Relais des Fagnes-Avenue Joseph Jongen-Ravel-Pont des Bénévoles-Belvédère-Pont de Centenaire-Relais des Fagnes
An 8 km walk to see the main attractions of the Hoëgne valley.
There are some steep climbs and the route is always muddy and slippery.
Suitable footwear is essential and the walk includes a narrow rocky path which climbs steeply. In rainy weather, the risk imposes caution.
The route is not suitable for prams, wheelchairs or children under 8 years of age.
There is no possibility of catering.
At the exit of the Relais des Fagnes, you turn left onto the main road on the "Route de Hockai". You will cross it to enter the street opposite. You are now walking down Joseph Jongen Street.
Joseph Jongen has his own little monument a little further to the right (at number 83A). He was a composer, born in Liège in 1873, who was admitted to the Liège Conservatory at the age of 7 and created his first work at 13. This first composition was followed by many others (241 of which he destroyed many himself) for different instruments (cello, piano, harp but especially for organs). He was appointed director of the Royal Conservatory in Brussels and died in Sart-lez-Spa in 1953, 14 years after his retirement. His Symphonie Concertante of 1926 ranks, since its performance on the largest pipe organ in the world, (notably the organs in Philadelphia, known as 'Wanamaker') among the most famous works for organ and orchestra. The choice in 2018 by a Belgian candidate in the Queen Elisabeth competition for a song by J. Jongen earned her a place in the final.
At the first crossroads, turn right and you will reach the main road. Cross the road with care and walk a short distance to the right on the hard shoulder until you reach the rural road with the barrier. Follow this path to a fork in the road.
Here your choice is the path on the left which will lead you to a crossroads where you come across the RAVel, which can be recognised by signs with a horseman, a pedestrian and a cyclist. The RAVel (Réseau Autonome des Voies Lentes) is a network of disused railway lines, currently used as cycle paths and footpaths for walkers.
Go straight across it and down the rocky forest path towards the Hoëgne. You come to a crossroads where you turn right to continue your descent. You finally arrive at the Hoëgne, near the "Pont des Bénévoles", named after the volunteers who maintain the walk.
The Hoëgne rises on the plateau of Mont Rigi at a height of 660 m and is named after Polleur; after about 5 km it joins forces with the Herbofaye, which descends from the heights of the Baraque Michel. They continue together under the name of the Hoëgne. After about 25 km it flows into the Vesdre.
Cross the small bridge and follow the river for a long way upstream and let yourself be seduced by the magnificent beauty of nature by following the path beside the river, walking on the famous "caillebotis" of the fens and passing through the roots of the trees. At the "Pont de la Grosse Roche" you will cross the Hoëgne again.
But there is still a small bridge to cross and immediately after the stairs, you will discover the small path that leads up to the shelter called the "Belvedere". The view is superb as you pass through several hairpin bends. The climb is hard and not without risks. Children must be supervised.
With your back to the shelter you turn right and where the forest path leads to a red gravel path, you also turn right and end up on an asphalt path and turn right again. This path leads to the "Vecquée", a very old road, which leads upwards on the left (through a steep slope) and downwards on the right. In the Middle Ages, the Prince-Bishops of Liege used this road to visit the abbeys of Malmedy and Stavelot. Hence the name "Vecquée" (see "évêque", i.e. the bishop's path).
You finish the descent by turning right, to reach the "Pont du Centenaire" over the Hoëgne. You will cross the bridge and start to climb the slope in front of you, which requires quite a bit of energy but you will soon arrive at the bridge over the RAVel where you continue straight on to the holiday home, the "Villa Sérénité". The path in the extension of your road, next to the Villa, takes you directly to the Hockai Road. If the condition of the path does not allow a comfortable passage, you stay on the asphalt by taking a left. The result is the same, you also come across the Hockai Road. Once you have reached the Hockai road, turn right and after 2 km you will find yourself at the starting point: Le Relais des Fagnes.