Theux trails IMPORTANT INFORMATION:
The 8, 18, 26 and 37 km routes of THEUX and connections to Spa and Stoumont are fully operational since 2017.
You can run freely. The use of the trails is the responsibility of the individual. ExtraTrail cannot be held liable for any damage or injuries caused to users of our trails.
Some structures (bridges or duckboards) or very technical paths are not designed to be traversed at speed; ExtraTrail encourages trail runners and Nordic walkers to approach these sections with caution and not to run.
No compensation can be claimed from ASBL ExtraTrail, the owner of the site or the infrastructure manager in case of an incident or accident occurring to a user of these structures present along our routes.
In areas frequented by walkers and families, we highly recommend being friendly and courteous so that everyone can enjoy these often unique spots.
This website gives precise indications of the routes, the state of the paths, precautions to be taken, a weather update, practical information and closures in case of a storm warning or hunts.
ExtraTrail: trails developed by passionate trail runners
Created with the help of the local trail runners club “Les Boitheux,” all Theux routes have been carefully designed to offer a variety of landscapes and a range of technical difficulties. These routes have been digitalised using the “Sity Trail” platform. On the ground, the routes are marked by easily identifiable permanent markers.
THE THEUX TRAIL? NATURE & TRADITION
Theux is the perfect combination of a long history dating back to antiquity and a specific and generous natural environment.
Located in a green oasis, this small town at an altitude of 220 m has been developed over the centuries on the banks of the Hoëgne, bordered to the north-west by the High Fens and to the south by the Herve plateau.
Theux also has a large community of dedicated and committed trail runners who don’t fear distance or elevation. They roam the hilly tracks and paths, pass through the forests along the rivers while enjoying panoramas from a very specific geological phenomenon called the “window of Theux.”
The Theux trails cover both sides of the Hoëgne Valley. They extend from the Bois de Staneux to the Bronromme fens, via Château de Franchimont, the Forrestier wildlife park as well as Carville de Vert Buisson.
The 4 Theux trails (green 8 km, blue 18 km, red 26 and black 37 km) start in the town centre, close to the Syndicat d’initiatives (Place du Perron – GoogleMap), via Place Pascal Taskin then Rue de la Hoëgne.
Distance: 8 KM
Difference in height: 331 metres
Duration: 1 - 2.5 hours
Start: Town center
This trail starts in the centre of Theux, by Place du Perron and Place Pascal Taskin. Take Rue de la Hoëgne then Rue de la Bouxherie at the end of which you reach a trail to Marché (Institut Saint Roch Theux). Continue to climb a beautiful hill (Stockis) via a very steep country track. This rapid increase in altitude offers breath-taking views. Technical descent to Spixhe, pedestrianised path along the Wayai, cross the Hoëgne then access Château de Franchimont via a wooded trail overlooking Pré des Archers (archery zone). Pass in front of Château de Franchimont before taking a single track towards Sasserotte. Chemin des Roches, Rue Chawieumont and return to the start.
On offer: breath-taking views of castle ruins, immersion in the forest, rivers and streams as well as vast almost 360° panoramas.
Food and drinks suggested.
Mobile phone recommended.
Take care at level crossings and when crossing the N62 highway. Follow rail traffic control signals and use pedestrian crossings by the trail where possible.
Difference in height: 490 metres
Duration: 2 - 3.5 hours
Start: Town center
Just like for the other three trails, this trail starts in the centre of Theux (Place du Perron et Place Pascal Taskin) which you leave via Rue de la Hoëgne then Rue de la Bouxherie which becomes a trail. This takes you straight through Marché (Institut Saint Roch Theux) through a small tunnel under the railway line.
When facing Institut Saint Roch Theux, turn right, cross the level crossing then the bridge over the Hoëgne and take the first left along the wide path running along the river for approx. 150 m. At the next crossroads, turn left then right, just before the railway line.
Take Quai du Wayai (pedestrian street overlooking the river) which allows you to cross the village of Spixhe away from almost all traffic. At km 2.3, the path takes a right angle to cross the Theux-Spa SNCB railway line once again. Follow the latter for approx. 400 m before taking the hairpin on your left. Zig-zag through the forest for approx. 2 km which takes you up (steep paths and ravines).
When you reach a pit (on your left), open your eyes and ears: you are entering the Bois de Staneux with its hidden forest with the only sounds being singing birds and the murmur of ferns that flourish at the foot of majestic Scots pines.
At km 9.8, you leave the forest to descend through the meadows. In your line of sight, the Polleur viaduct (E42 Battice-Prüm) under which you pass before joining a small paved road on which you turn left (be careful along the road as you may come face-to-face with a vehicle. For your safety, come to a standstill before tackling the road as visibility is very restricted).
