The Hoge Kempen National Park, in the Belgian province of Limburg, is a unique nature reserve where more than 5,700 ha of forest and heathland are managed and protected. The area stretches across the municipalities of Dilsen-Stokkem, Maasmechelen, Zutendaal, Lanaken, Genk and As.
It is the natural 'highlight' of the Regionaal Landschap Kempen en Maasland (Kempen and Maasland Regional Landscape), known for its unique Cycle Route network.
The Hoge Kempen National Park was officially opened on 23 March 2006. Meanwhile, the National Park has six entrance gates that serve as starting points for your visits to this area.
Numerous partners have been invited to help create the Hoge Kempen National Park.
- Municipal and provincial councils.
- Flemish authorities: infrastructure works for defragmentation, purchase of forest and heathland
- Municipal, regional and provincial tourism services: promotion of the National Park.
- Nature and environmental associations: involvement of local people, through voluntary land management, among others
- Catering entrepreneurs are the economic linchpins of the project, and Tourism Flanders plays a decisive role in stimulating the project as an example of sustainable tourism.
In order to have all these partners and players consult and cooperate, the non-profit association Regionaal Landschap Kempen en Maasland has been commissioned to set up a PROJECT BUREAU. People from various backgrounds (nature, recreation, tourism, communication, etc.) work together on a common policy for the National Park. This is reflected, among other things, in an unequivocal communication strategy and a recognisable layout of the Hoge Kempen National Park and its gates.
The Project Bureau organises the necessary consultations, sources new (financial) possibilities and creates new opportunities for the various partners.
Since March 2008, the operation of the project bureau has been financed by the Flemish Government’s Agency for Nature and Forests.