Preparing for a hiking tour

16 Nov 2014

Advice to hikers :

  • Prepare your trip! Take a small bag to carry your drinks and picnic in. As the weather can change very quickly do not forget to take a light windbreaker or warm and waterproof clothing depending on the regions. Be sure to take some sun lotion, sunglasses and a hat during the summer months.
  • The hiker’s best friend is his/her footwear. This should provide good ankle support. The footwear should be suitable for the distances the hiker intends to walk.
  • Dogs should be kept on a lead. They are not allowed in nature reserves.
  • Keep a low profile. This will make it easier to get close up to and observe the wild animals which are often wary of people.
  • Keep to the left: in the case of pedestrian traffic, a provision in article 42 of the highway code requires pedestrians walking along the road to do so ON THE LEFT-HAND SIDE, in the direction they are walking, even in a built-up area.
  • The stages are shown in this guide for illustrative purposes only but comprise locations on offer from the accommodation facilities and links to public transport systems. All hikers should nonetheless gear the stages to the time available, their physical capabilities and their type of transport or accommodation. A common practice is to leave a car at the place of arrival and return to the planned starting point by public transport.
  • The route is accessible throughout the year, however during the period from November to March, local weather conditions may make some of the sections slippery.


Notice about foot/vehicle traffic in forests :

The Escapardenne  does not have any special legal status and is governed by ordinary law. Travel in Walloon forests is subject to the Forest Code (title XIV), amended by the Decree of 16 February1995 whose implementation procedures are laid down in the implementation Decree of 29 February 1996.

Hikers normally enjoy the right to travel along roads and paths open to public traffic: not specifically closed to pedestrians (even in the case of private property). However, travel in forests may be temporarily restricted or prohibited for the following reasons: hunting, fishing, a risk of fire, work in the forest, tourism, protection of fauna or flora.

Outre le respect de ces dispositions, l’usager pédestre veillera à se comporter avec respect tant vis-à-vis du milieu naturel que des autres usagers: 

  • The Escapardenne is marked. This helps to make sure visitors do not get lost, while maintaining a balance between the fauna and surrounding flora as the seasons change. This applies on a small and large-scale insofar as a deer enjoy the vast expanse of the forest, while the ladybird makes do with three blades of grass … no trampling !
  • You no doubt like the peaceful environment in the forest. Shouts and noises also disturb the animals which, just like you, appreciate the peace and quiet.
  • You no doubt appreciate the beauty of the forest. Do not leave your waste behind… empty items weigh less than full ones… !
  • Forestry officers, farmers and private land owners look after plants or seeds, livestock, ponds and streams or paths you use. This is all part of their job. Show them respect… An encounter with one of these people will also enable you to discover one side of their work.
  • Do not plan on lighting any fires (the danger is often greater than it may seem …) or camping outside areas earmarked for this purpose. Sorry but it is not allowed. Be sure to organise yourself accordingly.
  • Another small word of warning…  In order not to upset the balance of the environment you travel through, you are advised not to pick the plants, particularly if you are not sure what they are. It is completely forbidden to pick certain types of protected plants. Some areas, such as the nature reserves you walk across, are also protected. Streams are places that are brimming with life so please disturb them as little as possible.
  • Lastly, as you move around you are bound to come across other people walking, riding horses or bicycles… The paths are of course for sharing! A bit of friendliness is all that is needed … And your walk will be all the more pleasant because of your accommodating attitude!