Relais des Fagnes-Av. Joseph Jongen-panorama-bospad RAVeL-villa Sérénité-Relais des Fagnes
An surprising 7 km walk along rural and forest paths.
Inevitably there are muddy areas and some climbing will be required. Suitable footwear is not a luxury and as the grass can be long, the choice to wear trousers is not useless.
The route is not suitable for prams or wheelchairs.
No catering facilities.
You start on the Route de Hockai, at the exit of the Relais des Fagnes, to the left towards the main road. 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 the age of 13. This first composition was followed by many others (241 of which he destroyed 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), which you have to take. Follow this path to a fork in the road. Here your choice is the path to the right which will take you up to the highest point in the area. Don't be impressed by the fences. The fences are not there to discourage walkers but to protect the plantations from potential damage by game. Continue on to the hunting turret and turn around to enjoy the beautiful view.
Then opt for the firebreak on your right (with your back to the hunting turret) and walk down the steep ramp. Chances are that the route is too difficult and it may be unavoidable to go through the woods. Once you reach the bottom you should look for a narrow forest path, which lies a few metres ahead of you in a position transverse to the lane you have just descended. It may be difficult to see through the vegetation but it is definitely there. As soon as you find it, you start to follow it in the direction of the right. You will come to a more or less open area, dotted with quartzite blocks and with several beeches in the middle that have joined together to form a 'cluster'. Keep the beech trees to your left and continue straight ahead until you find yourself on a small forestpath and follow it to the right.
You continue to follow this small path - regularly difficult to distinguish from the vegetation - to the end. There are tree roots and boulders to overcome, which require you to climb on the left and right.
This path will have led you to a small bridge that crosses an old railway line, which has been converted into a cycle path and is part of the RAVel (Réseau Autonome des Voies Lentes).
Turn right and follow the road straight ahead until you reach the holiday home "Villa Sérénité". The pathway 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.