You pass under the viaduct before climbing the slope. A steep path marked by the passage of bicycles and motorbikes.
At the top of this steep path, and once you have stepped over or gone around the safety barrier, turn left through the fields and meadows along the country lanes which will take you to the summit and reveal wide panoramas of Theux and its surrounding area,
You then reach the village of Sasserotte which you leave, between the old stone houses, via a narrow single-track leading to a meadow then a maize field. In summer, the maize crops make the path appear impassable but observe the route clearly marked on the ground and head towards the other end of the field which you can exit via a small metal gate.
When you reach the end of the next meadow, you enter the wood below Château de Franchimont before descending left and skirting around old casemates.
You then go down a path on the ground with smooth rock outcrops (be careful in wet weather, it can be slippery) and end up in Marché, right next to the school gate.
Cross the road by taking a few stairs which quickly become a narrow track on the hillside. A final short climb then a short but very steep descent before taking a single track overlooking the railway (secured by a steel fence).
Continue crossing a long meadow which ends with the metal gate beyond which there is a sloping road leading towards the centre of Theux and your departure point
Note: there is a link with Extratrail Spa (blue Spa trail) at km 6.5, approaching Ru du Grand Chawion. The opportunity for a visit to the spa town. See the description below.
Food and drinks recommended.
Mobile phone recommended.
Take care at level crossings and road crossings.
Follow the highway code.
Distance: 26 km
Difference in height: 880 metres
Duration: 2.5 to 5 hours
Start: Town center
The red Theux trail (26 km and 880 m D+ trail) starts in the town centre (Place du Perron then Place Pascal Taskin and Rue de la Hoëgne).
A fairly wide trail to Marché will get you up to speed before tackling the first challenge: a steep 600 m climb along a single-track then a rocky country lane towards Jevoumont.
The view is amazing with the ruins of Château de Franchimont in the foreground.
Continue the enjoyable descent towards Spixhe and turn right when you reach the N62 crossroads.
You leave the highway after 150 metres and take an amazing single track which zigzags towards route de Becco (Croix Noire). Your pace gets faster as the path unfolds beneath your feet. Via the quiet rue de Becco, take a path to the village of Hestroumont. After crossing the latter, you enter the wood.
A steady climb until you reach the Maquisard monument (km 8) in the hills of La Reid followed by a pleasant technical descent to Marteau, at the entrance to Spa.
After crossing the N62, turn left under the railway bridge and climb until you reach the first forest lodge. Turn right, and there is a short descent to meet a track perched on a ledge overlooking Avenue Reine Astrid.
Left-right to reach the Pavillon Bernard (KM 12) before heading into the forest.
At km 15.3, take the blue Spa trail, shared with your trail for approx. 500 m. Leave the blue Spa trail to the right at km 15.8 to head straight on along Ru de Chawion (stream) heading downstream.
When you arrive at some dwellings behind commercial buildings (organic supermarket and building merchant, head towards Theux along a country lane almost parallel to the railway line which meanders along the banks of the Wayai (river).
Just after km 18, join the blue Theux trail which you will leave then rejoin in the village of Sasserotte.
After having followed a pit and entered the Bois de Staneux, cross Route du Congrès de Polleur (road between Theux and Polleur) to reach the hamlet of Sasserotte which you’ll leave by turning left. This is where you will find the blue trail.
Cross the famous maize fields (in the summer); we recommend at full speed, arms aloft and shouting to scare the boars’ hiding in the plantation (don’t worry; it’s a joke)!
The time in the fields is short since you quickly rejoin the wood home to Château de Franchimont. Take a selfie on the drawbridge, and you’re done…
You then follow a single track parallel to Allée du Château before crossing Rue du Pré l’Evêque below Sassor and reaching the hills overlooking Theux.
Return via Chawieumont, a country lane which becomes a road leading to the departure point.
Distance: 37 km
Difference in height: 870 metres
Duration: 3.5 - 7 hours
Start: Town center
Are you ready for something more challenging? This is the black Theux EXTRATRAIL route (37 km and 870 m, D+). Difficult some would say … but beware of appearances because you are going to stretch your legs and be amazed! It will be worth it…
Leave from the town centre (Place du Perron then Place Pascal Taskin and Rue de la Hoëgne) with the first two kilometres being a bit of a city trail…
This leads to the small village of Spixhe where things get interesting. A great single track separated from the rest of the world leads to a country lane which then takes you to the village of Jevoumont. Just before the hamlet and while you climb, take a look at the building on your left. A country manor out of the ordinary…
The countryside opens up and you then cross the fields. An impressive almost 360° view of the surrounding countryside.
