitors and photographers worldwide. They flood to the renowned Hallerbos for witnessing the stunning sight during the blooming period around mid-April.

The primary attraction of Hallerbos during spring is certainly the blooming hyacinth flowers. Hence, a walk in the forest is undoubtedly rewarding. The climate condition of the early spring is a key influence in the colouring of the flowers as they undergo several colour phases.

So, the flower blooms are not the same every year. The best time to visit Hallerbos is after mid-April. There are regular updates on the flowering bloom so you can track the progress of the colour change. Visitors can pleasure themselves in the irresistible dense clusters of hyacinths carpeting the whole forest.

Hallerbos is in the municipality of Halle. It is approximately 25 km away from Brussels by driving. The forest has most parts concentrated in the Flemish Brabant. The minority of it is in Walloon Brabant. It is a magnificent forest not to be missed! A truly magical sight!


Hallerbos Rules

Here are some house rules for visitors and photographers to observe strictly.

  1. It is important to always stay on the designated path for photo-taking and filming so as to preserve the nature. The soil and unique vegetation are susceptible to damage by stepping on it.
  2. Plucking the flowers and bringing them back home are forbidden.
  3. For cyclists, there are designated cycling tracks indicated by the signboards.
  4. Professional photoshoots, filming, with or without models ought to request permission through the film counter.
  5. Dogs are welcomed but have to be leashed. 

Tourist Office

The hiking map is available for free in the tourist office from April to September. In the meanwhile, you can also download a digital copy of the walking directory (PDF).

Operating Hours
  • Weekday: 10 h to 16h (Close from 12h to 14h)
  • Weekend: 9h to 12h (Close from 12h to 13h)




Forest Museum

Visitors can also visit the free Forest Museum from 14h to 17h30 on the following dates. The 2020 schedules will be updated nearer to the flowering period in April.

  • Sunday, 07 April 2019
  • Sunday, 14 April 2019
  • Monday, 21 April 2019
  • Tuesday, 22 April 2019
  • Sunday, 28 April 2019
  • Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Exhibition: Spring Bloomers (The Heroes of the Spring)

During autumn, the Forest Museum opens on 6, 13, 20 and 27 October 2019 on Sunday afternoons.

Hallerbos Walking Tours

Hallerbos organises nature walk almost every Sunday of the month around the vicinity of Hallerbos. If you want to explore the tranquil scenery with a tour guide, check out the theme and time from their Event Calendar and contact the relevant person-in-charge. The guided tours are conducted in the Dutch language.



Volunteers Wanted in 2020

The Government of Flanders strives to protect and enhance the development of nature.

  • Date:  April to May 2020 (Bluebells Flowering Season)
  • Time: Flexible

Agentschap Natuur en Bos (ANB) – Agency of Nature and Forest is seeking volunteers @ Halle Forest who can give a few hours of their time over the weekend to ensure a green and peaceful environment. Volunteering time is flexible. Dutch fluency is necessary and knowledge of other languages is an asset. There are generally two types of volunteers but there could be other types of job delegations as well.

  1. The first group is the Ushers which welcome visitors to Hallerbos. They make sure that the visitors do not stay off from the designated paths and walk onto the forest ground due to the highly vulnerable flowers and vegetation.
  2. The second group is the Parking Attendants to direct the parking.

What can ANB offer you?

  • Work in an enchanting nature of Flanders
  • Enhance social interactions with other volunteers who share your interests
  • Material required to execute the task would be available

There will be voluntary insurance for the volunteers throughout the course of volunteering.

Are you interested?

☞ Fill up the form before 1 March 2020.

The management will contact you within two weeks. Alternatively, you can contact Groenendaal Regional Office.

  • Email:  groenendaal.anb@vlaanderen.be
  • Tel: 02 658 24 60
  • Hours: Monday to Friday (08h30 to 15h30)

There is also an info session on 18 March 2020 (Wednesday) at 7 pm @ Bosmuseum – Vlasmarktdreef 4, 1500 Halle.

