Anyone who likes sports walks and hiking in nature will love this! We recommend this 14 km loop around the lake of Nisramont, right in the heart of the Ardennes. You will experience climbs, challenges of all kinds and enjoy impressive views of the lake and its surroundings. And why not bring your dog?
Medium to difficult
For several months, my friend Noémie has been telling me about a beautiful hike by a lake near La Roche-en-Ardenne. I took advantage of a beautiful autumn day to test it with François, my partner and Martin Dellicour, nature photographer. Nahia, our three-year-old Beagle, who is used to long walks, was also in the game.
The walk starts at the dam of Lake Nisramont. For your reference, it is 16 meters high and 116 meters long, plus it includes a hydroelectric plant and a treatment plant. In the evening, you can also enjoy the lights on the waterfall.
As for the trail, it starts in force with a steep path that leads to a sumptuous view. Then, we go along the lake before going around and crossing its two tributary rivers: the Eastern Ourthe and the Western Ourthe. Nahia leads the way, with her nose on the ground. Dressed in its autumn colours, the steep landscape at the edge of the water is all the more beautiful. You will find the highest altitude difference at the beginning and end of the trail. In contrast, when we walk along the lengths of the lake, we go along the banks. We can feel the calming serenity of the lake and the dog enjoys being close to the water to jump in for a refreshing swim.
Along the way, we encounter all kinds of obstacles: steep paths, stairs, bridges, footbridges and some stumps and tree trunks to climb. The calves hurt a bit but with all this wild and authentic nature it is well worth it. This place is ideal for the development of plants and wildlife, so the most observant will be able to see herons, cormorants, egrets, mallards, water hens and other species. You can also learn about the aquatic life of the lake with the didactic panels placed along the trail.
The path is perfectly marked with red diamonds signs. Be careful though, there are no shortcut possibilities once you start the walk (unless you swim across). Do not forget to bring in your backpack a small bite to eat and enough water. Cookies and tangerines for us, sweets for Nahia, before we start again. Walking near the water are enough to allow her to drink and cool off regularly.
Taking your dog for a walk is good for both of you. In addition to stretching its legs, your dog can socialize by meeting other people and animals. For us, her presence is motivating and reassuring. Make sure that the walk is adapted to your dog; in terms of distance, altitude and climatic conditions, for example. Used to practising canicross, Jerome gives you his tips and some rules to respect to embark on this adventure.
Once the dam is again in sight, it means the walk is about to end. After finishing the loop, we are curious to see this landscape in other seasons and we promise to share this place with our loved ones. Especially since it is also possible to admire the site from a completely different point of view: aboard a kayak on the lake.
Good to know:
- Starting point: the Nisramont Dam
- Wear appropriate clothing and footwear
- Bring snacks and plenty of water
- This excursion lasts at least three and a half hours. So leave early to avoid unpleasant surprises.
- From October 1st, check with the Tourist Office of La Roche-en-Ardenne to make sure there is no hunting on the day of your trip.
- There is no real picnic infrastructure along the route, except for a few benches. Picnic areas (covered tables and benches) are available on the dam site, near the parking place.
- When it rains, the trail gets slippery.
- Not accessible for buggies or bicycles.
Find a pet-friendly holiday home and enjoy a weekend in the Ardennes to bring your dog to test the most beautiful Ardennes walks.