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Our bike ride to the Trois Frontières site – L’Avenir

Welcome to the sixth walk in our summer series, where we will be exploring the famous Trois Frontières site, where Belgium, the Netherlands, and Germany meet. Starting from the Gemmenich cemetery, we will embark on a bike ride that will take us through beautiful landscapes and interesting landmarks. Along the way, we will climb, descend, and enjoy the countryside of the Pays de Herve. This 30-kilometer route is relatively accessible, with two challenging climbs, and it is mostly on safe paths and small country roads. So gear up, bring your mountain bike, and let’s begin our journey to the Three Borders.

For this sixth walk in our summer series, we tackle the famous Trois Frontières site. Where, you will have understood, Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany meet.

But before reaching this emblematic place, you will have to make a little effort, because your starting point is a few kilometers away. In front of the Gemmenich cemetery, to be precise. It is certainly not the most glamorous place on Earth, but it is very practical, because there is a parking lot right next to it. From there, you will take the RAVeL 39. Enjoy it because: 1) the view is quite nice; 2) it won’t last long.

Our bike ride, in Spa and around

You will indeed leave the old railway line quite quickly to set off on a climb that you can still feel passing. But no choice, if you want to get to the Three Borders, you have to go through it. And once you have reached the top, just behind the panoramic tower, you will see it, this famous terminal, where the three countries meet. On the ground, metal bands represent the borders. A few meters from the terminal, an engraved stone will explain to you in Dutch that you are on the highest point in the Netherlands. And there you are at 322.5 meters above sea level. We therefore have nothing to be ashamed of with our signal from Botrange and its 694 meters of altitude (we will also be going for a walk there next week).

Our bike ride around the Eupen dam

A beautiful wood

Once you have left the terminal, you will sink into the Bois de Preuss (it simply means “border”). When you start your traverse you will see that it is “just a wood”. There are trees, we hear the birds singing. It’s pretty, but it doesn’t break anything either. But a little further, you will see that you are in fact on a kind of promontory which will offer you a bird’s eye view of the surrounding nature. And there, with conifers as far as the eye can see, a light breeze blowing in your face and no other noise than that of nature, you will be really well.

Then comes the village of Moresnet-Chapelle where you can visit the Calvary (see opposite).

Afterwards, you will arrive fairly quickly on a small path which will invite you to pass under the emblematic Moresnet viaduct (see also opposite).

In the Pays de Herve

You will then sink into the countryside. Large hedges located on either side of the road will remind you that you are moving through the groves of the Pays de Herve. There, you will ride on pretty little country roads and dirt roads (rather muddy given the weather of the last few weeks). You will also see magnificent landscapes, made of woods and pastures, typical of the region.

Our bike ride through the Pays de Herve (video)

After a big descent, you will arrive in Hombourg, where you will take the RAVeL 38. The “Hoi” and “Hallo” replies by other walkers to your “Bonjour” will remind you that we are at a crossroads between three countries.

This famous RAVeL will take you straight to the former mining site of Plombières, where you can venture into a cave. After getting back on your bike, you will take the RAVeL 39 to the Gemmenich cemetery.

On a bike ride around Lake Butgenbach (video)

For who ?

30 kilometers long, this walk remains relatively accessible despite the presence of two beautiful climbs. It has a cumulative elevation gain of 416 meters.

The vast majority of the route takes place on RAVeL and small country roads. It is therefore very safe.

Given the presence of several unpaved trails, we advise you to bring a mountain bike.

What route?

Offered in the Province of Liège, this walk is based on the network of nodes. Here is the route to follow: 3, 91, 5, 6, 4, 7, 10, 79, 73, 72, 54, 53, 55, 57, 58, 60 and 3.

To simplify your task, we have encoded the route in the Cirwki application. You can find it by typing “Aux confins du Moresnet” in the application.

Here are our tips for a drink and a bite to eat during your trip.

Along the way, you will have the opportunity to stop at Grain d’Orge. ©Romain RIXHON

If you want to quench your thirst on the course, you can have a drink on the Trois Frontières site, just to recover from the coast you have just tamed. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy a packet of fries, as well as other dishes.

Or, if you wait until you are in Hombourg (although nothing prevents you from doing both), you can stop at Grain d’Orge, where you will (re)discover the many house beers, such as Brice or Joup. And like at Trois Frontières, you can eat a positive meal.

50 meters high, the Baudouin tower offers a panoramic view of the region. ©EDA

On the Trois Frontières site, you can climb to the top of the Baudouin tower. 50 meters high, it will offer you a magnificent panorama of the region. The youngest can also enjoy a playground, and even a labyrinth formed by hedges.

Further along the route, you can also explore the Plombières mining site.

Le Moresnet-Neutre

Our bike ride, to the three borders. ©EDA VR

The terminal of the three borders was, between 1816 and 1919, the terminal of the four borders. Indeed, the Dutch and the Prussians were fighting over a territory of 3.4 km2 on which there was a zinc mine. They eventually came to an arrangement by creating the State of Moresnet-Neutre, which was controlled by both countries.

Le viaduc de Moresnet

Our bike ride, to the three borders. ©EDA VR

With its 1,107 meters in length, the Moresnet viaduct was for a long time the biggest Belgian railway bridge. Built by the Germans, it was destroyed and rebuilt several times during the two world wars.

Calvary of Moresnet

Our bike ride, to the three borders. ©EDA VR

Inaugurated in 1902, the Calvary of Moresnet is considered one of the most beautiful in Europe. It is also a small paradise for biodiversity since there are no less than 68,000 plants.

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