• The Claies Bridge, on the Semois
  • The provincial domain of Chevetogne
  • The Gileppe Dam
  • The Nisramont Lake
  • Waulsort Village
  • The Caves of Han
  • The l'Eau d'Heure Lake

An outing by the water20/08/2019

(Re)discover the beautiful Walloon region on foot or by bike, enjoying the lakes and rivers.  Here are a few ideas...

Bike trips

Exercise your legs on this 15 km bike excursion around Lake Gileppe, to discover the Hertongenwald Forest, the “Forest of Dukes”, along the heights of the Cantons of East Belgium. In a landscape of softwood mountains, the Gileppe artificial lake was created when the dam was built in 1875.

The Eau d’Heure Lakes are the largest artificial water body in Belgium. You can discover all the beauty of this major natural tourist area on a bike trip along one of the most beautiful RAVel network trails in the country. The paths are marked by points along the “1,000 bike marker” network (1000 bornes à vélo), which enables you to plan itineraries on the map. A 35 km circuit that is accessible to children from the age of 15 years takes you around the lakes starting from marker point no. 29. Visit the Cerfontaine tourist office.

www.cerfontaine.be/tourisme 

Marker points again, this time with the river Lesse guiding this other 17 km bike circuit that has a few small climbs. Start in front of the tourist office, then head towards Lessive, Villers-sur-Lesse and return via Eprave. To add another pleasant experience: the fabulous Caves of Han and the magnificent provincial domain of Chevetogne are a short way away.

www.famenne-a-velo.be

Are you a mountain biker? Start from the Hastière-par-Delà Abbey Church, then head towards the village of Blaimont and the peaks of Falmignoul which rise above the Mosane valley. The descent to the river, along the Colébi woods, also takes you into the heart of nature. On the right bank, you go up the Meuse to the starting point, via the Waulsort river port.

www.hastière-tourisme.be 

Still by bike, for an easy 36 km journey through the marker point network of Wallonie picarde. Starting from Ath, the itinerary of the Dendre valley follows the RAVeL network and small countryside roads. The countryside features locks, remote farms and lines of poplars. Looking for more to do on the day? Here are two places to visit: In Ath, see the Giants’ House. In Lessines, Notre-Dame à la Rose Hospital is unmissable.

www.ath.be

Walking circuits

On foot, near to La Roche-en-Ardenne, visit the natural site of Nisramont Lake This route along the banks of the river Ourthe covers 15 km: hopping from rock to rock, climbing steps and descending craggy paths to take advantage of the peace and quiet that reigns in the wilds of nature.

www.cœurdelardenne.be      

Ten short kilometres on foot in the heart of nature, with the magnificent old Cistercian abbey as the starting and end point. Start in front of the Villers-la-Ville Tourist Office (Syndicat d’initiative). Very soon you will enter the thick of the forest where tall beech trees cast ephemeral light patterns. The large mature forests grow alongside pastures and humid areas. The itinerary takes you across the peaceful villages of La Roche and Tangissart. The Pirto and Gentissart streams also join your route.

www.villers-la-ville.net

In Sainte-Cécile, near Florenville, the river Semois leaves the Gaume regions to snake its way through the Ardennes mountain range. Start from the foot of the village and head north to walk a loop that is around 10 km long, where the countryside paths soon give way to forest trails offering pretty views over the valley. The second half of the route is along the river, on the Ardennes-Eiffel Grandes Randonnées (GR - Great Hikes) footpath.

www.semois-tourisme.be

A useful website to discover the walking possibilities in Wallonia

“Wallonia by Bike: 20 essential trips”

Discover 20 bike circuits to weave through Walloon countryside and forests, along peaceful rivers, by majestic castles and across charming towns. To make the most of your stay, peruse our selection of “Bienvenue Vélo” (Bikes Welcome) labelled tourist destinations and accommodation in this guide.

walloniebelgiquetourisme.be/velo

“20 essential hikes”

Nature hikes, castle walks, GR footpaths or themed itineraries — Wallonia offers an infinite number of routes. Whether you are walking to stay in shape, to explore our heritage or simply for the pleasure of it, the hardest thing will be to choose!

walloniebelgiquetourisme.be/rando

By Jean-Marie Antoine

This article is from Revue W+B no. 144.

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