Looking for a new hike in Belgium? I got you covered with the beautiful hike alongside the Hoegne river in the Ardennes. This hike is for everyone who loves to discover the beautiful nature of Belgium.
Valley of the Hoegne
The Hoegne Valley is a beautiful natural region in the Province of Liege. The Hoegne river is about 30 km long and flows through the Ardennes.
The river has hundreds of little waterfalls, rock formations, and stunning vegetation. The special thing about the river is its color, due to the high amount of iron in the soil, the river has this dark brown color which results in beautiful images.
You will see a lot of white foam on the river, this is not pollution but the acid river making its own natural soap also called Saponins, which comes from plants.
This trail is amazing in every season. In the winter the river is wild and full giving you a rural atmosphere and beautiful waterfalls. But in the summer you can cool down by taking a little swim in the river and enjoying the multiple rock formations for a bit of climbing.
What to bring
I would recommend taking good hiking shoes on this trail. My friend did it barefoot, just to prove a point but take it from him shoes are important!
Also, if you are planning on going inside the river, water shoes are a must. We like to slide from waterfall to waterfall but without the water shoes, it was quite painful.
A good bottle of water is also a must and some snacks for along the way in a comfortable backpack, but don't worry at the end of the trip you will have the opportunity to go for a drink as well.
the Hoegne trail
The hike of the Hoegne river starts at the “Pont de Belleheid” parking. To access this parking you need to drive across the river. Don't worry this is 10 centimeters of water but still a nice thing to experience. At the parking, you will see the start of the trail, after which you can follow the blue cross signs.
The hike is 10 km long but there are different alterations possible to extend the trail. What I like most about this hike is how natural it still is even though it is quite popular. You will walk alongside wooden bridges, stairs, and rock formations. The maximal elevation is around 200 meters and gives you the necessary challenge.
Around 3 km from the start you have a beautiful pick-nick area, with a lot of wooden benches and some information boards about the river and how it creates its own natural soap. After that, the trail gets a bit more challenging until the Pont de la Vecquee.
At this point, you have walked 5 km and have come to the half of the trail. You can decide here if you want to extend your day trip or come back to the parking area along the other side of the river.
On your way back you will see what the Walloons call a Belvédère, which is another word for shelter. From here you will have a beautiful viewpoint over the Hoegne Valley.
In Belgium, it's almost a custom to go get a drink after a nice day of hiking, so of course, this trail ends with a café/restaurant called Chalet de Pont de Belleheid.
You can enjoy a typical Belgian beer here but I would definitely go for the local beer from the Ardennes.
Accessibility for children
Due to the rural parkour, it is not possible to take a stroller for the children. I would recommend the hike for children older than 6 so that they can jump from rock to rock in the river and not get tired too soon.
I think it is perfect for children to play everywhere and find their own adventures along the way. The wooden bridges also make it fun to have a little challenge but are not always very secure, that's why I wouldn't suggest it for toddlers.
Day trip & Adventure
I highly recommend this hike for a day out with the family or with friends because of the amazing natural character of the Hoëgne Valley.
Together with some friends, we went on a day trip there. We hung up our hammocks, put on our swimsuits, and spend the day there. The river has lovely small waterfalls to slide down.
Also, along the path, you have multiple big rock formations that are perfect to do some climbing and make the hike extra adventurous.
I hope you will enjoy this trail alongside the Hoegne river and discover the Hoegne Valley. You can also combine this hike with a visit to the city Spa, which is close by or with La Charmille. Have a good trip!
Keep on dreaming and Fly Along!