The Lee trail, a Leading Quality Trail, with a distance of 53 kilometers. An adventurous path through the quiet forests of Luxembourg. Impressive trees, rocks, mountain streams and narrow ridges.
We did a multi day hike in Luxembourg before, you can read the blog about the Mullerthal if you are interested.
The Lee trail starts in Ettelbruck and ends in Kautenbach and is usually run in three days. Everywhere on the route you can use the free public transport in this region, such as buses and trains. At the moment we walk the route, the train does not run, but there are replacement buses. The buses and trains run on time and in every village you will find a bus stop with the times. It is useful to put the CFL app on your phone.
stages and accomodation accommodaties
We start in Ettelbruck and walk the first stage (approx. 18 km) to Bourscheid Moulin, where there is an (expensive) hotel. This Cocoon La Rive hotel has beautiful rooms, a wonderful hammam and a delicious breakfast. There is no shop in the wide area, so you can bring a packed lunch here. There is also a campsite here in the summer.
The second stage (19.5 km) we walk to Hoscheid. Because we cannot spend the night here in the hotel, we go back to Ettelbruck by bus and finally spend the night in Diekirch. The Esplenade hotel has been recently renovated but is very noisy. We have a bad night here because we are bothered by our neighbors until the late hours. In the early morning, traffic rushes down the street below our window. The breakfast is less extensive and the reception is unmanned in the morning hours.
We walk the last stage (15 km) from Hoscheid to Kautenbach. We spend the night at camping Val d’Or (in Enscherange) in a wine barrel. This campsite is run by friendly Dutch people and we are warmly welcomed. The wine barrel is very complete and comfortable. There is a fridge, microwave, kettle and everything you might need in the kitchen. We sleep wonderfully here. It is also pleasant in winter because there is a nice stove.
It is therefore a bit of a search for good accommodations in the winter months, but it does not cause a major problem anywhere. If you walk the route in the summer, many campsites are open. From Ettelbruck to Bourscheid Moulin
from Ettelbruck to Bourscheid Moulin
The first stage immediately introduces us to the Luxembourg landscape. We walk a lot through the forest, have to deal with significant rises and falls and are always close to the river.
The viewpoint Priedegtstull gives you a beautiful view over the valley. Here we meet the only fellow hikers. It is really very quiet in this area. The first day we still think it’s raining, but even when it’s dry we don’t see anyone. So we have the forest completely to ourselves!
By the end of the afternoon we have a view of the valley where Bourscheid Moulin is located. It is a hamlet with a few houses and three hotels. We walk down and once we enter the campsite we see that the pedestrian bridge to the hotel is completely in the water …. So we have to take the road to the hotel and that means a bit of a climb. Fortunately, fifteen minutes later we are still at our destination.
We really enjoy the sauna and Turkish bath. The muscles relax!
from Bourscheid Moulin to Hoscheid
The next morning it is dry and we walk back to the campsite. It is indicated there that we may get wet shoes at high tide and that there is an alternative route possible … Stubborn as we are, we still opt for the normal route. It’ll work out, won’t it?
A little later we see that the river has completely swallowed the hiking trail. There is a narrow path, it should not have the name, through the bushes and trees on the side. We scramble past it, but it is difficult to maneuver. It is full of blackberry bushes, it is muddy and there is nowhere to hold on to. We therefore decide to take off our shoes and continue barefoot through the river. No sooner said than done. It is quite cold, but we notice that after a while we get used to it and it goes a lot easier.
When we are back on the path, we walk barefoot for a while. When we are sure that the path will not disappear again, we put our shoes back on. Napoleon tree
We continue our way. The sun comes through and despite the cold wind, we enjoy the surroundings immensely. This second stage is very varied and beautiful!
After a considerable climb, the Napoleon tree stands on a plateau. A tribute to Napoleon’s son. The first planted in 1851, the second, after a bombardment, in 1941. We have lunch here and move on.
Obstacle at Goebelsmuhle
At Goebelsmuhle we encounter another obstacle, because here work is being done on the bridge. There are fences and an alternative route is indicated. But…. If the alternative route is not passable due to high water, then unfortunately it is peanut butter. And of course it is high tide and we see that path disappear into the river again. The moment we are in doubt, I see a man coming from the other side, who goes past the fences. When I ask him if it’s possible to pass by he says it’s ok. So we go along and the work turns out to be not too bad. Happy.
After Goebelsmuhle, the most beautiful part of this stage follows. First we walk up along beautiful narrow paths, and then arrive at Molberlee. Lee means isolated rock and is the name of the Lee trail. We walk up and arrive at a rocky ridge with beautiful views in all directions. A lovely walk in our opinion! It is almost getting dark, but we think this part is by far the most beautiful.
We walk to Hoscheid and take the bus to Ettelbruck and Diekirch. An intensive but wonderful walking day!
The last stage from Hoscheid toKautenbach
We start in Hoscheid and soon come across several installations of the Klangwanderpad. Yesterday we already saw one, an installation where you could listen to the flowing water, now we see a large wind catcher, a xylophone and a marble track. It’s great fun to walk along here, make music and feel like a kid again!
After the Klangwanderpad we pass a forest with impressive trees, a pleasant view over the valley and a very windy stretch over a plateau. On the other side we find a bench to take a break. This stage is also varied, but slightly less beautiful than the second stage.
We enjoy the narrow paths and the rocky surroundings. Here and there these paths are quite slippery and slippery. We are happy to be able to use our sticks. Despite the less good weather, the Lee trail remains a very beautiful path. After arriving in Kautenbach we go to Enscherange where we spend the night at the Val d’Or campsite. A comfortable and cozy place where we sleep well.
stage Enscherange – Clervaux – Eislek trail
Eislek trail is also a Leading Quality Trail and it continues to La Roche en Ardenne in Belgium. This route is 106 km and can be completed in 5 days. It officially starts in Kautenbach, but today we want to walk a slightly shorter stage and start in Enscherange to Clervaux.
The Eislek trail runs through the same type of environment as the Lee trail, but this route is much less appealing to us. We walk almost all along wide forest roads. There is a lot of work in the forest, so these roads don’t look good and are full of tire tracks and mud. There is less variety in the environment you pass through. We had a different expectation and are very sorry. We hope that this part is not an example for the rest of the route!
At some point I fall too. It manages to just avoid falling into a puddle and also not to roll down the hill. But it doesn’t do any good for the experience.
Clervaux is a nice place by the way. We spend the night here in the Koener hotel, where you can enjoy a spacious room, a wonderful spa and an extensive breakfast.
On the way back home we drive along the Ninglinspo, one of the most beautiful walks in the Belgian Ardennes. The Ninglinspo is the only mountain river in Belgium. A lovely stream through a beautiful forest. It is a lot busier here than the previous days, but it is still a very nice walk.
You can follow the blue route (6.0 km) or the yellow route (2.4 km) here, or like we did, follow the blue route to the end and then walk back via the river.
It is a pleasant walk with some scrambling here and there, but all doable.