Belgian design studio has created a circular track called Cycling Through The Trees as part of the cycling network in the province of Limburg.
As its name suggests, Cycling Through The Trees is a raised path that takes cyclists up to a height of 10 metres above the ground so that they can ride amongst the treetops.
Built for tourism organisation Visit Limburg in the Pijnven nature reserve, the structure is a double circle that is 100 metres in diameter. The three metre wide path is almost 700 metres long and rises at a gentle gradient to a height of 10 metres before descending back to the forest floor.
The designers created the structure to enable people to engage with the forest, being mindful that the attraction should have the least possible impact on its surroundings. To reduce the impact on the forest, the structure was built using a single crane that was mounted at the centre of the circle. The weathering steel structure was built with screw pile foundations meaning that no concrete was used.
Several trees did have to be felled and these were incorporated into a rest stop built near the attraction.
The unusual visitor attraction was designed to be a magical experience for those cycling through the nature reserve near the town of Hechtel-Eksel. "The nice thing about the construction is the round spiral shape. Cycling around in combination with cycling in height has something magical," said the design team. "It seems as if visitors are becoming children again. You often see visitors who drive around several times. Moreover, the ride of 600 meters is quite pleasant and not too hard, even if your condition is not too good."
We are at a moment when humans around the globe are seeking socially distanced solace in open-air spaces and, out of the awfulness of the pandemic, we have at least more deeply understood and appreciated the importance - both mentally and physically - of green spaces. More...