At km 7.5, listen out… Don’t be surprised to hear wolves howling but don’t worry, just like the bears, they are well-fed by the keepers at the Forestia wildlife park on your left. They very rarely attack experienced trail runners.
At km 9.4, cross the N606 at “Le Menobu” towards the Hautregrad crossroads.
Return to the forest to reach La Charmille which leads upstream from Vert Buisson. Measuring 573 metres in a straight line, it is one of the longest paths of this type in Europe. Mostly planted in the late 19th century, this plant tunnel comprises over 4,500 charming plants. Perfectly maintained, it can be crossed without any tools.
Want more? No problem, you are not even halfway… Continue along the path which glides along the edge of the hill between the hills of La Reid and Winanplanche. Straight ahead of you, on the opposite slope, you will see the Lébiole estate and its château which is now a luxury hotel.
A lovely forest path takes you across the N697 below the Maquisard. Here, you will join and stay with the red trail. You then head down towards Marteau via a technical but fun track.
Be careful when crossing the N62. On the outskirts of Spa, the Marteau crossroads offers limited visibility for pedestrians and drivers while vehicles get back up to speed.
After passing behind the service station, turn left under the railway bridge and take a very steep path until you reach a first forest lodge. Turn right, and there is a short descent to meet a lovely vantage point on a ledge overlooking Avenue Reine Astrid (on the outskirts of Spa).
You then reach Pavillon Bernard (KM 22.5) and head deeper into the forest.
You can join the blue Spa trail at km 26 of your route. This is shared with your trail for approx. 500 m. Take the Spa trail, take the right hairpin to continue your descent keeping Ru de Chawion (stream) on your right.
Behind the commercial buildings of BioFagne and Garsou, continue towards Theux along a country lane overlooking the railway line along the right bank of the Wayai (river).
Just after km 28.5, join the blue Theux trail which you will leave then rejoin later.
Enter the Bois de Staneux then cross Route du Congrès de Polleur (road between Theux and Polleur) to reach the village of Sasserotte.
Cross the maize field (in the summer) before entering the wood below Château de Franchimont. You then follow a track parallel to Allée du Château before crossing Rue du Pré l’Evêque below Sassor and reaching the hills of Theux.
Return via an old country lane (Chawieumont) which becomes a road when you reach Theux. All you now have to do is return to the starting point,
Note: a connection with Extratrail Stoumont (red and black Stoumont trails) is possible from Charmille. This will allow you to discover the amazing Ninglinspo (only stream is Belgium categorised as a torrent) and its little brother, Chefna. See the description below.
CONNECTION BETWEEN THE THEUX AND SPA ROUTES
A connection has been created between the blue Theux EXTRATRAIL train and the blue Spa EXTRATRAIL trail.
Markers with a VIOLET colour code are in place to connect these two running territories.
These 2 routes are separated by less than 500 metres. The connection is located by Ru du Grand Chawion (stream) at km 6.5 coming from Theux.
This connection is very direct and offers the chance to visit the spa town via the last 4 kilometres of the blue Spa trail.
Note: another “natural” connection also exists due to the overlapping of the red (km 15) and black trails (km 26) of Theux with the blue Spa trail (km 4.8).
Distance: 0.5 KM
Difference in height level: -12 metres
Duration: 3 - 8 minutes
CONNECTION BETWEEN THE THEUX AND STOUMONT ROUTES
The connection between the Theux and Stoumont EXTRATRAIL trails has been created just after Charmille (Vert Buisson) - km 14 of the black trail.
Markers with a VIOLET “CONNECTION” colour code are in place to connect these two running territories.
A special 8 km trail has been developed to allow you to enjoy the beautiful natural site of Ninglinspo (torrent) which runs between rocks and roots between Amblève and Fond de Quarreux.
After reaching the hills of the Ninglinspo, climb again along the Chefna (stream) towards Ville-au-Bois.
You can then rejoin the red and black Stoumont trails (km 8.5 of these 2 trails) by branching off to the right or turning right towards Ville-au-Bois to connect with the Stoumont-Theux connection and return to Charmille.
In this second case, you will have completed a loop measuring approx. 13 km called “the hidden trail” by “Boitheux” who designed it.
Elevation: 280 metres
Duration: 90 min - 2 hrs
HIDDEN TRAIL (THEUX-STOUMONT-THEUX CONNECTION)
One-way connections between the Theux and Stoumont EXTRATRAIL routes cover a loop of approximately 13 KM passing Charmille (Vert Buisson) and Ville-au-Bois (Stoumont hills).
VIOLET “CONNECTION” markers can be followed for this loop.
You can then explore the small and very popular valley of Ninglinspo (torrent) along with that of Chefna (stream).
Elevation: 380 metres
Duration: 1,30 to 2 hours