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 Day Hike: From Botrange to Spa

Saturday, March 11th, 2023 from 6h45 to 21h00

Join me for this challenging adventure between Belgium highest point, the Botrange, and Spa. Probably one of the most beautiful hikes you can do in Belgium.

After starting at the Botrange, the wide view over the Fagne Wallonne is the first scenery that awaits us. Not long after we tackle on of the first challenges: the descent of the Ghâster. A little mountain river with its source close to the Botrange. At the confluence with the Bayehon river, we'll follow that last one upstream to the famous "Cascade". In winter it can swell to a big, impressive waterfall. A bit further stands an centuries old oak tree.

The next highlight will be the descent of the canyon of Trô Maret with yet another wild river. The river will lead us to the Ferme Libert. Then uphill we go to the forests and fenns of Moupa. After a short stint along the old customs road, we arrive in Hockai. Here we'll start another river hike that is famous among tourists and hikers alike: the descent of the Hoëgne. The path meanders along the wild river, over rocks, stairs, bridges,... But we'll not only be going down. We're going to climb to the viewpoint of the Belvédère for a fantastic view of the valley, before descending to the river again.

At some point we'll leave the valley of the Hoëgne and start the final stretch to Spa, with an easy ending on the former railway bed, now a RAVeL.

In short
  • Distance: 34 kilometres

  • Speed: 5 km/h on average (which is a very fast pace)

  • Ascent: 500m

  • Descent: 920m

  • Difficulty: very hard

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▲ The Bayehon Waterfall in winter

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▲ We'll go through the Trô Maret "canyon"

Transport
  • Train to Eupen leaves from Brussels Midi Station at 06h56 and stops at Central Station (07h01), North Station (07h07), Leuven (07h27), Liège (08h04), Verviers (08h23), Welkenraedt (08h36) and arrives in Eupen at 08h43

  • Bus from Eupen to Signal de Botrange leaves at 08h53 to arrive at 09h14.

  • Bus tickets need to be - preferably - bought beforehand.

  • We'll start hiking immediately after arrival.

  • Trains from Spa-Geronstère to Verviers (and ultimately Brussels or anywhere else) run every 38 minutes past the hour (17h38, 18h38, etc)

What to bring?
  • Enough food and drinks to last you through the day. There are no shops on the way. Bring enough snacks to keep you going when it gets though.

  • Good hiking shoes/boots. It can get quite muddy in the river valleys.

  • Appropriate clothing/gear. Check the weather forecast! Wear layers that you can easily take off or put on.

  • Trekking poles can be very useful on some parts of the hike.

Important notice - please read
  • This hike is very difficult with lots of technical passages in the river valleys of the Ghâster, Trô Maret and Hoëgne. As the hike is also very long and our pace will be quick, you need to be in a very good physical shape.

  • In the beginning of March, we'll only have about 9h30 of light, from the moment we start hiking, until it gets dark. That means that the pace will need to be held high in order to not finish in complete darkness in Spa. There will be one main break (ca 30-45 min) after about 3 hours of hiking and two short breaks to have a snack and a drink, or stretch the legs.

  • It is important you keep up with me during the whole hike. We can't wait for stragglers due to the daylight constraints. This will be especially difficult on the Trô Maret and Hoëgne valleys, as there can be quite some hikers in those valleys and we'll have to pass them whenever we can. It will be less of a problem in the Ghâster valley, although the path along that river is never in a great state, so time can be easily lost there. Please stay concentrated for the whole duration of the hike.

  • The maximum number of participants for this hike is 12.

  • Only sign up if you're 100% you can make it. Last-minute cancellations are not appreciated as it keeps someone else from attending.

  • Fill in the subscription form below. If you come with your partner or a friend, let them fill out the form as well.

  • The data you're providing are not given to third parties. It will only be used to contact you if i have questions or to send you information related to this hike.

  • If you sign up, you agree to all of the above and understand you need to be in perfect shape.

  • Questions? Contact me.

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▲ Plenty of great sceneries

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▲ Along the Hoëgne on our way to Spa

We're full again! Sorry ;-(

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