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Distance

15.07 mi

Elevation gain

1,086 ft

Technical difficulty

Moderate

Elevation loss

1,086 ft

Max elevation

2,218 ft

Trailrank

67 4.3

Min elevation

1,622 ft

Trail type

Loop

Time

6 hours 35 minutes

Coordinates

2552

Uploaded

November 14, 2015

Recorded

November 2015
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  • Scenery

     

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2,218 ft
1,622 ft
15.07 mi

Viewed 13022 times, downloaded 338 times

near Mont Rigi, Wallonia (Belgique)

Great walk through the High Fens (Hautes Fagnes, Hohes Venn, Hoge Venen), an impressive nature reserve. You will walk on one of the most beautiful paths in Belgium, the board walk in the Helle valley, stroll besides the river Rur in its infancy, visit the beautiful waterfall of Bayehon, and cross endless moors and woods. The walk requires waterproof shoes, attention with the boardwalks which sometimes miss a board, and is best started early as it can become busy around Baraque Michel on beautiful days. Also the Bayehon valley can be busy.
You start at Baraque Michel, where there is a bus stop and a large parking lot beside a popular inn, the only place where you will find something to eat or drink en-route. You cross the street and follow the path on the edge of the moor, and soon turn left on a path into the Fagnes des Deux-Séries. In the breeding season this path may be closed; then just walk straight on. This path is partly on a boardwalk, but large stretches are missing and can be a bit boggy. After 1.3 km this path joins the main boardwalk across the moors along the Helle river. A bit further you come to a bifurcation with a borderstone on the former Prussian-Belgian border. You continue straight on the boardwalk through the moors. The Helle river becomes bigger and bigger and flows besides the path. A bit further down into the valley the boardwalk is interspersed with regular path. Almost 5 km from the start, the path reaches the edge of the wood and you cross a rickety bridge across the Helle. You then follow a wide track on the edge of the Fagne Wallonne and the fir forest. You follow this track for 2.3 km along the forest and then turn southwest on a wide lane which crosses one of the Rur branches. At a cross you turn left into a forest road until you come to a small track called Sentier de la Roer (track on the Rur river). See the waypoint with more information on accessibility. This beautiful track follows one branch of the Rur river through the forest, then crosses another branch just before the branches unite and continues to a small asphalt road. From the asphalt road you follow the Sentier de la Trientale for a while and then walk through the countryside north of Sourbrodt to the N676. You cross this road and then follow the Ruisseau de Ghâster stream through the forest to the Bayehon valley, on the way passing a downhill ski slope. In the Bayehon valley you will find the popular Bayehon waterfall. A bit higher in the valley you pass the Moor 'Vieux Chêne' and continue into a fir forest. You follow the Bayehon river a bit longer and then follow a small trail in a straight firebreak to the Neûr Lowé Fen. You cross this fen, partly on a boardwalk in bad condition, to the N68, and cross this road onto the Fagne de la Polleur. Here you have another boardwalk in bad condition around the Fen which you follow clockwise. From here it is only 1 km back to Baraque Michel.
Summit

Baraque Michel

  • Photo of Baraque Michel
  • Photo of Baraque Michel
  • Photo of Baraque Michel
  • Photo of Baraque Michel
The third highest point of Belgium is famous as a starting point for hiking and cross-country skiing. There is an inn and a large parking lot which completely fills up on busy days requiring people to park for several hundreds of meters either side on the N68. There is a chapel and several markers and monuments.
Information point

Bayehon Valley

  • Photo of Bayehon Valley
  • Photo of Bayehon Valley
  • Photo of Bayehon Valley
  • Photo of Bayehon Valley
  • Photo of Bayehon Valley
  • Photo of Bayehon Valley
Here you enter the Bayehon valley after your descent along the Rau de Ghâster.
Waterfall

Bayehon Waterfall

  • Photo of Bayehon Waterfall
  • Photo of Bayehon Waterfall
  • Photo of Bayehon Waterfall
  • Photo of Bayehon Waterfall
  • Photo of Bayehon Waterfall
  • Photo of Bayehon Waterfall
Beautiful 9 m high waterfall in the Bayehon stream.
Information point

Boardwalk

  • Photo of Boardwalk
  • Photo of Boardwalk
  • Photo of Boardwalk
  • Photo of Boardwalk
  • Photo of Boardwalk
  • Photo of Boardwalk
This is a beautiful boardwalk through the fens with on the right side the Fagne Wallonne and on the left side the Fagne des Deux-Séries. The boardwalk was destroyed in the 2011 fire, and you sometimes see remains of the former boardwalk. The boardwalk takes you through the Helle valley, and starts close to its source near Baraque Michel.
Information point

Boardwalk Fagne Polleur

  • Photo of Boardwalk Fagne Polleur
  • Photo of Boardwalk Fagne Polleur
  • Photo of Boardwalk Fagne Polleur
  • Photo of Boardwalk Fagne Polleur
  • Photo of Boardwalk Fagne Polleur
This boardwalk almost makes a circle on the Fagne Polleur starting near Mont Rigi. The state of the boardwalk is not too good.
Information point

