Have you ever heard of Evere? It's part of Brussels, but it is not that well-known, since generally, there aren't so many things to do there. The Google search 'what to do in Evere' resulted in suggestions such as 'visit the Atomium' or 'go to the Grand Place', which says enough... Very useful, Google! Nevertheless, today I saw a part of Evere I would recommend to anyone who's looking for a nice place for a hike in Brussels.
Basically, you will walk between two train stations of Brussels. First, take the train to Haren-Sud and from there, walk to Schaerbeek while following the train tracks. I would recommend doing it in this direction, because from Schaerbeek, there are many trains back to the Brussels center, whereas from Haren-Sud, there is just one per hour. This way, you'll be able to walk at your own pace without having to stress over train schedules. The total distance of this itinerary amounts to 4 or 5 km.
Starting from Haren-Sud, it is super easy to find the track. When you get off the train, just walk back in the direction of Brussels, while staying as close to the train tracks as possible. This small asphalted path is peaceful, although not that spectacular, but wait...
Along the path, we saw some wild hop plants, which fruit is used by breweries to preserve and flavor beer.
Slowly, the path will grow wilder, giving you the impression you're entering a real forest. You've now entered the nature reserve 'Het Moeraske', situated in the commune of Evere. The domain is not that wide, but it is long-drawn-out.
Did you know that 'Moeraske' is Flemish for 'small swamp'? In earlier times, Brussels was one big swamp area, called Broekzele ('Settlement by the brook'). One by one, all swamps were drained, except for Het Moeraske. Today this is the last remaining swamp in Brussels. This doesn't mean you'll get your feet wet (unless it has rained and there is mud everywhere). The area of Het Moeraske is quite hilly, so you can see the swamps while standing on a dirt path higher up.
I'm not sure why they have this sign, but it might be wise to keep your distance...
From Het Moeraske, you can make a little detour to the Goede Herderpark, a park with a children's playground, two football fields and a forested area which is nice to walk through.
Return to the train tracks to continue in the direction of Schaerbeek. When you pass a series of urban gardens, you know you've reached the end of the walk. The path will lead you out of the park and onto the Rue Chaumontel in Schaerbeek. From here, it's 5 minutes walking to the train station of Schaerbeek.
If you'd like to have a drink before returning, the bar Babelmet is a nice place. They have a decent selection of beers, home-made ice tea, or even orange wine. They serve food too, such as spaghetti or cake. The interior design then is simple but nice, and what I especially like is the small, cosy garden at the back. Babelmet is a cultural bar that is open for local initiatives such as movie nights, yoga classes, book readings... Check their website to learn more about the agenda.