To promote sustainable tourism, Belgian studios BuroLandschap and De Gregorio & Partners worked together to launch the Cycling Through The Trees project.
As the name implies, Cycling Through The Trees is an elevated path in Limburg, Belgium, that takes cyclists up to a height of 10 meters (32 feet) above the ground. The unique experience gives them a stunning 360-degree view of the entire forest and the feeling of riding amongst the treetops.
The double circle structure is 100 meters in diameter and was built for the tourism organization Visit Limburg. Its path is three meters wide and is almost 700 meters long. It climbs to a height of 10 meters before descending back to the forest floor.
Cycling Through The Trees was developed to encourage people to engage with the forest. And since promoting sustainable tourism was one of the main goals, the designers ensured the attraction had minimal impact on its surroundings.
To achieve that, they used a single crane mounted at the center of the circle to build the structure. They also didn’t use any concrete to install the weathering steel columns. Instead, they used screw pile foundations.
While several trees had to be felled, these were used to decorate a rest stop built near the attraction.
“The most important thing for us was to build a structure with the lowest possible impact on the environment and the sensitive nature present,” BuroLandschap founder Pieter Daenen explained. “This was the starting point!”
“The trees were of course very important,” he added. “After all, cycling through the trees would no longer make sense if trees were damaged or destroyed after the construction of the structure.”
The feat wasn’t easy to achieve for something as enormous as the attraction, but the designers succeeded, anyway.
With its spiral shape and elevated structure, those cycling through the nature reserve would surely enjoy a magical experience while exploring the natural landscape.
“It seems as if visitors are becoming children again. You often see visitors who drive around several times. Moreover, the ride of 600 meters is quite pleasant and not too hard, even if your condition is not too good,” said Daenan.
The weathered steel columns used for the deck and supports have a browny orange color meant to mimic the appearance of the pine trunks in the forest.
Daenan said brown is the color of the earth, so it would certainly blend well in the environment. And judging by the results, he was absolutely right. The brown weathered steel columns seamlessly integrated into its surroundings.
Aside from supporting sustainable tourism, the Cycling Through The Trees project aims to bring people into the Bosland forest. A rise in visitors and inhabitants will ensure that the environment is preserved.
“These people also help advance the local economy,” Daenan said. “Governments are also enthusiastic about this and are convinced that forests can also offer economic added value. As a result, they will also support the conservation of the forests more.”
Scroll through the gallery below to see more photos of this stunning cycling path in Belgium.