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Ovelo - The High Fens in the eastern part of the Hertogenwald

Walking ·

High Fens: red flag (Ternell-Nahtsief)(Details)
Almost 40% of the route follows the Vennbahn itself, affording an unexpected panoramic view of the valley across the German Eifel-Ardennes region. You cycle through dense forests and along the untouched peatland of the High Fens. The first 12-km stretch along the Vennbahn takes you through German territory. Astonishingly, the 10m wide strip of railway line is Belgian territory, since Germany was made to surrender the cantons of Eupen, Malmedy and St. Vith, including the Vennbahn, to Belgium as a consequence of World War One. Boundary stones still lying alongside the former railway line testify to that. You will not come across any further villages and houses after “Entenpfuhl”. The High Fens are the dominant feature over the next 7 km, or more precisely the areas of the General and Imgenbroich Fens. This conservation area was recently returned to its original state as a result of the “Life” project. Left to their own devices, moors naturally develop into woodland. This peatland was renaturalised by felling the exotic grey alder in vast numbers. The Getzbach has its source here at a height of 600 metres. Several kilometres further on it flows into the Weser reservoir. The only sign of human life in the gigantic Osthertogenwald is the Haus Ternell nature centre, where you can relax over a drink or a snack. The remaining 13 km of the route will take you between tall trees and alongside burbling wild creeks.
Follow the cycle route nodes: 38 > 27 > 25 > 24 > 51 > 52 > 53 > 54 > 84 > 85 > 63 > 72 > 38


A small forest museum has been set up behind the brasserie at the visitors’ centre “Haus Ternell”.


  • Difficulty Medium
  • Distance 34.8 km
  • Duration 2:32 h.
  • Highest point 276 m
  • Lowest point 288 m

Geographical location

  • Country Belgium
  • Region Région Wallonne
  • Province Verviers
  • Municipality Waimes


  • Difficulty Medium
  • Stamina
  • Experiential value
  • Landscape
  • Highest point 655 m
  • Lowest point 478 m
Recommended season

Safety advice

Ride carefully on public roads.

Recommended equipment

  • Helmet
  • Sportswear
  • Sturdy shoes
  • Roadworthy bike
  • Drinking bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Rain protection

Further information and links

East Belgium Tourist Agency

Hauptstraße 54

4780 St.Vith

Tel. +32 80 22 76 64



Start of the tour

Küchelscheid, Am Breitenbach 35


  • DD 50.521231 , 6.206589

End of the tour

Küchelscheid, Am Breitenbach 35, next to node 38


Follow the cycle route nodes: 38 > 27 > 25 > 24 > 51 > 52 > 53 > 54 > 84 > 85 > 63 > 72 > 38

By public transport




Please use Google Maps.


Free parking at "Railbike", Am Breitenbach 35, 4750 Leykaul

Arriving by train, car or bicycle

Follow the instructions!

Recommendations by the author



Map recommended by the author



Tourismusagentur Ostbelgien - 30/05/2023

High Fens: red flag (Ternell-Nahtsief)

30/05/2023 - 12/06/2023

Due to the drought, there is currently an acute fire risk in the High Fens. Therefore, access to the nature reserves in the High Fens is prohibited for visitors from 30/05/2023. The ban will be indicated by red flags at the entrances to the fen areas concerned. Hikers are requested to strictly adhere to the prohibited areas.

Non-compliance will be subject to an immediate payment of € 150.