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Hiking in Wallonia: Forges and Castles

  • Walking or hiking

This walk takes you along some lovely tracks and paths across the southern foothills of the Anlier Forest. After a few kilometres, you will reach the 18th century Castle of the Pont d’Oye. The trail then runs to the ruins of an old forge, the ‘Forge du Prince’. There a panel explains the manufacture and main advantages of Wallonia’s iron products between the 16th and 18th centuries.

Route/Points of Interest

  • From the car park at ‘Place Pierre Nothomb’ (S), follow the ‘Rue Émile Baudrux’ (N87) passing in front of the church. Then take the ‘Rue d’Hoffschmidt’ as far as a junction with a sign on the right.
  • Go down the narrow track, pass the ‘Rue de la Fosse aux Loups’ and by-pass the tennis courts to reach the ‘Étang du Châtelet’ (1).
  • The narrow path goes along the north bank of the small lake then over a small bridge (above the ‘Rulles’) towards the N87, which runs a little to the east.
  • At the first bend, the route heads to the left and crosses a stone bridge in the direction of the ‘Forge du Pont d’Oye’. The ‘Château du Pont d’Oye’ sits proudly on a hill to your left.
  • An asphalt lane leads to two restaurants and the remains of the water regulation system before coming out at a forest track to the right of the wall of the ‘Étang du Pont d’Oye’. This track heads towards the old ruins of the ‘Forge du Prince’ (2).
  • Shortly before the forge a path goes off to the right and takes you above the ruins. The benches at the rest area offer a fine view.
  • The track (red rectangle signs) now goes to the left to return to the other side of the ‘Étang du Pont d’Oye’. However, it’s worth keeping to the right, as well as by-passing the lake wall.
  • Keep right on a forest track. You’ll pass a holiday house right on the edge of the water.
  • About 1.5km from the forge the trail swings left via a path that crosses two small bridges.
  • At different crossing always keep left to go back towards the water. The track rapidly widens and leads to the left side of the ‘Étang de la Fabrique’.
  • A small stream (‘Rau de la Fagne Jean Simon’) which flows into the lake makes a small meander to the right. The track reaches the ‘Forge du Prince’.
  • There, the return journey is once again waymarked (red rectangles) and leads you via a lovely forest track as far as the left bank of the ‘Étang du Pont d’Oye’, passing in front of the château (3). The interior courtyard is easily accessible, but the gate is barred. Therefore you have to by-pass the château to pick up the waymarkers on the other side of the gate.
  • The trail leads you to a broad path which climbs into the wood. The signs guide you to the ‘Chapelle de Bonhomme’ (4) to return to the community administration building. To avoid the asphalt, you can turn left just before the chapel and follow a forest track instead. This divides after a few metres: the two arms both leading to the community administration building, near the lake.
  • From there, return to the same path and head in the opposite direction to return to the car park.  

Prepare your walk

Make sure you wear good hiking boots and comfortable walking shoes.

Always take some snacks and water with you.

Author’s Tips

Replace your lost calories by trying some artisan pralines at ‘Jean le Chocolatier’, rue Hotel de Ville No 15. Paradise for chocolate lovers! You can get a meal near the Château du Pont d’Oye or at Habay-la-Neuve.

In the downloadable brochure below, we have selected one of the best walks per province: natural gems, family friendly paths, memorable views along the way, trails sprinkled with history… One even will introduce you to the iconic abbey beers.

A walker's guide to Wallonia

If you were to draw a straight line on an atlas northward from the Massif Central in France to the North Pole, the only area of high ground the line crosses is the Ardennes, shared between Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany – but mainly belonging to Wallonia, the southern part of Belgium!

Information on the walk

Difficulty

Easy

Length

Maximum distance9 Km

Duration

Minimum duration2:00
Maximum duration3:00
The information provided is an indication only. We advise you to inquire directly with the organisers of the event that interests you before you leave.