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Hiking in Wallonia: the peat bogs of the Spa region

  • Walking or hiking

This is an extremely varied 15 km (4-5 hours) circuit through some luxuriant mixed forests, which follows some small rivers as far as the Fagne de Malchamps moor. At this point you can admire all the countryside surrounding Spa.

After a long walk across the moorland, you’ll follow some small tracks and paths that take you back to the departure point. The route takes you past three famous springs: Barisart, Géronstère and Pia. The Géronstère spring, discovered in 1959, has had many famous visitors, including Peter the Great of Russia.

Practical information

Start: Parking by the Géronstère spring
Duration: 4-5 h
Distance: 15 km

Route/Points of Interest

  • The point of departure and return: the car park at the Géronstère spring (S).
  • Cross the road towards La Gleize and first ascend to the right (no waymarking) in the direction of the Domaine de Bérinzenne (wooden panel: Forest road of Nelis).
  • This track winds into the forest as far as an alleyway, which continues to the right for 50 metres, then swings left on the forest track in the direction of Bérinzenne.
  • Once on the track, keep left. You can already see La Maison de la Nature de Bérinzenne and the museum (1).
  • The signs (blue rectangles) lead you to the right on several wooden planks to the panoramic tower (2) (panel: Tour Panoramique) from where you can enjoy a grand 360-degree view.
  • Once at the tower, the trail (marked with blue rectangles) continues partly on wooden footbridges across the terrain.
  • It leads you to a monument dedicated to English airmen, then turns left on a wooden footbridge up to the edge of the forest. Then it leaves the footbridge and turns left.
  • Shortly after passing a pond, it arrives at a forest of silver birches, near a TV antenna mast (3).
  • The signage leads you along a small path running parallel to the N62, as far as a gate at the front of the aerodrome (4).
  • Keep left and continue straight ahead on the wide forest track to return to Domaine de Bérinzenne.
  • Just before you reach the Domaine (5) the track goes off to the right before the clearing, up to a crossing and follows the signs of the mountain-bike circuit (blue triangle on blue spots) downhill.
  • Leave the barbecue shelters on your left. The small path and VTT (mountain-bike) signage continues for 100 metres.
  • After you’ve crossed an asphalted country road, stop following the VTT signs and keep walking straight ahead (no signage) as far as the Route des Fontaines.
  • Carry on a few metres towards the left and then directly on the right you’ll find the green diamond marker (Promenade du Chastel towards Pouhon Pia).
  • The signposted route follows the stream and passes the spring across a wood. During the descent the path again crosses some small tracks before meeting the Route de Barisart at a hairpin.
  • The trail continues left on this road for 200 metres, up to the Barisart spring (6) where it’s possible eat.
  • Behind the restaurant, the walk follows a path (yellow panel: Promenade Meyerbeer), climbing towards the Géronstère spring.
  • After the second yellow panel, the path turns left above the stream. Its proper signage (green diamond) reappears at this point. It then crosses several small bridges, continuing to follow the stream as far as the Géronstère spring, where you can take a well-earned break and have something to eat. 

Prepare your walk

Make sure you wear good hiking boots and comfortable walking shoes. A walking stick will also help. The moorlands and peat bogs are a fragile ecosystem: please respect them and stay on authorised paths,

Always take some snacks and water with you.

Along the way

At Barisart, Géronstère and Bérinzenne, you can access the rambling route directly. At Bérinzenne, a visit to the Forest and Waters Museum stands out, while in Spa you’ll find numerous restaurants offering both regional specialities and novelties.

Enchanting Spa

Do take the time to visit Spa, just a few minutes drive away: its thermal baths, casino and restaurants really are worth discovering.

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

Hard

Length

Minimum distance14 Km
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.