Wandeling: Monument Frédéricq
A varied 5.5 km walk through woods and fens and along a vivid stream
The paths are practicable but in the middle of the route you will have to climb a little
The route can be muddy, is not recommended for prams or wheelchairs.
No catering facilities
Drive towards Hockai and there choose the Route de Xhoffraix (direction hautes fagnes and Baraque Michel). Continue for a few kilometres until you reach the bridge over the river Trôs Marets where you will find, in a bend to the right, a car park on your left with an information board. This is the place to park the car.
The Trôs Marets rises in the fens under the name of Setay just a few hundred metres from another small river, the Bayehon (known for its 9m waterfall). The Bayehon flows south-eastwards while the Trôs Marets meanders south-westwards, but both flow into the Warche. The Trôs Marets descends very quickly over a distance of only 6 km, from a height of 640 m to a level of 340 m, which gives it the character of a torrent. The force of the water flowing at great speed has carved out a V-shaped ravine with numerous cascades jumping over the large quartzite blocks that dot the area.
The start of the walk is not at the car park, but across the road. Look for the narrow path a few metres to the left of the bridge (with the back to the car park), which takes you down to the river and walk one after the other to a second bridge, where you climb back up. You come across a gravel path and turn right. Now you will be following this path for quite some time. Ignore all the crossroads until you come to a crossroads where you will notice a wooden signpost and an information board about "The Chôdires". Here you turn left. In the middle of the wood you will see on your right the "Chêne Frédérique". There is not much left of the glory days of this ancient oak tree... You will recognise it especially by the large hole just above the ground. It was named after Mr Léon Frédérique, whom you will meet further along the walk.
Further on, small raised logs (the famous log paths of the fens) allow you to cross a small stream and to walk through a very marshy area. You are not in spring country for nothing...
Continue to the crossroads and turn right here. From now on you can follow the yellow crosses for a short distance, which will lead you to a mini path in the direction of "Tarnion" and the "Monument Frédérique". You now cross the small stream again, which you have just discovered, and then you arrive at the banks of the Tarnion.
The Tarnion is a river with a steep gradient, better known as "Eau Rouge". The Eau Rouge is one of the best known rivers in the fens and has given its name to a village, a campsite and even a pizzeria. But the name Eau Rouge has become world-famous as the name of the most spectacular bend on the F1 circuit at Spa-Francorchamps, being according to the experts the most beautiful circuit in the world.
The walk follows the Tarnion upstream to the point where a signpost invites you to visit the Frédérique monument on the other bank. As the walk continues where you are, there is no obligation to make the return crossing, if this exercise does not tempt you.
Léon Frédérique was one of the pioneers of the association "Amis de la Fagne", which played a key role in promoting nature and tourism in the region. The little plant he lovingly shows is most likely a very specific plant found exclusively in the fagne, belonging to the species 'potentilla' in Latin, which refers to a strong medicinal activity. However, even asking the question directly to the association "Friends of the Fagne" did not allow to confirm the hypothesis without ambiguity.
After returning from the monument (or not for the less courageous) it is time to go back and climb the path that leads you to a shelter, where you turn right. You follow the path to the wooden signpost you saw on the way out. Just continue on the familiar path until you reach the stone bridge over the Trôs Marets, where you take the small path on the left that you left at the beginning of the walk and soon you will reach the car park where your car is located.