About 20 minutes by car south and east of Brussels, there’s a vast network of trails that are wonderful for running in the Forêt de Soignes (Sonian Forest). This 10,000+ acre, mainly wooded area consists of numerous sections: the actual Sonian Forest, two arboretums, Park van Tervuren, the Hippodrome of Groenendael, & more. Each of these areas has a network of walking trails and several marked loops. This overview map is helpful. Use this link to see the themed walks for the major areas. Each of the walks has its own trail map. Here are some running recommendations for each of the main areas:
Park van Tervuren. There are marked walks in the park that are lovely for running. At the northern end, there are some lovely, open landscaped paths starting at the Royal Museum for Central Africa. South of there it’s mainly wooded.
Tervuren Arboretum. This is the highlight of running in the Forêt de Soignes. A combination of majestic avenues, and a dense network of footpaths that cross a varied, hilly landscape covered with deciduous and coniferous forests with occasional open grasslands. A great run here is the 7 km paved Royal Walk (De Koninklijke Wandeling).
Sonian Forest. The area west of the RD Highway and south of the E411. Many km of forested walking paths lovely for running. There is a vast number of trails, so there are many jogging options. Some trails are more rugged, and there are also straight alées through rows of beech trees. There are also marked 5k (green), 10k (blue), and 20k (red) loops, all visible from a panel at the ADEPS Center (sports center). There are wonderful sporting facilities in the park, as well. Showers available at ADEPS for a modest fee.
- Multiple mileage options, with many marked loops. In the Sonian Forest, there are marked 5k, 10k, 20k maps
- ADEPS Center or other gateway such as the Arboretum or Tervuren
- Bus 72 leads to the ADEPS Center; Metro: Herrmann-Debroux