Walk: Moulin du Ruy
A peaceful 9 km walk in and around the Roannay valley, offering some beautiful views.
Both uphill and downhill, but modest.
The first part of the walk is on small, comfortable paths; the second part is on stony forest paths.
Appropriate footwear is required - (waterproof/non-slip: some streams to be crossed)
Not suitable for prams or wheelchairs
Catering possible in Moulin du Ruy, at 'L' Instant Présent' at the start and at the end (open during the WE). More or less halfway, there is a catering possibility at "Le Vert du Pommier" (open 7/7)
Park the car near the church of Moulin du Ruy or at the car park of the small school a little further on.
Throughout the walk, red rectangles (LG 5) will help you stay on the right path, although their colour has suffered on the left and right from the sun.
The church of Moulin du Ruy was dedicated to Saint-Eustache and dates from 1874. The rest of the village is older, as you will see from the wonderful facades of the half-timbered houses, which give it its architectural unity. For the origin of the village you have to go back in time to the 7th century when the settlement was concentrated on the banks of the Roannay.
The village farms, which date from the 18th and 19th centuries, are houses made up of two main elements: on the one hand the half-timbering, a set of beams forming the framework of a wall. This wooden framework is made up of wooden sections whose beams delimit compartments called squares. On the other side, the wall is made up of the "hourdage", which has a filling and stiffening role. The most widespread construction method combines wood and adobe. The stone foundations on which the frameworks rest protect the wood from groundwater. Stone or bricks are generally used late in the evolution of the construction of this type of house. From the 17th century onwards, the facades of timber-framed houses were plastered, keeping the structure visible. The western walls were often additionally protected with slates. The original thatched roofs disappeared because of the risk of fire and were replaced by slate roofs from Vielsalm, according to a local poet "dull mirrors of the Ardennes grey sky".
The farmhouses consist of 3 parts: a living area (bedroom, kitchen, living room), the stable and a barn with a shed.
Go to the left (with your back to the church) and take the small street on the left before the bridge (note the charming little house above the river). You follow the Roannay and pass a barbecue spot. Continue to follow the river (red rectangles) and where these rectangles indicate, you cross the bridge. Continue your walk for another kilometre through fields and meadows to the Pont de Roannay, which you do not cross.
Keep your eyes on the red rectangles. The path (mostly uphill) now winds through forests and fields, and ends up at La Gleize, near the restaurant "Le Vert du Pommier", a favourite spot for locals and tourists alike. This is a great time to take a break!
La Gleize suffered terribly during the Ardennes offensive in 1944. The 'Tiger' tank and the 'December 1944' museum bring this very dark period to life. The village church from the 12th century with its medieval framework is worth a visit (later).
The red rectangles send you in the direction of "Borgoumont" and "Domaine de Bérinzenne". A little further on you go left and up and a little further, at the little chapel, you go straight on and up the small asphalt road. This path soon turns into a country lane which leads you to the small river "Nabonruy", which you cross over a narrow wooden bridge. The walk continues along the extension of the bridge. The ascent continues on a stony forest path along the dense coniferous forest.
At the crossroads follow the red rectangles to the right and stay on this path until you reach the hamlet of Borgoumont. The triangles lead you towards the exit of the hamlet and at one of the last houses on your right (no. 36, a large and beautiful Ardennes stone house, surrounded by a wrought iron fence) it is well worth stopping for a moment. Turn your back to the entrance of the house and look ahead (so to your left as you arrive). Opposite you will see a turret in the distance.
The turret belongs to the former sanatorium of Borgoumont. The building now looks like a haunted castle, but is still one of the "big ladies" in the area. The building was built in the early 1900s in Belle Epoque style as a rehabilitation centre for tuberculosis patients. Between 2010 and 2013 the building was used as an asylum centre. The total land area is 220 ha, of which 2,905 m2 is covered by buildings. The estate is for sale at a price to be negotiated (for information: the cadastral income is in the order of 32,000 Euros)
The walk continues through fields and woodland to the next river, which must be crossed. Continue through the wood, follow the edge and pass between the fields to the point where you automatically stop to enjoy the superb panoramic view over the Roannay valley as you turn around.
You will now descend to the "Fontaine des Nymphes", where the spring water gushes out with great force from a tacky plastic pipe.
Here you turn right, but you do not go as far as the Roannay. Before you reach the bridge over the river, you turn left and follow the red rectangles for another short circuit around Moulin du Ruy. When you reach the asphalt road, turn right to reach the church and your car.