• Michel

Day Hike: Loop Hertogenwald and Brackvenn (27,3 km)

Date: Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020

Path: GR15 + own route + GR573

Distance: 27,3 kilometres

Ascent: 420m

Descent: 420m

Forests, moors and little rivers. That's in a nutshell what this hike mainly consists of. That makes for spectacular views and a beautiful nature experience.

Starting from Haus Ternell you head in a north-easterly direction towards the Getzbach. At first it is a wide forest road, but soon you will descend on a nice little path to the river. After crossing the small bridge, turn right and follow the course of the river eastwards to walk up to the Bennetchen fenn. The path is not very clear here, so you have to search a bit. A little further you cross the Kutenhard fenn on a wide mown path through the peat grass. The way back, again through the Kutenhard moor, leads through soggier ground, but it is doable enough. At Rotenbüchel you come to an asphalted road that runs parallel to the Getzbach and the Allgemeines Venn.

At the Entenpfuhl, you enter the sublime Brackvenn. Unfortunately, this moorland is divided in two by the N67 national highway between Eupen and Monschau (Germany). Aerial photos still show some rings in the landscape, indicating the geological formation of the area over many centuries. The trail runs along well-maintained boardwalks throughout the Brackvenn, so you can easily keep your feet dry during the entire crossing. At the N67, you can follow a decked path beside the road to keep you at a safe distance from cars.

After crossing the Brackvenn, where the Getzbach springs, you have to walk on an asphalted forest road for a while until you reach a crossroads and a picnic bench where the Herzogenhügel is signposted. You go in that direction for a while and follow the broad forest road down to the left, but at the next fork in the road you keep to the right. After some 300 metres there is a very small path on the left which you can follow to go down along the Spohrbach, which you hear rather than see because of the high vegetation. 700 meters further you join the GR573 and turn right. Now you can follow the white-red GR markings. You are in the valley of the Helle (in German: Hill). A bit further you descend to just above the river. During the next kilometre you follow a nice path over slippery roots and stones.

You have to follow the course of the Helle for about six kilometres in total. If you want to end the walk earlier, you can follow the signpost to Ternell. However, it is still worthwhile to continue, passing for example a rivier bank full of cairns, or a view of the fenn of Millescheid. From here, you can also start following the green cross signs. You then have to overcome a short climb to get to the N67, which you cross again. Then you descend to the Getzbach, which flows into the Eupen reservoir lake at this points. A sign warns for a dangerous passage, but actually it is not that bad (although I did fall down myself). After about 3 kilometres you arrive at the little bridge where you crossed the river at the start of the hike.

Do you also want to try this beautiful walk? Download the GPX of it here:

.net - Getzbach - Brackven

By public transport: Train to Eupen, then bus 385 in the direction of Monschau-Kalterherberg (about 10 minutes) to Ternell Naturzentrum. There are only a few buses, so be sure to check the bus times on the TEC website, both for the outward and the return journey.

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