A vagabond on a bicycle? It is possible! The Vagabond route forms a 57 kilometre circuit crossing the four prisons of the Noorderkempen.
The Rijksstrafinrichting (state penal institution) of Merksplas, with its prison buildings, beautiful chapel and state farm, scenic lanes and vagabonds' cemetery, is a mandatory stop on the route. As is the former Rijksweldadigheidskolonie (state beneficence colony) of Wortel. Both are in a lush green setting. The Rijkevorsel-Achtel chapel, the Saint Catharine church, the beguinage and the Hoogstraten town hall, the Graafsbos (domain of the earl) and Carons Hofke (municipal park) in Merksplas and the Turnhout Wetlands offer even more glamorous charm.
The route is signposted with white hexagonal signs with ‘landlopersroute’ (vagabond route) on them.
- Merksplas-Kolonie (colony)
- Wortel-Kolonie (colony)
Location: Hoogstraten, Rijkevorsel, Merksplas and Turnhout.
Starting point: Landloperskapel (vagabond chapel), Kapelstraat, 2330 Merksplas
You can find more information on the website.