If you prefer cycling to hiking, then As railway station is the ideal starting point for a bike ride in and around the National Park! The mining past is never far away here either: the 31m tall watch tower is a replica of the drilling rig in As by means of which André Dumont discovered the first coal in Limburg in 1901.
What is there to do?
For years, As railway station played a central role in coal mining in this region, because it was from there that the many miners and coal trucks left for the nearby mines in Eisden, Waterschei and Winterslag. Now you'll find the narrowest visitors' lounge in the National Park in a restored railway carriage.
A bit further down, you'll spot a 31-meter-tall watch tower, a replica of the drilling rig which André Dumont used to discover the first coal in Limburg. This gives you a panoramic view over the station site and the surrounding National Park.
The former station of As is now a welcoming café where you can still breathe in the atmosphere of yesteryear. The platform serves as a terrace.
Via the 1300m long narrow-gauge railway you can enjoy a tour on a miniature train through the Driebankenbos and past the watchtower of the Hoge Kempen National Park. Fun for children and their parents!
For timetable: www.stationas.be
Station As is the ideal starting point for a cycle tour through the National Park and is situated at junction 41.
Bicycles can be hired from Easter to September during the opening hours of the visitors' centre. Information and reservations via www.fietsparadijslimburg.be, bicycles must always be reserved online.
Range of hikes
Hikers are also amply catered for at As railway station. The hiking area has ten hiking loops, three of which start at the entrance gate. The other loops are accessible from pick-up places nearby.
In a nutshell:
- pine forests
- geological wall
- brook valley
- steep slopes
Opening hours of the visitors' centre:
- 01/04 - 30/09: Tuesday to Friday: from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday: from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
- 01/07 - 31/08: every working day from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday: from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Sunday: from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
How to reach
Nearest bus stop: As Station (Bus 9 or 11 from Genk Station)
Parking As Station (Stationsstraat 124, 3665 As)
Parking vrijetijdscampus As (Schuttenbergstraat 2, 3665 As)