A-Cross the 2 (ACT2)
145 Mi.(233 KM)
% Rideable (time)
Berten de Canne
Berten and Stefan both grew up in Flanders, Belgium and both work in the bike industry. They have been biking and bikepacking for many years. In 2017, they created the first bikepacking event/race in Belgium and four surrounding countries: ACT5 (A-Cross the 5), more on www.act5.be
You can find Berten on Instagram @mtbikerfromberendrecht
ACT2 is a short bikepacking loop that starts and ends in Zandvliet, Antwerp (Belgium), and crosses the border with the Netherlands. Therefore it’s called A-Cross the 2 for the two countries and two different landscapes you will be riding in. The majority of the track is off road and the paths are selected with care and precision to give you the best off-road experience of both countries.
A-Cross the 2 is the little brother of the other bikepacking events, A-Cross the 5 and A-Cross the 3. The first of these routes was A-Cross the 5 (ACT5), which is a pure mountain bike event/race across five countries (1,200 km with 19,000 vertical meters through Belgium, France, Luxemburg, Germany, and the Netherlands). Then came its little brother A-Cross the 3 (ACT3), 500 km with 10,000 vertical meters through Belgium, Germany and Luxemburg. Last year ACT2 (Belgium and the Netherlands), was added as an event which was more like a “Bikepacking de Luxe” version with a campsite and a nice restaurant at the midway point.
The ACT2 provides a taste of the sweet dirt tracks and the beauty of mountain biking in Belgium and the Netherlands. You’ll be cycling on the anti-tank canal from the Second World War and see several WWII bunkers. You will ride on nice singletrack trails and on hot days you can take a dip in one of the many ponds and lakes. You can ride it with a mountain bike, which is our preferred choice, but also with a gravel bike. If you are looking for a weekend overnighter, starting and finishing in Antwerp, this is the one!
ACT2 is not a technical or physical difficult route and there is hardly any climbing involved. Most of Flanders and the Netherlands are flat. Navigation wise, you’ll have to pay attention as there are a lot of switches and turns.
Route Development: A year after founding the ACT5, a shorter version, ACT3, was created. In 2019, they created ACT2 as a bikepacking-de-luxe version (participants can chose to go bikepacking style or not). This ACT2 route is now offered to the whole bikepacking community. The original ACT2 route was created as a two-day bikepacking tour, in addition to ACT3 and ACT5. ACT2 is the first part and the last part of the ACT5 route.
- At the start/finish, there’s typical Flemish café (De Leeuw van Vlaanderen), where you can drink some delicious Belgian beers. Santé! (Cheers!)
- WWII bunkers along the start of the route
- SAS 6: a nice little café along the route
- Golem (Work of Art)
- Fort Ertbrand
- Fort van’s Gravenwezel
- Hof ter Mick (gate castle)
- Lookout tower SAS 4
- Roovertsche Leij (restaurant)
- Den Scherpenberg (restaurant)
- Pannenkoekenboot (pancake boat)
- The route can be ridden all year long. Just bear in mind that after a long period of drought, there will be lots of loose sand, which make it more difficult to ride.
- Watch out for ticks on the whole route, this is a high-risk tick area.
- In June-July-August, watch out for pine processionary caterpillars in oak trees.
- Be nice to other trail users (hikers, bikers, horse riders, etc.).
- The starting point is the ‘De Leeuw van Vlaanderen’ inn. You can park your car there.
- Wild camping is not allowed in Belgium or the Netherlands.
- Bivying (arrive late – leave early – leave-no-trace) is kind of a “grey zone.”
- At the turnaround point, there is a campsite with showers (het-ven.nl).
- No need to carry a huge amount of water. There are plenty of opportunities to refill.
- Same goes for food.
- At the turnaround point there is a nice restaurant (inhetwildezwijn.nl), close to the campsite.
- ACT2 also finishes at De Leeuw van Vlaanderen, where you can enjoy a cold beer and/or a hot meal after your ride. More info on deleeuwvanvlaanderen-zandvliet.be