Hiking in the East of Belgium: Discover the High Fens

Did you know that Belgium offers fantastic nature spots? Check out our favorite walking routes and start hiking the High Fens in Belgium.

In other countries, Belgium is mainly known for its medieval cities like Bruges and Ghent, for the trendy places in Brussels and Antwerp, or specific food or beverages like waffles, chocolate or beer. But did you know that Belgium offers some fantastic nature spots as well? During the Covid-19 crisis, we were forced to travel in our own country, and we were glad we took the opportunity! When you’re visiting Belgium and are looking for some beautiful days in nature, you should check out the German speaking part of Belgium, more specifically the Eupen-Malmedy area. Hiking the High Fens in Belgium is definitely worth it.

Visiting the area will imply to have a car, as the public transport is limited to the main cities. There are several (free) parking lots in the area, where you can park your car safely before starting your hike. We’re happy to share the most prominent sights of this area and three of our favorite hikes in this part of Belgium.

Hiking the High Fens in Belgium

Undoubtly, hiking the High Fens in Belgium, with its primaeval landscapes, is the most popular thing to do in this area. The most frequently visited places by tourists are Signal du Botrange and the Baraque Michel. Signal du Botrange is with its 694 meters above sea level the official highest point in Belgium. Near the parking lot, a construction of 6 meters high, accessible with a stair, is build, to reach the magical height of 700 meters.

Another attraction spot of the High Fens is Baraque Michel. Baraque Michel is in fact the name of the tavern, but the entire area surrounding the tavern is known by the same name. The place is an excellent starting point for several hikes in the typical landscapes of the High Fens. To decide which hike, there is an information board on the parking lot and the hikes are well signposted.

One of our favorite hikes – Wooden plank path at Baraque Michel

This hike starts at the Baraque Michel and takes you via an adventurous path through the different landscapes of the High Fens. This hike is 13 kilometers  long and has an average difficulty rating. Finding your way is easy, just start following the signs with the green triangle against a white background.

Medieval castles

The area also offers some medieval castles and ruins like the Reuland castle and the Reinhardstein castle. The Reinhardstein castle is our favourite! You can visit the interior of the castle (€ 7 entrance fee) to admire the collection of furniture, weapons and tapestry.

One of our favorite hikes – In the area of castle Reinhardstein

The castle Reinhardstein is situated in the area of the Warche valley. During this hike, you climb several tops, you see a waterfall and get an epic view over the castle. The distance of this hike is 17 kilometers and has a moderate difficulty rating. Information about the entire route can be found on this page of East Belgium Tourist Agency.

blog image high fens warche valley belgium
At one of the tops during the hike in the Warche valley

Artificial lakes

The region also has several man-made lake reservoirs. One of the most impressive dams is ‘barrage de la Gileppe’. The dam is 66 meters high and 365 meters long and is one of the oldest dams in Europe. On top of the dam, an impressive lion is overlooking the valley.

blog image gileppe high fens belgium
View over the lake at the barrage de la Gileppe

Another magnificent artificial lake can be found at ‘barrage de la Vesdre’. Although the dam is less impressive than the dam of Gileppe, the lake is the largest drinkable water reservoir in Belgium.

One of our favorite hikes – Around the artificial lake at barrage de la Vesdre

Starting point for this hike is the parking lot situated at the left side of the dam. The hikes goes around the entire lake and is easy to follow. It’s rated as  an easy walk and it is about 15 kilometers long. The views over the lake are magnificent and during certain parts of the  hike, you get really close to the water.

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At the shore of the lake at barrage de la Vesdre

Best season to visit the area

Belgium has a temperate climate, so it is possible to visit this area the whole year round. We planned our visit during autumn. The red, yellow and orange colors contributed a lot to the beauty of the nature. During certain periods in winter, there will be snow, making this area a winter wonderland! Although there aren’t real mountains in Belgium, it is sometimes possible to ski in the High Fens during winter .

Where to stay?

One of the best places to stay and visit the High Fens is the town Eupen and Verviers. Below you can find the best accommodations in Eupen and Verviers.

Sleepwood Hotel – Eupen

Each room in the amazing Sleepwood Hotel is constructed out of solid wood. All rooms have a stunning private bathroom with a walk-in shower. The wood definitly gives the right vibes for your time in the High Fens.

Check availability and prices: BOOKING.COM

high fens where to stay sleepwood hotel double room
where to stay high fens sleepwood hotel bathroom

Hotel Verviers Van der Valk – Verviers

Hotel Verviers Van der Valk is located in an old train station and offers modern and clean rooms with a private bath room. Bicycle rental services are available and the Hogh Fens are located 3 kilometers from the hotel.

Check availability and prices: BOOKING.COM

van der valk hotel verviers where to stay high fens belgium

VIP 67 – Eupen

VIP 67 in Eupen offers appartments for different sizes of families. The accommodation comes with a private bathroom with shower. The kitchen is equiped with a dishwasher, an oven, a microwave, a fridge and stovetop, as well as a coffee machine and a kettle.

Check availability and prices: BOOKING.COM

VIP 67 appartments Eupen Belgium where to stay high fens bathroom
VIP 67 appartments Eupen Belgium where to stay high fens bathroom

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