Free Hallerbos Shuttle Bus Service During Weekend

The Vlasmarktdreef is closed on the mentioned dates below in 2019 from the Nijvelsesteenweg. Cars will have no access to Parking 2, 3 and 8. However, there will be free shuttle bus services from Halle Station to Hallerbos Forest during the bloom period of the wild hyacinths. The bus will stop at Hallerbos P8 Achtdreven as shown in the Google Maps below.

  • 2019 April: 13 & 14, 20 & 21 and 27 & 28
  • 2019 May: 1

There are 2 pick-up points:

  1. Halle Station and
  2. End of Welkomstlaan

The first bus departs the station at 09h00 and runs every 30 minutes. The last bus leaves at 19h30.  Each bus has 85 available seats. You can park along Welkomstlaan.





 

Public Transport to Halle Forest

Take a train and arrive at STATION HALLE.

Weekday

BUS 114

Visitors can take a 9 minutes bus ride from (A) Halle Station Bus Stop and alight at (J) Halle Vlasmarkt Bus Stop.

  • Walk 4 minutes to Bosmuseum (Forest Museum) from the bus stop.
  • Walk 3 more minutes to the Hallerbos Entrance from the Bosmuseum.

Take note that the transport company for Bus 114 is TEC and not DE LIJN. There are several bus stops around Halle Train Station. So, remember to go to the correct station so that you can find Bus 114 (TEC) easily. Note that this service only operates on the weekday.

There seems to be no bus route of 114 in Google Maps from Halle Station to Halle Vlasmarkt. Therefore, I decided to customise my own map. I marked all the bus stations of 114 from the starting point to the destination accordingly with the help of TEC app (Google Play Store) to ensure accuracy. Alternatively, the Bus Schedule for Bus 114 (PDF) can be downloaded.

Please click on the top left-hand corner of Google Maps to get more detail. The coloured icons will provide some other information as well upon clicking.

Weekend and Public Holiday

The journey of Bus 114 takes 9 minutes to arrive at Hallerbos. Unfortunately, the short route for this bus service is not available over the weekend. Thus, visitors will have to take a bus that runs on a longer distance. There are two available bus numbers operated by De Lijn to go Hallerbos over the weekend.

BUS 156

This bus service runs hourly.

Note: I have monitored the Google Maps below for a week ever since my uploads of the maps. For Bus 156, if you check the map of this post during the weekday, it will only reflect the Bus 114 bus route instead. Likewise, if you check the map after the operating hours at night, the map will display bus route of 153. As a result, the bus journey of 156 will only show if you see this post over the weekend.

  • Take the bus from Halle Station Perron 4. Alight at Lembeek Congo (20 stops). The travelling time is approximately 20 minutes.
  • Walk 20 minutes (1.5 km) from the bus stop to the entrance of Hallerbos located at Vlasmarktdreef 4.

 



BUS 155

This bus service runs hourly.

  • Take the bus from Halle Station Perron 3. Alight at Essenbeek Mooi Vergezicht (14 stops). The travelling time is approximately 16 minutes.


  • According to Google Maps below, the walking distance is approximately 37 minutes for 3 km. Hallerbos official website mentioned that it took 15 minutes to walk from Essenbeek Mooi Vergezicht via the road Hogebermweg ‘P1’ which is probably a shortcut.

I have not figured out how one could reach the Hallerbos entrance in 15 minutes time. Between Bus 156 and 155, it seems that Bus 156 is a better choice of public transportation over the weekend to save time from walking for more than 30 minutes. It is also more convenient for people who have young children.

Remember to share the event with your friend or on social media so that more people can discover the Bellbell Forest which is a Pride of Belgium!

*Check out more stunning places to visit in Belgium every month!





About Live in Belgium

Hello, my name is MissSJ. I am a Singaporean. I am living with my Belgian partner since July 2016 in a cosmopolitan city, Antwerp. However, I had been travelling to and fro Belgium since 2011 as a tourist. The creation of this blog is to document my new journey in Belgium which I would like to call 'home'. Join me in discovering fascinating Belgium from the eyes of an expat.

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