- Walking or hiking
The small town of La Roche-en-Ardenne sits majestically on the banks of the Ourthe, as it forms two large meanders of a deep valley in a landscape surrounded by hills. La Roche’s ideal situation offers numerous possibilities both for hikers and kayak beginners. The trail follows the signs of route No 6 as far as Maboge and Boursée before returning to La Roche, charmed by its lovely views of the ruined castle and the Ourthe valley.
Route/Points of Interest
- From the ‘Place du Bronze’ (S), route No 6 (red diamonds) passes along the rue Bon Dieu de Maka and climbs as far as the outskirts of the town.
- High up, at the level of ‘Olivettes’ (where the gallows of la Roche county once stood) the path becomes a dirt track.
- This track climbs up to the ‘Cresse de Corbeau’ (1), where route No 6 goes off to the left to the remains of a radio mast. It then goes up to the right above the Ourthe valley among the gorse bushes, which transform the high plateau with a vast covering of bright yellow in spring.
- At the end of the track, the terrain changes. A forest track drops sharply to the left and soon becomes a narrow stony path, a good part of which requires a careful tread.
- As the descent crosses in several places a mountain-bike track, extra care is advisable here. You cross the Ourthe in the valley and then reach Maboge (2).
- The track turns right to come on to the main road, which it follows for about 800 metres before arriving at a path (beside the road) which leads you outside the village. Before the fork of the road on your right there’s a bench from where you have a clear view of the Ourthe.
- At the crossing with a fork towards Borzée, take the track that crosses the bridge, then pass under the stream to take the forest track to the left. You’ll find the signage of the new Eisleck Trail/Escapardenne (blue waves) which will accompany you for some of the time.
- At the next junction, the track climbs sharply to the right and twists its way to the entrance to Borzée (3), where you’ll find a small chapel and pleasant bistro. The route passes in front of the brasserie and crêperie ‘Le Clos René’, then climbs again to the left and leads into the forest.
- At the fork behind the game enclosure, keep left and follow the main road (you will pass in front of the Gisant de Cohan viewpoint) as far as the second reservoir.
- Turn left alongside a meadow to the entrance of the village.
- At the first roundabout, take a left to house No 31 and follow a hidden path which drops down through a lovely oak wood.
- At the end of the path, the red diamond symbol No 6 sends you to the right on the Route de Houffalize, then into the second road on the right alongside the village.
- Soon you’ll come upon a superb view (4) over La Roche park and the castle that sits above the Ourthe.
- At the following junction, you return to your starting point via the rue Saint Quoilin on the left.
- Alternatively, you can turn right and extend the length of the trail by 6 kilometres, following the red diamond signs (route No 4) which leads to a game park, an arboretum and the magnificent site of ‘Diable château’.
The only downside is that this walk is exclusively on asphalt.
Prepare your walk
Make sure you wear good hiking boots and comfortable walking shoes. Be careful if it has been raining: some of the walk downs can be slippery and tiring. A walking stick will also help for the way up.
Always take some snacks and water with you.
In La Roche you’ll find several museums near the ruined castle. Ardennes ham from the butchers Bouillon & Fils is one of the best of its kind. You can eat at the ‘Le Close René’ crêperie (an idyllic bistro open only in season) at Borzée.
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