Practical Tip: Walking The Fagnes

A particular attraction for short walks are the boardwalk sections, allowing you to observe the Fagnes' boggy environment without causing damage or sinking into it. The well-signed Fagne de la Polleûr loop is a 4km circuit, mostly boardwalked, with useful interpretive panels (French/Dutch/German) introducing relevant wildlife and plants, and an interesting weather station. It's accessed from Mt Rigi or Baraque Michel, and has an extension that takes it to 6km.

For most other hikes, a rambler’s first purchase should be the 1:25,000 Hautes Fagnes Carte des Promenades map, which shows dozens of other routes. At time of research, curiously, it was €7 in some places and €12.95 in others. The reserve has some restricted zones, clearly marked.

The 4000-hectare reserve is a haven for wild boar, roe deer, hen harriers and black grouse, though you’re far from certain to see any. Indeed, some trails close during the grouse's nesting period (April to July). Hard to spot botanical curiosities include Drosera rotundifolia (a carnivorous sundew plant) and Trientales europaea (Wintergreen Chickweed), a rare seven-petalled flowering plant.