How to get there
Grande Traversée de la Forêt du Pays de Chimay
A bivouac area in the Pays de Chimay forest offers a space in the heart of nature to accommodate tents for one night. The Pays de Chimay forest has 13 of these, along the Grande Traversée route. The best way to get away from it all for a few days in Wallonia.
Bivouac in the Ardennes: Chimay, Froidchapelle, Virelles or Mazée
Let’s state the obvious: a bivouac area aims to get you back in touch with nature after a hike, a bike ride or a horseback ride for one night (from 4 p.m. to 10 am). To this end, it is recommended that you go with this nature-centric philosophy in mind and respect the tranquillity, the environment and the cleanliness that go with it.
In short, the Pays de Chimay forest has ten bivouac areas spread across a 170-kilometre-long signposted trail: the Grande Traversée Trail in the Pays de Chimay Forest.
Each bivouac area is different and popular because of its unique features. Some are totally immersed in the woods, like the Froidchapelle bivouac, or the Sentier des Pins bivouac in Momignies. Others, like the Vallée des Oiseaux or the Boussu-en-Fagne bivouac, are more out of the way.
Not really camping – more like ‘wild’ pitches
Unlike wild camping (which is forbidden in Belgium, as is bivouac camping in unauthorised area), these bivouacs allow you to enjoy nature without damaging it, in areas that are intended for public use.
There are rubbish bins. Dry toilets are also provided for overnight campers in some bivouac areas.
Apart from that, nothing is provided. You have to bring your tent, your mattress and your food.
An introduction to trekking and hiking
What people love about these kinds of places is that they are quite pleasant, immersed in nature and far from civilisation. Most of the bivouac areas cannot be reached by car and, as a result, are reserved for real athletes.
You can go with friends for a day of hiking or more. Some drop their car off at the end point and then set off from another point, in order to avoid having to make a round trip.
Often, this kind of experience leaves memories of a beautiful hike followed by an evening of laughter under the stars.
Ready to go?