The H-word: Heppenbach Trail

‘No!’ the kids shouted in despair. ‘Not a hike!’ Their faces fell collectively when we told them the bad news that we were going to take a hike in the woods. Do your kids react this way when they hear the H-word? We found the solution in the Eifel region, in the beautiful east of Belgium.

It’s weird. Sitting at the table is difficult and they rarely talk without swinging at least one of their legs around. Children love to move, you would be inclined to think. But hiking doesn’t seem to count as moving. We tried all kinds of approaches. Like denying something is a hike. (‘No honey, we ‘re not hiking, we’re just looking at a tree, see?’). But just like it didn’t work when we told them spinach is not a vegetable, this didn’t work either.

That’s why we were so happy to meet Gitte from De Lanterfanter, a local of the beautiful Eifel region. She told us we should definitely walk the Heppenbach Trail. To avoid suspicion, we explained to the kids there was some very cool stuff going on over there in the woods – it was vague but efficient.

Theatre in the woods

So on a crispy cold winterday we took to the east of the country and dove into the woods with Felix, Alexander, Lucy and Mirtha. First their was a little grumpiness, but that swiftly changed when we encountered one surprise after the other.

Like a tree with faces! And a theatre in the middle of the woods, where the girls gave an impro performance with a squirrel and a rabbit as supporting actresses. The boys were not so drawn to the podium, so they were happy to serve as an audience.

The wooden deer

When we stood eye to eye with the XL wooden deer, we were all very impressed. Luckily some passersby were kind enough to help our children climb on the back of the elegant animal, and back off again, because we were simply too tiny.

In total there ‘s eleven art installations to experience along the route. They make you look at the surrounding nature just a bit differently, trigger your imagination or provide you with a magical moment, like the hut with the intriguing soundscape.

Afterwards our car got stuck in the mud. Only hours later we made it back to our holiday home. The owner got worried and wanted to start a search for us. The kids still talk about it, how we just went for a hike and it all became a big adventure. From now on the stakes are high, whenever we say the H-word.

Feel like staying a bit longer in the area? De Lanterfanter is a great place to stay with the kids.


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