Just before the border with the Netherlands, west of Maastricht, runs the MTB route Riemst. This cross-border MTB route runs from Riemst in a northerly direction through the forest along the river Meuse. After that you cross the Meuse towards Maastricht, where the landscape changes from afforestation and stretched agricultural areas to urban areas. The forest comes back into the picture when arriving at Sint Pietersberg. From this “mountain” you have a few beautiful views over Maastricht and the river Meuse, where after you return to the starting point in the village of Riemst.
From the village Riemst you’re following the route through the edge of the forest along the Meuse, which continues to be muddy for a long time after wet periods. Subsequently, the route alternates between asphalt and country roads until you’re ascending Sint Pietersberg. You are presented here with wide gravel paths but also a single trail. This short flowy single trail is part of the MTB route Sint Pietersberg and lets you get a taste of a "real" MTB route, where after you go back to the start over a wide gravel road. Sint Pietersberg in particular is popular among other recreationists so you regularly share the paths with hikers.
The MTB route Riemst is with 12km and an accumulative elevation gain of 192m is on the short side and contains less elevation changes than what you might expect from this area. Between the gradual climbs and descents, you ride mainly on relatively flat country and paved roads with enough time to catch your breath. In wet conditions, the route becomes challenging due to the lack of water to subpar drainage. Your skills will be hardly challenged on the MTB route Riemst. A single climb with a few exposed tree roots, a windy single trail and a fast descent over gravel are the "hardest" parts of this route. This makes the MTB route Riemst extremely suitable for novice mountain bikes, in contrast to the adjacent MTB route Sint Pietersberg.
11.8 km, 01:27:56
The MTB routes starts off nicely departing from Riemst, standing on the bridge and watching over the river Meuse with a narrow forest along each side. When you continue and ride through this forest, you are presented to a boring and monotonous stretch of trail for the following 4km (a third of the complete route). The urban areas are clearly present in the scenery during the rest of the ride. Coming to Sint Pietersberg I expected some beautiful unique trails, but here a single windy single trail was reused while there is so much more possible in this area. Although this is really a novice route, I feel that it fails to appeal to a wider audience.
The MTB route Riemst is with 12km and 192m of accumulative ascent a short MTB route that is flatter than you might expect from this hilly area. Some viewpoints over the Maas and from Sint Pietersberg give a nice picture of the surroundings of Riemst and Maastricht. From the forest, along the water, over the farmlands and back in the civilized world, the environment varies. The route, on the other hand, is monotonous on the long trail along the river Meuse, after which asphalt and country roads alternate until Sint Pietersberg is reached. Here the feeling of mountain biking is awakened, after which you continue the route over gravel paths and asphalt back to the start. The MTB route Riemst is definitely for the novice mountain biker and experienced mountain bikers won’t find any challenge here. Fortunately, they can easily transition to the other connected (and challenging) MTB route Sint Pietersberg.