The High Fens (Hautes Fagnes in French), located in the eastern parts of Belgium, are Belgium’s largest nature reserve. The park stretches between the cities of Eupen in the north, Monschau in the east, Spa in the west and Malmedy in the south. The High Fens consist mainly of raised bogs, and low, grass- or wood-covered hills, moorland and forest. The highest point in Belgium is located in the High Fens at Signal de Botrange with 694 meters above sea level.
Hiking in the High Fens:
No matter what time of the year, the High Fens are a perfect destination for short walks or long hikes through a diverse landscape. The unique landscape changes with the seasons. Long winter walks are just as pleasurable as short summer hikes. Keep in mind that the area has a colder and wetter climate compared to the rest of Belgium. Once the sun sets, it can cool down fairly quick, which can be a serious issue during winter months. Be prepared and bring some extra (rain-) clothing.
For your safety and conservation of the delicate nature, please always stay on the assigned paths.
Due to fire hazards, access to certain parts of the area might be closed off. There is a general no-fire policy!
Here are a few idea’s for your hiking destinations in the High Fens:
Signal de Botrange is Belgium’s highest point, located in the centre of the High Fens. It’s the perfect starting location for your hikes.
Located in Robertville, the castle of Reinhardstein is one of the must see’s historic sites of the High Fens. Hike around the caste in the beautiful scenery and search Belgiums highest and most hidden waterfall.
The valley of the Hoëgne between Solwaster and Hockai is the scenery of one of the most beautiful hikes in Belgium.
This 8m high waterfall in Longfaye is well worth the hike.
Lakes and dams
Being the highest point in Belgium, the High Fens act like a spongy roof, collection a large amount of water. Most of the water gets absorbed by the peat soil, before it gets released again, forming the source of several rivers in the area. Most of this water gets collected in 3 huge lakes with a damn to act as a water reservoir that’s responsible for a large part of the drinking water in the Liège Province.
The Gillape lake and dam
Eupen lake and Dam of the river Vesdre.
Accommodation at the High Fens
A large amount of accommodations in the area consist out of holiday homes and are located at the southern parts of the High Fens near Malmedy and Butgenbach. It’s possible to find a basic cottage or apartment for under 50€ per night. More luxurious or larger accommodations range up to 150€ per night and more.
Winter sports at the High Fens
Due to the relatively cold climate at the High-Fens compared to the rest of Belgium, this area has in winter the most chance of snowfall. Therefore it’s no surprise this area has several ski-centers where you can practice cross-country skiïng, alpine skiïng or some old fashioned sledging.
You can find a full list of all Ski-centres at the High Fens on this link: https://www.ostbelgien.eu/en/what-to-do/wintersport/ski-centres