Boardwalk in bad condition

  • Photo of Boardwalk in bad condition
  • Photo of Boardwalk in bad condition
Here there is a stretch of boardwalk in bad condition.
Information point

Borderstone

  • Photo of Borderstone
  • Photo of Borderstone
  • Photo of Borderstone
  • Photo of Borderstone
  • Photo of Borderstone
  • Photo of Borderstone
Here you will find a bifurcation of boardwalk paths, a bridge across the young Helle, and a borderstone on the former Belgian-Prussian border.
Bridge

Bridge on the Helle

  • Photo of Bridge on the Helle
  • Photo of Bridge on the Helle
  • Photo of Bridge on the Helle
  • Photo of Bridge on the Helle
  • Photo of Bridge on the Helle
  • Photo of Bridge on the Helle
Here you find a rickety bridge across the Helle. From here you climb out of the Helle valley to get a good view across the Fagne Wallonne.
Bridge

Bridge on the Rur

  • Photo of Bridge on the Rur
  • Photo of Bridge on the Rur
  • Photo of Bridge on the Rur
  • Photo of Bridge on the Rur
  • Photo of Bridge on the Rur
  • Photo of Bridge on the Rur
Here you cross a Rur branch on a small bridge, and continue along the Rur to a paved forest road.
Intersection

Diversion into Fagnes des Deux-Séries

  • Photo of Diversion into Fagnes des Deux-Séries
  • Photo of Diversion into Fagnes des Deux-Séries
  • Photo of Diversion into Fagnes des Deux-Séries
  • Photo of Diversion into Fagnes des Deux-Séries
  • Photo of Diversion into Fagnes des Deux-Séries
  • Photo of Diversion into Fagnes des Deux-Séries
Here you go left on a track which is partly boardwalk and partly boggy path in the fen. This track might be closed between March and June. You can then walk straight on.
Information point

Fagne de la Polleur

  • Photo of Fagne de la Polleur
  • Photo of Fagne de la Polleur
  • Photo of Fagne de la Polleur
  • Photo of Fagne de la Polleur
  • Photo of Fagne de la Polleur
Nice fen near Mont Rigi with a boardwalk. The stream Polleur has its source here.
Information point

Forest Road

  • Photo of Forest Road
  • Photo of Forest Road
  • Photo of Forest Road
  • Photo of Forest Road
  • Photo of Forest Road
Here you enter a straight forest road through fir forest, and you leave the fens behind. There is a cross on the bifurcation.
Information point

Forest track on edge of Fagne Wallonne

  • Photo of Forest track on edge of Fagne Wallonne
  • Photo of Forest track on edge of Fagne Wallonne
  • Photo of Forest track on edge of Fagne Wallonne
  • Photo of Forest track on edge of Fagne Wallonne
  • Photo of Forest track on edge of Fagne Wallonne
  • Photo of Forest track on edge of Fagne Wallonne
Here you follow a wide forest track with forest on one side and the Fagne Wallonne on the other side with good views of Botrange.
Information point

Helle valley

  • Photo of Helle valley
  • Photo of Helle valley
  • Photo of Helle valley
  • Photo of Helle valley
  • Photo of Helle valley
  • Photo of Helle valley
When you get further down the Helle river is growing and you slowly enter a valley.
Information point

Moor 'Vieux Chêne'

  • Photo of Moor 'Vieux Chêne'
  • Photo of Moor 'Vieux Chêne'
  • Photo of Moor 'Vieux Chêne'
Near the top of the valley the Hautes Fagnes moors start. You can find a characteristic oak here and junipers right beside the Bayehon ruisseau.
Information point

Neûr Lowé

  • Photo of Neûr Lowé
  • Photo of Neûr Lowé
  • Photo of Neûr Lowé
  • Photo of Neûr Lowé
  • Photo of Neûr Lowé
From a wide paved forest lane you turn left here on the Neûr Lowé, another fen. You walk to the N68. On the way you will find a narrow degraded boardwalk; watch your step (see other waypoint).
Information point

Sentier de la Roer

  • Photo of Sentier de la Roer
  • Photo of Sentier de la Roer
  • Photo of Sentier de la Roer
  • Photo of Sentier de la Roer
  • Photo of Sentier de la Roer
  • Photo of Sentier de la Roer
Here you enter a trail along the Rur river which is closed between 2 hours before sunset to 2 hours after sunrise to protect red deer.
Information point

Sentier de la Trientale

  • Photo of Sentier de la Trientale
  • Photo of Sentier de la Trientale
  • Photo of Sentier de la Trientale
  • Photo of Sentier de la Trientale
  • Photo of Sentier de la Trientale
  • Photo of Sentier de la Trientale
Here starts a path named after the starflower (zevenster). It takes you to a monument for fallen airmen.
Information point

Ski Slope

  • Photo of Ski Slope
  • Photo of Ski Slope
  • Photo of Ski Slope
Here you come to the bottom of the downhill ski slope of Ovifat. The ski lift is on the right side, seen from the bottom. The path continues across a bridge.
Information point

