A good three million (3 267 826)! That is the total figure recorded by the three regional landscapes in Limburg on more than 2,000 km of hiking trails in the Covid 19 year 2020. In 2019, that figure was still two million (2 142 559). An increase of no less than 50 percent that applies to all hiking areas. Despite the closure of major hiking areas during the first lockdown and the ban on tourism during the blossom period, there is still a gigantic increase. People have (re)discovered nature and make full use of the hiking infrastructure that the area has to offer.
The RiverPark Maasvallei, along the Belgian-Dutch border from Maastricht to Kessenich, accounted for more than 200 000 hikers (202 720). The Stokkem hiking area (Dilsen-Stokkem) is the most popular with 42 000 hikers (41 988). The most striking increase is in Oud-Rekem where we count more than double the number of hikers (14 015) in 2021 compared to 6 748 in 2020. Since August, we have also been measuring on the Dutch side of the Meuse. There we already counted 23 104 hikers in just under six months, including on the brand new Long Distance Walk along the Meuse (137 km), which has been nominated for 'best hiking route of the Benelux 2021'.
In the Grenspark Kempen~Broek, a 25 000 ha nature reserve on the border of both provinces of Limburg and Noord-Brabant, we counted 195 286 hikers. An increase of 54 percent compared to 2019. Most hikers are seen in the heart of the Border Park. The wet marshes of Stramprooierbroek (Kinrooi) provide an increase of 240 percent.