In the Ardennes there are not only hills...You can also take it easy here and follow for example the old railway lines that are being transformed more and more into cycle paths. These roads are called RAVeLs and are accessible to all so-called soft road users. The bicycle loop described here can be ridden by almost all types of bicycles. Exception is the racing bike. I recommend mudguards when the weather is wet. You cross all kinds of landscapes. Compared to the altimeters you normally cross here off the RAVeL ( count on 150 altimetres for every 10 km), this bicycle loop can easily be called "flat", although you still have to cope with 459 altimeters. Distance: 66 km | Altimetres: 459 | Unpaved road + coarse asphalt: +/-20 km | 59 km traffic-free
Bütgenbach is an ideal starting point for cycling tours. Parking is free, there are public toilets, bakeries, shops, restaurants and a tourist office. During the first 12 km, the cycle tour follows an old railway line, also called RAVeL or Vennbahn. At the former station of Sourbrodt you leave the RAVeL. Just before this site there is a first nicely renovated signal cabin with an old locomotive and a turning plate on which the locomotives were turned. About a hundred meters further the old Prussian station building catches the eye. Historically, this site with old wagons, a second signal cabin and an impressive railway platform is very interesting. You are now cycling to a very beautiful nature reserve: the High Fens. You pass the Nature Centre and drive through the woods and the Fens to Hockai where you will cycle again on a RAVeL. The RAVeL has a very rough asphalt structure. The highlight on this route is undoubtedly the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The RAVeL between Hockay and Stavelot ends at the famous hill Haute Levée, which you will have to cross in order to reach another RAVeL which will take you back to Bütgenbach. You will pass the towns of Stavelot and Malmedy and cross an extensive beaver area just after a quarry. Everywhere along your way signal stakes, old railway lights, old railway stations remind you of the former purpose of this route. At junction number 15 you leave the RAVeL and return to the centre of Bütgenbach through the beautiful hedgerows and meadows landscape.
During the F1 of Spa-Francorchamps it is always very busy in the region. In fact, you can easily cycle to Spa-Francorchamps and avoid all the traffic jams!
Prepare your bike ride and read about the history of the station of Sourbrodt. This way, all the monuments you see during your bike ride will really come to life!
Best time of year
Pay attention when you cross the roads. Most of the times you will cycle on green ways.