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near Longfaye, Walloon (Belgique)
Very beautiful hike in the valleys of the Bayehon, Pouhon and Warche rivers, on the edge of the Hautes Fagnes. The walk takes you past the waterfalls of Bayehon and Reinhardstein, the latter being the highest waterfall in Belgium, the castle of Reinhardstein, the stone quarry “Carrière de la Warche”, and the reservoir dam of Robertville lake.
The walk starts near Moulin de Bayehon on the Ovifat-Longfaye road. From here you follow the Ruisseau de Bayehon through the valley until you get to the Bayehon waterfall (see waypoint). You go further upstream until you get to the moor "Vieux Chêne", the highest point of the route at about 610 meters (see waypoint). Here, you leave the Bayehon river and go downhill over partly very muddy tracks through the woods until you get to the Longfaye-Xhoffraix road, where you join the valley of the Ruisseau du Pouhon (see waypoint). You follow a broad forest track until you get to a bridge across the Pouhon stream (see waypoint), where you climb out of the valley to Xhoffraix village. From the village you descend again through the woods on a smaller track to the Warche river. Here you will find a seemingly abandoned stone quarry (“Carrière de la Warche”), which you can enter for a short visit. From here you walk upstream on a broad forest road along the river (see waypoint for Warche river valley). After 3.5 km you cross the river on a wooden bridge (see waypoint), and you climb out of the valley, and then follow the edge of the valley until the reservoir dam of the Robertville lake (see waypoint). En-route you will find several viewpoints, among others of Reinhardstein castle (see waypoint). After having passed the dam (barrage), you go back along the valley towards Reinhardstein castle. You walk to the entrance for a sneak peak of the castle (can only be visited on pre-reserved guided tours). Here you see the Ruisseau de Cheneux making its way to the Reinhardstein waterfall. From the castle you walk back 200 meters before descending on a small path to the river, which you cross on a wooden bridge to the south side. From here you follow the river until you get to the Reinhardstein waterfall, the highest waterfall in Belgium (60 m), see waypoint. To see the waterfall up close you have to cross the river back to the side of the castle on stepping stones. When you are done making pictures you go back across the river and continue along the river on a tiny path until you get to a bridge and a broader track which takes you along the Warche river to where the Bayehon river flows into the Warche (see waypoint for Bayehon river valley). Here, you follow the forest track which frequently crosses the river at a ford. At these fords, you can better take the foot bridges to avoid getting wet feet. After 2.1 km you will be back to the starting point.
Only at the reservoir dam, you will find a place to eat and drink something. Waterproof shoes are convenient as you frequently walk on muddy tracks. You will mostly walk in woods, apart from a moor at the highest point, and pasture around the village of Xhoiffraix.
Reservoir dam (Barrage de Robertville), 55 m high. There is a parking and a small bar-restaurant here.
Here starts the Bayehon valley and the start of the end of the walk is in this valley. The forest road frequently crosses the river at a ford, and on each of these places, a bridge is provided for hikers.
Beautiful 9 m high waterfall in the Bayehon stream.
Near the top of the valley the Hautes Fagnes moors start. You divert from the Ruisseau de Bayehon here and continue southwest along the moor. It is quite wet here and there are all kinds of makeshift bridges here.
Samll bridge across the Pouhon stream.
Here you start to follow the Pouhon valley on a broad gravel forest road until you get to the bridge across the river.
Nice castle on the edge of the Warche valley. It is private property. You need to join a tour if you want to enter the castle, and there are only a few of those.
The highest waterfall (60 m) in Belgium just besides the castle. You need to cross the Warche river here (wading/stepping stones) to get to the foot.
This stone quarry seemed to be abandoned. At least, it was possible to enter it and have a look around.
The valley is very wooded, so you have an unimpeded view of Reinhardstein castle at the other side of the valley at only a few points.
Bridge across the Warche. This is the only bridge between the quarry and the castle. At several other points there is a ford to cross the river, but at these points you will probably not keep your foot dry.
From this waypoint you walk upstream until the reservoir dam. The first 3.5 km is on a broad gravel forest road next to the river, and after a bridge you climb the valley slope to finally end up at the dam.
You walk through quiet parts of the village. Here and there you have nice views into the distance as the village is on a hill between valleys.