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The most beautiful hikes through the High Fens

Without any doubt, the High Fens are among the most unspoiled landscapes in the Eifel and Ardennes region. They are one of Europe's last high moors, lying between the towns of Malmedy, Eupen, Spa and Monschau. With all its watercourses, this nature park is very suitable for hiking. You can find the most beautiful walks through the landscape of the High Fens here.

Hiking in the High Fens

Hiking in this nature reserve is only allowed on the prepared and marked paths. The landscape of the Fens is characterised by low gradients and predominantly flat grounds, without major technical difficulties. In the surrounding forests, on the other hand, you will find deep river valleys as well as dry ones with steeper landscapes.

Some larger footbridges that lead through the high moor are also suitable for wheelchairs and prams with large wheels. The wooded areas of the High Fens are pervaded by hundreds of kilometres of asphalt roads and forest tracks, making them a paradise for cyclists as well as wheelchairs and prams.

The further away you get from the car parks and visitor centres, the narrower, wetter and more rustic become the grounds of the paths, which can be covered with roots or rocks in some places.

Hikers and nature lovers will find explanations and useful information in the free brochure "Info-map High Fens".


         


 

Pleasure tours in the High Fens


 

Access to the High Fens for hikers

The nature reserve is divided into three zones:

B-zones: C-zones: D-zones:

Entering is only allowed on marked paths and if certain rules are obeyed (please follow the signs on site).

Entry is only permitted to people accompanied by an accredited nature guide from the Nature and Forest Administration.         

Public access is strictly forbidden.


Access may also be restricted by the current weather conditions (fire hazard) or other circumstances.


Temporary access denials

Red flag due to fire hazard
After long periods of drought, especially from March to May, a red flag is occasionally hoisted at the entranceways to the High Fens. In these times, barriers also block the wooden footbridges that cross the High Fens.

Entering the marked areas is then strictly forbidden!
The main reason for this ban is fire prevention, as the surface of the moor dries out relatively quickly, which creates a fire risk for large areas of the nature reserve. Even a cigarette that is not completely extinguished and thrown away represents a source of fire that, if not noticed, can spread at great speed. The poor access to the moor makes potential extinguishing work even more difficult.

This ban does not apply to:

  • the educational trail of the Polleûr-Fens between Baraque Michel and Mont-Rigi as well as the Neûr Lowé educational trail;
  • the hiking trail that runs south of the Walloon Fens (only from the viewing platform at Botrange to the " Sharks of Souck ");
  • the connecting path from the " Voie Adam " to the " Chemin de Bêleu ";
  • the path of the " Vecquée ";
  • the wide forest roads around the closed areas.

Therefore, there are still plenty of opportunities to explore the surroundings of the High Fens even during the periods mentioned above.


Prohibition of access to certain zones

In order to guarantee maximum peace and quiet for breeding birds (especially the black grouse), the Nature and Forest Department has decided to ban access to the following zones:

> access to the footpaths (B-zone) n° 33 and 35, which run from the Baraque Michel to the "Bouquet Bastin“
> access to the trail (B-zone) which crosses the Steinley Fens in a north-south direction and to the trail which runs along its north-north-west edge (rooster trail)
> access to the hiking trail (B-zone), which crosses the Kutenhart between Reinartzhof and Gethevaerde
> access to the C-zone in the Walloon Fens (“Fagne Wallonne”) and the „Fagne des Deux Séries“
> access to the C-zone in and around the "Fagne de Cléfaye"

> access to footpaths n°4 and 5 in the Walloon Fens (Drelo)
> on footpaths n° 19 and 21 in the "Fagne de Deux Séries” (Brochepierre).

 


 

Guided hikes in the C-zones

C-zones are only accessible when accompanied by an accredited hiking guide. The nature centres and the information point at the Signal de Botrange offer guided half or full day walks with trained and qualified nature guides on request. More information here:

Botrange Nature Park Centre

Nature Centre Haus Ternell

Tourist Info Signal de Botrange

T +32 80 44 03 00

www.botrange.be
T +32 87 55 23 13

www.ternell.be
T +32 80 44 73 00


Moreover, the two nature centres, nature associations and hiking clubs offer scheduled theme walks (some of which are subject to a fee) in which anyone can participate.



Barrier-free hiking in the High Fens

Due to the structure of the soil (moor and swamp landscape), only a few hiking trails are disabled-friendly. The nature trail in the Poleur Fens (Mont-Rigi) offers the opportunity to discover the Fens without danger and without barriers.

Barrier-free hikes in the High Fens:



Hiking with dogs

Dogs are not allowed in the nature reserve, but there is a range of routes on which dogs can be taken on leash.

Leashed dogs may be taken on the following walks:


 

On planks through the wonderland

A carpet made of moss, shrub and heather

Hiking in the High Fens is only permitted along the marked paths and on the kilometre-long wooden footbridges. And that for good reason! No hiker would be able to explore the moor dry-shod and without danger to life and limb.

The deep mud, which treacherously looks like a flat carpet of mosses, bushes and heather, hides deep muddy ditches or holes, in which you can quickly sprain your ankle or sink in waist-deep. Real high moors are almost inaccessible, even with good footwear.

This is where you stand in front of the wilderness of primeval times. On the bridges, planks and boards that lead through the patchwork of impressive peat moss hills, humps, heather vegetation, moors and forests, you can experience the High Fens in a particularly relaxed and immediate manner. Anyhow, the most fascinating element is the nearly infinite view.

You will pass under knobby birches and willows, on which countless species of mosses and lichens thrive. It is impressive, how the path leads from one panoramic view to the next, giving structure to the gently undulating land and this peculiar mystical flair of primeval times.

Nature trails in the High Fens


Botrange | Nature Park Centre

 


Baraque Michel | Parking

  • Trois Bornes (5 km), archaeological and historical nature trail

Mont Rigi | High Fens Scientific Station

  • La Poleûr (4 km) the landscape of the Fens in one hour, suitable for wheelchairs and prams

Eupen - Ternell | Nature Centre

  • Geo-path (30 km) geological nature trail (only in German language)
  • Brackvenn (4 km)

Spa-Berinzenne | Parc récréatif de Berinzenne

  • Fagne de Malchamps (3-13 km) moor heath and the ponds of the Fens

+ All nature trails in East Belgium

 


 

Winter hikes in the High Fens

When skiing, it is not appreciated by cross-country skiers, when hikers stomp through the freshly prepared trails. For this reason, hiking trails in the High Fens are prepared and partly signposted in times of snow.

The best starting points are the Nature Park Centre, Signal de Botrange, Mont-Rigi or Baraque Michel. In winter, leashed dogs are permitted on two walks: "Walk with dog - Baraque Michel" & "Walk with dog - Nature Park Centre/Signal de Botrange".

The cafés/restaurants at the different starting points are looking forward to indulge you! Large, free parking spaces are available.


 

Publications

Hiking map High Fens Baggage-free hiking brochure Pleasure tours brochure GO Nature Magazine with info map

Hiking map with many hikes in the High Fens on a scale of 1/25.000 - Costs: 7€

Package deals on the basis of the folding map " Baggage-free hiking". You’ll get a quick, easy and exact overview of the individual tour stages as well as the entire hiking opportunities offered by the long-distance hiking trails through East Belgium.

The most popular pleasure tours in East Belgium combined in a single, compact booklet.

On 28 pages, the special Edition - "GO Nature" offers comprehensive information about the history, geology, fauna, flora and the particularities of the nature reserve.

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