Tid  7 timer 33 minutter

Koordinater 2848

Uploadet 8. december 2018

Optaget november 2018

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700 m
494 m
29,44 km

Vist 3337 gange, downloadet 37 gange

tæt på Ruitzhof, Nordrhein-Westfalen (Deutschland)

This beautiful hike through the Hautes Fagnes/Hohes Venn nature reserve takes you from the Vennbahn station of Reichenstein to the highest point of Belgium (Botrange) and back. The hike is on trails, forest roads, and boardwalks. You will find something to eat at Botrange and the Maison du Parc Botrange (Centre Nature).
The hike starts at the parking of the Vennbahn station of Reichenstein, near the Reichenstein Abbey. You cross the cycling path and walk up into the woods past the border stones. About 600 m further you come to a rocky outcrop called Richelsley, with a large cross on top (Kreuz im Venn). A small cave with a Mary statue (Mariengrotte) can be found at the foot. From Richelsley you continue on quiet forest roads (largely paved) around the Pannensterzkopf hill. You descend towards the valley of the Hill/Helle river. Just before you descend you have a great view across the valley towards the Grande Fagne. Below, near the river, you find the Pouhon de Herzogenhügel, a source of ferruginous water. You cross the river and follow a small trail through the moors in the beautiful Helle valley, partly on boardwalks. At the Petit Bongard bush you turn right and follow a trail through the wood until you get to the edge of the Grande Fagne. A single path takes you straight through the moors. In the first section you pass a small lake, typical of the area. It’s called a pingo or palsa, a small lake created by the melting of a lens of ice. A bit further you pass the Geitzbusch, a forest with a lot of dead trees in the middle of the moors. You pass this forest and head for the next collection of dead trees, the Noir Flohay. From here the path turns left towards the boardwalk from Baraque Michel along the Helle. You follow the boardwalk upstream until you get to the Belgian-Prussian border stone. Here you turn left on another boardwalk along the Fagne Wallonne straight towards Botrange. Near Botrange there is a viewpoint across the moors. At Botrange, there is a restaurant, and a small hill with stone steps bridging the gap between 693 m altitude and 700 m (the Baltia tower). Parallel to the main road you walk to the nature center, where there is a small restaurant (‘Fagnetaria’) as well. You cross the road and walk northeast along the Fagne Wallonne and the woods. You turn right on a forest road until you get to the Sentier de la Roer, a small track through the woods taking you along one Roer branch to the other. You then cross the young river and walk on the other side of the Roer until you get to a forest road bridge across the river. A path takes you along the Bosfagne moor before you cross woods to the Nesselo moor and the Scheidbach. Just past this moor I went left through the Rurbusch, but found at the end that the track was off-limits to hikers. I replaced the track for this part with an alternative track, right and then left twice getting you to the same point (the waypoint marked Rurbusch). You follow the forest road, turn right until at the end you walk through grass on a minor path and another minor path through the woods until you get to the forest road. You follow the road until the turn-off taking you to the Schwarzsee, a small reservoir in the Schwarzbach valley. You then follow the valley on a forest road and then a track until you get to the German border. You cross the stream and the border and then walk up into the Ruitzhof enclave. This piece of land is completely surrounded by Belgian borders (part of it the Vennbahn), and consists of pasture with good views of the Eifel. You leave the enclave on the other side and walk back to the starting point.

Along the Fagne Wallonne

A broad forest track takes you along the Fagne Wallonne and spruce forest. The Roer river has two sources in the Fagne Wallonne to your left.

Baltia Tower

Artificial hill named after a Belgian military officer. The steps take you up to 700 meters altitude.

Boardwalk and path along Fagne Wallonne

A boardwalk and then an unpaved road takes you along the Fagne Wallonne towards the Botrange.

Boardwalk Helle valley

Beautiful board walk along the Helle (or Hill) river.


Border between the German enclave Ruitzhof and Belgium

Border stone

Border stone in the woods

Descent Hill valley

Here you descend towards the Hill/Helle valley with view to the Grande Fagne

Forest Road

Paved forest road between Sourbrodt and Kalterherberg


Forest with quite a few dead trees in the middle of the Grande Fagne

Hill crossing

Crossing of the Hill river

Hill valley

Trail through the Hill valley

Kreuz im Venn / Richelsley

Big cross on top of the Richelsley rocks

Lookout point Botrange

Viewing platform on the edge of the Fagne Wallonne


Small 'cave' in the rocks with Mary statue

Minor path

Minor path through grass and then woods.

Noir Flohay

Collection of dead trees in the middle of the moors. Peculiar sight

Path through Fagne des Deux Séries

Straight trail through the Fagne des Deux Séries, part of the Grande Fagne

Petit Bongard

Bush at the edge of the moors

Pingo or Palsa

Little lake called a pingo or a palsa (I am not sure). Formed by a lens of ice pushing away the ground and then creating a lake after melting

Pouhon de Herzogenhügel

Source with water containing iron.

Prussian border stone

A border stone between Belgium and Prussia. The border ran from here along the Hill from Eupen to Baraque Michel.

Reichenstein Station

Former station on the Vennbahn, now an access point to the new cycling path.

River crossing

Here you walk through the Roer river (not too deep), and continue along the river to the bridge.


German enclave with farms, fields and beech trees. Good views of Kalterherberg and the Eifel.


Forest near the Roer river.

Schwarzbach valley road

Forest road through the Schwarzbach valley

Schwarzsee dam

Dam creating the Schwarzsee

Schwarzsee viewpoint

Viewpoint across the Schwarzsee.

Sentier de la Roer

Here you enter a trail along the Roer river which is closed between 2 hours before sunset to 2 hours after sunrise to protect red deer.

Signal de Botrange

Highest point of Belgium with a restaurant, large parking, telecommunication tower and the small Baltia tower which brings you up to 700 m

Stellerholz forest road

Paved forest road

Trail along the Schwarzbach

Trail along the Schwarzbach valley

Unpaved forest road

Unpaved forest road taking you to the Sentier de la Roer

Zwischen dem Busch - Nesselo

Between two forests is a small moor called Nesselo

2 kommentarer

  • Foto af elce2106

    elce2106 11-01-2019

    Tjaart, wat een mooie omgeving om te wandelen. Bij mij ook goed bekend. Sfeervolle weergave van de tocht door de vele foto’s. Je geeft een moeilijkheidsgraad van matig op, ik denk dat voor de meeste mensen ‘t een echte uitdaging is, om deze tocht na te lopen, gezien de lengte en het hoogteverschil.

  • Foto af Tjaart Molenkamp

    Tjaart Molenkamp 11-01-2019

    Bedankt Elce voor je review en beschouwing. Mooi dat het goed bevallen is. Ik heb matig aangegeven omdat het niet te steil is, maar de kwalificatie is subjectief. Het is natuurlijk wel langer en op sommige plekken wat modderig.

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