Walk: Lac de Robertville
A varied and sporty 5.5 km walk with beautiful views of the lake. It goes up and down on narrow forest paths.
The route is not accessible to prams or wheelchairs.
Always muddy and slippery - requires shoes suitable for the terrain
Refreshments available halfway along the route at the 'Chalet du Barrage' (opening hours unpredictable)
The Robertville Lake (created by the dam of the same name) has a surface area of 62 ha and a capacity of almost 8 million m3. The deepest point is 54.5 m. The Robertville lake is intended to guarantee the drinking water supply of Malmédy and to deliver water for the hydroelectric power station of Bevercé 10 km further on, through an underground system of canals and pipes. Today, however, it is mainly used for tourism under the name "Robertville-les-Bains".
Drive to the centre of Robertville and from there to the "Pont de Haelen", direction Lake Robertville, Camping du Lac, Hôtel des bains, Robertville-les-Bains,... (Do not take the direction 'dam'!)
Park the car on the car park with the stone wall, immediately before the bridge on your left.
This bridge was named 'Pont de Haelen' in memory of the famous battle (called the battle of the silver helmets because the
because the German vanguard wore 'silver' helmets with spikes shining in the sun) at Haelen near Diest where a small number of brave Belgian soldiers faced the elite German army and managed to delay the advance of their opponent on 12 August 1914. Many of the helmets were later found on the battlefield. This bridge - at the time of the construction of the lake - took the place of the old bridge over the Warche, which was called the "Waterloo Bridge". This change of name was probably part of the policy of strengthening the Belgian character of the eastern cantons, pursued by Governor Baltia in the 1920s.
Do not cross the bridge, but start your walk on the Rue du Lac on the other side of the road, with the lake on your left. Walk to the next car park around the bend. Here you will find the wooden signposts "Warche Tour", which send you down the stairs. The Warche Tour is a walk that links the two artificial lakes fed by the Warche, Lake Robertville and Lake Bütgenbach. (This is not the ambition for today!)
When you get to the bottom, follow the narrow path beside the water, cross a small wooden bridge and immediately afterwards you will see a path on your right, which goes up. Take it and walk through the campsite "La Plage" until you reach the main entrance, which gives access to an asphalt road. You go a little to the right and try to discover on the opposite side a rural path, which you have to take. Soon you will see the lake below on your left.
You continue along this path until it leads to an asphalt road, which you follow for a short distance, taking a left turn to bypass the barrier (do not go through the gate!)
Follow the road until you see a 'no entry' sign. Behind this sign on your left is a path that leads you back to the lake. For a while you can follow this charming path and at the end you turn left for a while to reach the dam. You continue your walk over the dam.
It was baron Baltia, the first governor of the newly acquired Eastern Cantons at the end of the First World War, who gave the order to build 3 dams on the Warche: one in Butgenbach, one in Robertville and one in Malmedy (the latter was never built). The dimensions of the Robertville dam are as follows: height 55m, width at the base 38m, width at the top 4m.
At the other end of the dam you will find the "Chalet du Barrage". Time for a break! After that you have to cross the road and take the small asphalt path upwards, which starts behind the green light. Just before the sign "privé" you enter the wood and turn left to walk along the lake for a while.
You cross a small wooden bridge again, followed by a staircase. You come across a forest path where you turn right (yellow rectangles). At the end of this path you take the wider forest track on the left towards the Haelen bridge. A little further on, at the signpost "Airhe", you go straight on, which allows you to enjoy a nice walk along the water again.
After a while you will notice that you have arrived behind the grounds of the "Hotel des Bains", cross the bridge and reach the car park where your car is located.