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The junction node system: Hiking by numbers

It could hardly be easier: Plan your hiking trip according to your fitness level and the time available with the help of the junction node system for hiking tours in East Belgium. Even without knowledge of the area or a detailed hiking map, all you have to do is to enjoy the landscape!


Orientation made revolutionarily simple thanks to the junction node system

The junction node system for hiking tours comes from Flanders, where it is very popular and widespread. At the end of the 1980s, Hugo Bollen, a Flemish engineer from Limburg developed a completely new orientation system. The nodes were first developed for cycle paths and later transferred to walking routes, which are connected to each other at the crossing points (nodes) by means of a number. The aim of the node system is to simplify orientation.

What is the junction node system?

The classic signposting of hiking routes (long-distance hiking trails or themed trails for instance) has a decisive disadvantage: the same few routes are used over and over again whilst others are left aside. In the junction node system, each junction point has its own number. These numbers can be found on a map in the online hiking route planner. On site, they can be seen on wooden posts that are placed at many crossroads. With this system by numbers, everyone can now plan their own hiking tour by arranging the numbers according to their wishes about the length and difficulty of the tour. This gives the junction node system users a variety of possibilities to plan their routes.

Discover the route planner


How does it work?


At the spots where two or more hiking trails meet, a "junction point" has been given a number. On the signs, these numbers are depicted with a white circle on a green background. Hikers can choose any of these starting points and plan their route accordingly. With the practical digital route planner "GO Ostbelgien", junctions can be connected and round trips and routes can thus be designed individually within a very short time. This route planner is available at here or as a smartphone app: "GO Eastbelgium". In addition, a printed junction map will appear in spring 2020.

Example of a hike according to the honeycomb network

To the following nodes (15.7 km):
​77 (0 km) > 78 (3,9 km) > 93 (4,6 km) > 5 (6,6 km) > 23 (8,8 km) > 21 (10,8 km) > 37 (13,9 km) > 77 (15,7 km)

The sequence of node-numbers should be noted or remembered in the correct order. Then, one could go to the self-chosen starting point and simply follow the signs to the next node. There are junction signs and intermediate signs to lead hikers. At the junctions, several directional alternatives are possible. The intermediate signs only point into one direction, namely the direction of the next junction.

The big advantage is that you can decide yourself how far you want to walk. You can also shorten, lengthen or reschedule the route at any time, depending on your wishes. This way, you can experience customized hiking routes in East Belgium. You quickly get to know the most beautiful paths and no longer run the risk of getting lost.

Everything understood? Then plan your first hiking tour according to junctions:


Pleasure tours by numbers

For all those who do not want to plan their tour themselves, we provide pleasure tours through East Belgium. These represent a selection of the most beautiful hiking routes in East Belgium, some of them are based on the junction node system.

Further possibilities for hiking in East Belgium are offered by the GR long-distance hiking trails, as well as other permanently marked routes, such as the cross-border tours, which include the "Route of Commemoration" or the "Grenzrouten" (cross-border routes).


This is what the junction node system looks like:

The number of the node is attached at the top of the column (white dot, green background) and shows you where you are. The signposts below indicate the direction to the neighbouring points (dark blue background). The name of the municipality you are in can be found at the top. At the very bottom, you find a link to the hiking route planner website and the emergency number 112.


Where and since when does the junction node systemexist?

The junction node system has been available in the German-speaking municipalities in East Belgium since 2013, initially only in the south of the holiday region, but expanded to the northern municipalities in September 2014. At first, navigation was only possible via the online route planner and the "GO East Belgium" app. In 2019, the hiking signs were physically installed in the southern municipalities. Those in the North will be placed in spring 2021.

How large is the route network?

The route network covers 900 km in the southern municipalities (Amel, Büllingen, Burg Reuland, Bütgenbach, St. Vith) and 470 km in the northern municipalities (Eupen, Kelmis, Lontzen, Raeren). The francophone municipalities of Malmedy and Waimes will also join the junction node system in the future.


Help us with maintenance

The junction node system in East Belgium covers about 1,370 km. All routes and signs have been checked carefully and are regularly maintained. Nevertheless, experience has shown that there can always be problems with the signposting or routing. If you have discovered a missing, dirty or damaged signpost along the way, please do not hesitate to contact us to keep the junction node system up to date.

Have you noticed a problem with the infrastructure on the way?
Please report your problem here