When you ride down this bike path in a woods in rural Belgium, the path gradually rises in the air—and at its highest point, around 32 feet above the ground, propels you through the canopy of pine trees. The path, called Cycling through the Trees , is one of a handful of breathtakingly unique experiences that the Belgian government has created to draw people to the countryside and get them on bikes. “With these projects, we want to increase the interaction even more with the natural beauty of our landscapes while cycling,” says Igor Philtjens, the regional minister of tourism and chairman of the tourism agency Visit Limburg , who led the creation of the new path through the forest. In a region that was once known for coal mining, the trees in this forest were originally planted for use in the mines. By clearing away some of the coniferous trees—not native to this area—the new bike path helps make room for some native trees to come back. But the construction process also avoided any unnecessary impacts on the trees, with a design that could be built from pieces made in an off-site workshop and then assembled, Lego-like, in […]

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