During the early summer of 2018, I found myself back in Belgium at the tail end of a 2,500-kilometer bikepacking trip through Morocco and Spain. With two weeks before my flight home to Portland, it was the perfect opportunity to explore the country of my birth by bicycle. Though there are thousands of paved cycling paths in Belgium, the population density of the country makes it hard to find any off-road cycling routes through “backcountry”. It was with this in mind that I mapped out a 360-kilometer bikepacking route starting and ending in Liège. For five days I traced my way through the heart of the Belgian Ardennes using existing multi-use trails, singletrack networks, and gravel forest roads. I would eventually dub the route The Ardennes Arbalète.