Who hasn't heard of them? The GR hiking trails, the Grandes Randonnées, the long distance paths ?
In and even far beyond Europe you will encounter them. You almost always recognise them by the white-red and yellow-red stripes in the most beautiful and the most interesting places. Some of these trails are a few thousand kilometers long and take you through several countries and regions. Some are famous and notorious, like the GR 5 that goes all the way from the North Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, or the GR 20 in Corsica, or the GR 10 crossing the French Pyrenees from coast to coast. It takes a lot of preparations and often several years to completely walk those trails. Some even do it in one go, spending several months to reach their destination.
But you can also do it in a much easier way, and a lot closer to home. All it takes is now and then one day or half a day to go walking. In Belgium there are over 8000 km of GR trails signposted, 5000 of them situated in Wallonia and Brussels alone. Maybe you live on one of those trails without even knowing it. You certainly never need to travel far to find a trail.
Years ago we started walking the GR trails in Belgium. First in Flanders, then in Wallonia. In no time we were completely hooked. As a result we had found a healthy, relaxing, cheap and eco-friendly hobby. Not alone that, we also got to know are own little country a lot better, because behind every bend in the road there was always something new to be seen or to experience.
The hobby soon became a passion, and we were all too eager to share it with other hikers. We did that during 8 years with the lumaj.be website. Later we replaced it with the current walkitech.be website, and that's still the place where we meet today.
In all those years our feet have touched upon most of the GR trails in Belgium. But time never stands still, and neither do the GR trails. They keep changing and evolving, and as a result many of our hiking reports were not up-to-date anymore and even hopelessly obsolete. So we deleted them, just to avoid giving wrong information to our visitors. We now restrict the time our hiking reports remain available online, to maximum 5 years. And in the meantime we keep walking, sometimes revisiting GR trails we completed long ago, but also discovering GR's we never tackled up to now.
All our reports are grouped by GR, with first a general overview, and then the hike-after-hike reports.
The reports focuss primarily on our impressions and experiences during the hikes. Don't look for road descriptions. You'll find those in the topoguides that are sold by the GR organisations via their websites. For Flanders that is groteroutepaden.be, for Wallonia grsentiers.org (on both websites you can download the gpx-tracks of the GR trails for free). The downside is that those websites are respectively only written in Flemish (Dutch) and French.
The reports also show photos to give you a visual idea of the hike, and a map showing the itinerary. And finally, we also tell you how we organised the walks using public transportation, and - if necessary - with cheap sleeping accomodation.
Public transportation still is one our hobbyhorses. Please use our public transportation means ! Even if they're not always functioning smoothly and on time, you'll be amazed at where you can get by bus, tram and/or train. The environment, your footprint and the generations to come will be grateful to you. And who knows, if we start using the public transportation means massively, our politicians might become inclined to invest in an efficient and future-oriented mobility system (as do most of our neighbouring countries and cities). Apparently, they're not competent enough to see that need by themselves.
See you on one of the GR trails in Belgium?