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near Mont Rigi, Wallonia (Belgique)
This beautiful hike takes you around the Grande Fagne and the Fagne des Deux Séries, part of the Hautes Fagnes/Hohes Venn nature reserve. The hike is on trails, forest roads and boardwalks. Only at the start of the hike you will find something to eat in the Baraque Michel restaurant. Part of the track can be very muddy, and waterproof shoes are strongly recommended. A small stream needs to be crossed without a bridge. Unfortunately, it was raining and grey during my hike, but it was a nice experience regardless.
The hike starts at the parking at Baraque Michel. You pass by the Fischbach chapel, and take the trail west through the Herbôfaye moor. The track follows the former Belgian-Prussian border and you find a few border stones. After a while you pass the Croix des Fiancés (Cross of the Engaged). You then go north-west on trails along the Grande Fagne. You pass a monument to American pilots, and continue along the moors. You enter the Fermes en Fagnes (farms on the moors) road via a bridge and walk up to the Sawe river. You follow this stream on a nice trail until you get to a fence. Before the fence you cross the stream and follow a minor trail along the fence north-east, along the moors. After a while the minor trail changes in a broad unpaved forest road which you follow until the N672 (Jalhay-Baraque Michel road). You cross the road and follow another unpaved forest road to the N68 (Eupen-Baraque Michel road). After crossing this road you follow a smaller trail towards the edge of the Fagne des Deux Séries. The trail ends at a boardwalk which you follow northeast to the Pavée de Charlemagne, a long and straight unpaved road along the moors. You follow this road for 4.5 km. The Moor stream crosses this road, but for pedestrians a bridge to the side is provided. At the end of the road, there is a viewing hut. You turn south along the moor and the Bongard forests. The road transits into a trail with occasional boardwalks. At the Petit Bongard bush you turn right onto a single path which takes you straight through the moors. In the first section you pass a small lake, typical of the area. It’s called a pingo or palsa, a small lake created by the melting of a lens of ice. A bit further you pass the Geitzbusch, a forest with a lot of dead trees in the middle of the moors. You pass this forest and head for the next collection of dead trees, the Noir Flohay. From here the path turns left towards the boardwalk from Baraque Michel along the Helle river. You follow the boardwalk upstream and pass another Belgian-Prussian border stone near a Helle crossing. You continue towards Baraque Michel but take a detour on a moor track through the Bouquet Bastin area. Just before Baraque Michel you pass the Croix des Prieur.
Here you arrive to a boardwalk through moors where water level has been increased. The boardwalk is the extension of Pavée de Charlemagne
Chapel near Baraque Michel
"Cross of the engaged" with a Belgian-Prussian border stone
Here you cross a bridge and enter the unpaved road Fermes en Fagnes. You could follow this all the way to the N672, but I am not sure whether you can get out that way. This track follows this road to the Sawe river crossing
After a minor trail you get on a broader unpaved forest road, which takes you to the N672
This unpaved forest road takes you to the N68, passing by among others the Fagne Levau and the river Noir Ru on the bridge Pont Noir.
Forest with quite a few dead trees in the middle of the Fagne des Deux Séries
Beautiful board walk along the Helle (or Hill) river.
A border stone between Belgium and Prussia. The border ran from here along the Hill from Eupen to Baraque Michel.
There is a covered (hunters) observation point where you can look out across the moors and a few little lakes, and take shelter from the rain if applicable.
Monument dedicated to American pilots.
Crossing of the N672 from Jalhay to Baraque Michel
Crossing of the N68 between Eupen and the Baraque Michel
Collection of dead trees in the middle of the moors. Peculiar sight
From here you follow a (narrow) trail along the moors (there used to be woods on the other side, but they have been partly cut). The trail can be wet in places.
There is a trail here along the Sawe river through woods
After your crossing of the Sawe you follow a narrow and not much used trail along the fence on the edge of the moors. It can be wet here and there.
This elevated path with crushed stones takes you through the Herbôfaye moors. You will find some border stones along the path.
This path takes you through woods to the edge of the Fagne des Deux Séries.
Semi-paved forest road taking you 4.5 km straigh along the edge of the moors
Little lake called a pingo or a palsa (I am not sure). Formed by a lens of ice pushing away the ground and then creating a lake after melting
Here you cross the river Sawe without a bridge. One step in the not very deep water suffices to easily cross it. Straight on is a fence which you do not pass.
Here you cross the Soor which flow across the Pavée de Charlemagne. A bridge helps you cross it without getting your feet wet in the ford.
A trail takes you along the moors and the Grand and Petit Bongard forests
A trail takes you away from the boardwalk through the moors. Here and there you will find a short stretch of boardwalk, or the remains of it.
Straight trail through the Fagne des Deux Séries, part of the Grande Fagne