This is an ideal walk to do with children because it is just about 2 km long. You will see the Lake of Robertville, pass over the dam, and visit the Castle of Reinhardstein. With the water flowing and the birds singing, you can choose your option of route and difficulty in peace and enjoy postcard views…
Easy to very difficult
Rue du Barrage 23, 4950 Waimes, Belgium
Dam and Lake of Robertville
Did you know that 182 metres can be a very long distance sometimes? I had the idea to finally walk on this beautiful dam in peace, safely, listening to the water and gently admiring on one side the Lake of Robertville and… then starts an endless stream of questions that my dear little ones ask me and to which you will now also know how to answer!
Mom, what is a dam, what is it for? The dam, built in 1928, serves, first of all, to provide the city of Malmedy with drinking water and also to supply a power plant near Bévercé.
Wooow, Mom, it is big, how much does it measure from below, how long is it, how much…? Over a length of 182 metres and 54.50 metres high, the wall is 58 metres thick at its base and is reduced to 4 metres at its summit. The volume of concrete is therefore 57 000 m³.
What is the name of the flowing water? On one side, you have the Lake of Robertville, and on the other side, there is the Warche River.
Hey Mom, what’s that thing on the water? That is a pedal boat, my darling. Indeed, you can also rent pedal boats, motor boats or boats on the lake.
Once you cross the dam, you can take a direct left to enter the woods. As you continue on the forest path, you will have a beautiful view of the dam. You can also enjoy the woods and relax in nature.
Alternatives and a little piece of winter history
At some point, you will have to choose to either turn right and to continue our short and easy walk, which is marked in green on the map, or to take the path on the left, marked in red, which is steeper and less frequented, as well:
Once upon a time, on a winter day with lots of snow, which covered the markings, and a temperature of -5 degrees Celsius, we decided to take the path on the left side! With five children, most of them young and a little girl wearing unsuitable boots, we took this path. We were two daredevil adults (including me, of course) supervising the group. After all the unpredictability we encountered while climbing these perfectly frozen and slippery roads, the little girls were overcome with some urgent needs. We were forced to continue our way to reach the “Holy Grail”, the toilets of the Castle of Reinhardstein. All we had left to do was the descent. Yes, and what a descent that was… on this trail, there were some stairs and a narrow path under the snow. Regardless of the magical view and the absolutely wonderful snowy landscapes, I remember that each child had to be passed from arms to arms on certain passages due to the “ravine” bordering this staircase. Eventually, we reached the path of Cheneux leading to the Castle, we passed a small wooden bridge, and finally reached the Holy Grail so coveted by our bladders.
At the time, we did not really know the region well, and therefore took the same route, which is perfectly unsuitable with children when there is frost/snow. On the way back, we slipped a few times, even slid on our bums despite our cleated shoes, and, of course, there were a few small falls. The children keep some good happy memories and my daughter asks to be the Snow Queen again once in a while.
The Holy Grail, Castle of Reinhardstein
In winter, it is worth it; in summer, we enjoy it all the way. This magnificent medieval castle overlooks the Warche valley in our spectacular High Fens, which covers an area of more than 120 ha. The guide is very friendly and patient during the explanations. Your knowledge of castles is welcome. You can visit on Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays and during the Belgian and Dutch school holidays. Other activities are also organized on an ad hoc basis, such as Halloween, the Christmas tales and decorations, the medieval festival at the end of July… You can also eat there, taste local products, or try archery. During your stay, do not forget to download your discount voucher for visiting this castle.
Way back to breathe and enjoy
After our visit to the castle, we turned back and I urge you to avoid the small bridge and continue to ascend wisely on to the next path, on the right (the green one). Moreover, going back, you will see on your left a sign for a viewpoint (accessible in periods of warmer temperatures). Go take a look and tell us what you think.
Once the climb begins on this path, take the first turn left, you will get to a quiet wooded path, surrounded by nature. On the right side, you will enjoy the forest, and on the left side, the meadows offer a view on the horizon. All of this is enhanced by the singing of birds. Your children can, of course, frolic safely and stay within sight.
Unobstructed view of the Lake of Robertville
Once you leave the woods, I recommend that you take the road lined with houses that goes down to the dam to find the parking place. On this first trail, take the time to stop, breathe and admire this breathtaking view of the lake. It’s soothing and relaxing, don’t you think?
By the way, did you notice the splendid glass house? Yes, yes, this one. Well, did you know that thanks to Ardennes-Etape, your dream of staying there can come true by clicking here?
I very much hope that this walk will please you. See you soon for some future adventures…
- Parking: rue du Barrage 23, 4950 Waimes, Belgium; Latitude: 50.451957 | Longitude: 6.107991
- Easy walk: accessible for all-terrain buggies and your muscles, a small trail for the little ones that will also entertain the big ones
- Long route: avoid with buggies and dogs, additional difficulties: more steep sections, small wooden bridges, sometimes difficult steps and descent
- Beautiful landscapes and views
- Possibilities for resting and refuelling at the Castle of Reinhardstein and at the refreshment stall in the car parking
- Existing paths, flexible trail possibilities regarding distance and difficulty level
- Several marked trails
- In case of snow and ice: DO NOT bring a buggy, not recommended with toddlers or provide warm snow gear and very good non-slip shoes (crampons)
- In high season and during midday, it is sometimes difficult to find parking, because this is a popular place.
Good to know
- Dogs are welcome on the easy walk
- Required equipment: good walking shoes and classic hiking equipment
- Trail type: 2/3 forest paths and 1/3 dirt/pebbles paths
- In case of snow and ice: NO buggies
- Altitude: between 440 and 510 metres