Straight lane along Fagne Wallonne

  • Photo of Straight lane along Fagne Wallonne
  • Photo of Straight lane along Fagne Wallonne
  • Photo of Straight lane along Fagne Wallonne
  • Photo of Straight lane along Fagne Wallonne
  • Photo of Straight lane along Fagne Wallonne
  • Photo of Straight lane along Fagne Wallonne
Here you turn right on a straight lane along the Fagne Wallonne in the direction of the N676. The lane dips to a bridge across one of the Rur branches.
Information point

Trail in former firebreak

  • Photo of Trail in former firebreak
  • Photo of Trail in former firebreak
  • Photo of Trail in former firebreak
  • Photo of Trail in former firebreak
  • Photo of Trail in former firebreak
  • Photo of Trail in former firebreak
Here you cross the Bayehon and follow a small trail on a former firebreak in the forest.
Information point

Trail on the Ruisseau de Ghâster

  • Photo of Trail on the Ruisseau de Ghâster
  • Photo of Trail on the Ruisseau de Ghâster
  • Photo of Trail on the Ruisseau de Ghâster
  • Photo of Trail on the Ruisseau de Ghâster
  • Photo of Trail on the Ruisseau de Ghâster
  • Photo of Trail on the Ruisseau de Ghâster
Here you follow a trail on the ruisseau de Ghâster to the Bayehon valley. The trail frequently crosses the stream on bridges. On the way you pass the ski slope.

14 comments

  • Sjiep Jan 18, 2016

    I have followed this trail  View more

    Had been a while since I was in the Hoge Venen and never hiked here during snowy conditions so this seemed like the prefect route at the perfect moment. And it was indeed quite spectacular. at the beginning (9:30~10:30 it was still quite foggy but that gave it all a mysterious feeling. The parts through the forest (starting at 9KM and 15KM) were especially charming. Had parts where I sunk to near crotch level into the snow so at the end of the loop I was rather beat. Took an alternative route at about 18.8KM as it became rather crowded with langlauf folks.

  • Photo of Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp Jan 18, 2016

    Thank you for your review, Sjiep! You like a challenge when you hike, I see!

  • Nnunu Sep 7, 2017

    Im planning on hiking this trail soon, i was just wondering if you know if dogs are allowed.
    and how busy it would be if the weather isnt great (so the dogs could be loose)

  • Photo of Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp Sep 11, 2017

    Nnunu, I am not sure, but the website http://www.hautesfagnes.be/recommandations.htm says that dogs are not allowed in the Hautes Fagnes reserve, with the exception of some paths provided they are on a leash. I am not sure which paths, and not the entire walk is in the reserve.

  • arosich37 Oct 7, 2018

    I have followed this trail  View more

    I did in winter with snow. Very recommendable!

  • Photo of Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp Oct 7, 2018

    Thank for your review Arosich!

  • freddytex Nov 22, 2018

    I have followed this trail  View more

    Wet conditions, 20% of the tour in knee deep water!

  • Photo of Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp Nov 22, 2018

    That's very wet, Freddy! Usually, waterproof hiking boots are sufficient... Thanks for the review.

  • Photo of Slenteraar

    Slenteraar Nov 25, 2019

    I have followed this trail  verified  View more

    Beste Tjaart,

    Wat een gave route! Heb hem vandaag gelopen. Het pad was op een paar plekken moeilijk te volgen in het ven door stroompjes van de gesmolten sneeuw van afgelopen week, en soms door gekapt bos, maar we hebben het goed gevonden door je mooie foto’s die ons herkenningspunten gaven. Pittige maar supermooie hike! Bedankt.

    Gr, Ralph

  • Photo of Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp Nov 28, 2019

    Beste Ralph, mooi dat je genoten hebt en bedankt voor je review!

  • arturogaonafranco Oct 18, 2020

    I have followed this trail  verified  View more

    Great walk with a little bit of everything. There are a couple of parts that need and update as a couple of trails are closed but still easy to figure out. Thanks for arranging this walk!

  • Photo of Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp Oct 19, 2020

    You are welcome, arturogaonafranco. Glad you enjoyed your walk, and thanks for the review! Which trails are closed? I think the Sentier de la Roer has a slightly different course now (to the west of the Rour on the last stretch rather than the east), but I am not aware of other closed trails?

  • Photo of nicorader

    nicorader Jan 24, 2022

    I have followed this trail  View more

    Très jolie rando réalisée ce week-end dans la neige.
    Merci pour la trace.

    Il y a quelques passages de la rando qui sont fermés en ce moment dans les Fagnes (au km 17 et dans la Fagne de Polleur) mais il est tout à fait possible de les contourner sen suivant la carte sur l'application.

    Possibilité de se restaurer à la moitié (Belgium Peak Beer)

  • Photo of Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp Jan 25, 2022

    Merci pour la critique positive et les conseils! La Belgium Peak Beer est une nouvelle possibilité, en effet, qui n'était pas encore disponible en 2015. Les sentiers décrits étaient encore ouverts il y a quelques mois, donc je pense que la fermeture sera alors temporaire.

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