Hiking on the High Fens is a popular activity at all times of the year. Here I give five walks of different distances starting from the Signal de Botrange.
For a general introduction to the High Fens of Belgium I refer you to my post on Mont Rigi which also contains route descriptions and maps of four walks from that starting point. You could also start from Baraque Michel, in which case my post on two walks from Baraque Michel might be useful. In this post I go down the road a little to explore another area of the High Fens, with five walks varying from 5.5 km to 17 km starting from Signal de Botrange. And for some great insights into the benefits of hiking, check out this post from Brian.
What is Signal de Botrange?
The Signal of Botrange is the highest point of Belgium at an altitude of 694 meters. A wooden tower was built here in 1804 by the French Colonel Tranchot. In 1899 it was replaced by the Germans by a 30-meter tower, also made of wood, that was used to guard the border with Belgium. The tower disappeared in 1925 to make way for the current complex and the stone tower in 1934. The Botrange visitor centre offers information, a museum, shop, a brasserie, a children’s play area, and toilets. During COVID times some or all of these may not be open so it’s worth going prepared or checking in advance at Botrange.be. All photos are by Discovering Belgium’s Roving Photographer Herman Vandecauter, who has visited the High Fens regularly over the years.
A family-friendly walk on the High Fens
This is a short introduction to the High Fens. It’s ideal for children and families. It should take you about an hour and a half. Click to embiggen the map which you can download as a PDF or get the GPX track from RouteYou.
A popular walk of 8.5 km
This is one of the most popular hikes from Signal de Botrange. It heads north into the fens and around to Baraque Michel, where if it’s open you can take a rest or get something to eat. Then it heads south and circles back to the Signal de Botrange. Click on the map below to enlarge, download it as a PDF, and get the GPX track from RouteYou.
BOTRANGE-BAYEHON 12 KM
Slightly longer, the highlight of this walk is the Bayehon waterfall, where the Bayehon stream hurls itself into the depths, nine meters below. It’s a really beautiful and varying landscape of fir trees and moors, and you can greet the Old Oak (Vieux Chêne) which has been greeting travellers for centuries. Map to embiggen and download as a PDF. GPX track from RouteYou.
BOTRANGE 13 KM
If you want to try and get away from people (not always easy in this area, especially at the weekends), then you might want to try this northern route from Signal de Botrange. Map to embiggen and download as a PDF. GPX track from RouteYou.
BOTRANGE 17 KM
Finally, here’s something for a whole day expedition. Make sure you take sufficient supplies for the day, and dress accordingly for the weather forecast. Map to embiggen and download as a PDF. GPX track from RouteYou.
I hope you enjoy your hike in the High Fens from Signal de Botrange. If you have any other routes you would like to share, drop me a line below or contact me. To get new hiking routes directly into your inbox, add your email in the box below. And if you find Discovering Belgium, please consider supporting it by buying me a (virtual) coffee. Thanks! Denzil
Ah! The hike half of Belgium did the past week! 😛
Crazy wasn’t it? Hopefully with snow expected throughout Belgium today this will reduce numbers in the popular areas
Some glorious walks here, crazy though you’re still experiencing the crowd issues. That’s beginning to stop here thank goodness
A lot of Belgians like their ski holidays Becky. Without this possibility, they head to where the snow is in Belgium, with chaos if they all choose the same places.
Mad lot, far too cold for hiking! 🙂
Haha, yes we are a mad lot Frag. Almost as mad as photographers. 🙂
Glorious pictures. I fell in love with the idea of fens when I first read about them ( probably in the Prince Valiant comic strip). People don’t stop to think about rules or guidelines if it precludes them from doing something they feel they are entitled to do,
It looks beautiful.
Yes it’s certainly an area worth visiting if you can avoid the crowds.
Some of those trails look like you could snow shoe or x-country ski. That would be fun for me, but tiring just on foot!
In normal winter seasons the slopes are full of skiers or snow-walkers Laurie, if the snow is deep enough.
Beautiful wintry landscapes.
The snow is so beautiful but I wouldn’t be going when it’s crowded. Good advice to wait or find an alternative.
I’m always amazed to see and read about the amazing diversity of natural landscapes Belgium has to offer the public. Most of the countries in which I’ve lived – and there are many lol – offer a very limited number of choices for those who want to walk and cycle away from busy highways. Enjoy living in such a wonderful place!
Yes we are blessed with such a variety of landscapes in such a small country Henry. Blessings to you!
Too much white stuff for me, Denzil, but I know kids love it 🙂 🙂
I recently discovered this part of Belgium and fell in love with it, one feels far away from it all (although maybe not so much during the ski season?). We were there in April, still some snow but nothing like this, I’ll definitely aim to go back at different times of the year. Lovely photos, a lovely place.
Thanks Sel, yes, despite Belgium being quite a crowded place, there are still areas where solitude reigns! Although as you point out, not in the skiing or high summer seasons.
Allbeautiful places ??? but you practice trekking or you ski?