The old mill – Hermeton

This first 13 km walk on Springhill Stories is definitely one of my favorite ones. The valley of the Hermeton river is largely unspoiled and has a tremendous floral beauty in spring time. The wild garlic blooms everywhere and if you are lucky you might even spot some rare wild orchids. It’s also kind of an adventurous walk where ropes help you climb the steeper parts and you even have to cross the water. The downside is that this walk is not suitable when it has rained a lot and the water is high. But what are we waiting for…let’s start the walk and head to this side river of the river Meuse/Maas. (For a little map, scroll down)

IMG_6389We begin our walk at the parking lot in front of the church of Hermeton-sur-Meuse. From here you walk down in the Ruelle Les Biaulx until you reach the Rue de Dinant. Here you walk further down and cross the bridge over the Hermeton river. A bit further you’ll see a little sign “Vallée de l’Hermeton” pointing to the left and that’s exactly where you should go to. Once past the old mill (1) the road turns into gravel. IMG_6387The fields keep you on a distance from the river. After a while you will encounter the old Georgine bridge (2) on your left. If your French is good enough you can get educated about the gauging station that is situated here. You keep on following the scenic path for some kilometers. At one point you will have to do a steep climb up the hill, as a big rock blocks the path next to the river. Ropes help you to get all the way up. When you are at the top you follow the GR-route signs back down to the river. Luckily ropes help you getting down again. Once back at the river you follow the path for another 1.7km.

wild orchids

You’ll cross a part where you walk in between the yellow common broom bushes. A bit further it’s a bit tricky to find your way. Try to spot an old brick little ruin and keep that to your right, so don’t take the path up at the right of the brick structure. Here the path is a bit overgrown, but you keep on walking until it ends in the river (3)

IMG_6391Now you’ll see another little stream that debouches into Hermeton river at the other bank and that is exactly where you should focus on when crossing the river. Keep the estuary of the little stream on your right when you get out of the water after crossing the Hermeton. You keep this little stream on your right hand until it crosses a more clear path. Here you cross the stream, so don’t take the path to the left. Now you are on the cross road with a bigger path and you walk left. So you basically follow the stream upwards. You will now cross this little stream a few times as it meanders over the path. IMG_6380You keep on following the path next to the stream until you see the stream going under a bigger path. Here you cross the stream and follow the bigger road uphill. On the left  of this road there is a small patch of pine trees. When you are uphill at the end of the pine tree patch you encounter another crossroad. Here you go left and than left again. You are going down again towards the stream, you cross it and follow this beautiful hollow road upwards through the woods. You keep on going up and up and ignore all the side roads. When you are almost uphill you now walk next to a big field. IMG_6379At the end of the path you bump into an asphalt road and you take this road to the right. Now you go all the way down towards the big farm “ferme des onches”(4). The next crossroad you go to the left, keeping the newly planted orchard on your left hand. This road will take you back into the forest all the way down to the village. And now you are back where you started.