The Famenne walk from Barvaux allows you to explore the distinctive Famenne region. The Famenne may appear somewhat bleak and daunting at first, but, as this walk reveals, it conceals many unsuspected treasures.
Walk through the heart of the Famenne
With its clay-rich, damp and heavy soils, this region is not very suitable for agriculture. It presents a meagre appearance, with forests of stunted trees, scant crops and wet meadows. Barvaux and Grand-Han (in the municipality of Durbuy) exemplify these characteristics.
A little botany
After you have crossed the railway bridge, a whole different world unfolds. You enter the Bois de la Famenne forest. Notice how wet the ground is, due to the almost impermeable layer of clay. To allow species such as Scots pine (which usually prefers dry soils) to be established, the foresters dug drainage trenches.
The many plants you will notice are mostly typical wetland species.
Meadowsweet and red-veined sorrel. Their flowers appear from June to September: yellowish-white and arranged in inflorescences in the case of meadowsweet, and arranged in slender, elongated clusters in the case of red-veined sorrel.
On the sides of the drainage ditches a few perforate St. John’s-wort plants can be seen here and there. The plant is so called because of the numerous tiny holes in its leaves. It has large, bright yellow flowers from July to September.
You are in a Natura 2000 zone: Bois de la Famenne is subject to the Natura 2000 directives. The Natura 2000 programme, which is run across the EU according to standards specific to each member state, seeks to preserve certain species and their natural environments and allow them to develop harmoniously. Natura 2000 zones are designated according to precise criteria and are managed very carefully.
Start: Barvaux, Parc Juliénas
Waymarker: blue diamond
Distance: 10.5 km
Approximate duration: 3 hours 30 minutes
Level of difficulty: easy
Defining features: village – forest edge