Hiking on the Lee trail in Luxembourg
Spring is in the air, the flowers start to bloom ,the blossoms on the trees fill the air and the weather just screams for a multi-day hike.
So I went on a three day trip away to Luxembourg with my brother and sister to walk a part of the ‘Escapardenne Trail’. The Eisleck- and Lee trail got the certificate “Leading Quality Trail”.
This quality label is linked to a particularly stringent set of requirements. The walking track should valorize the nature and regional singularity. The walks are comfortable and are well signposted. Escapardenne is rich in impressive forest scenes with surprising rock formations, bubbling springs and rivers rattling. The certification is also largely determined by the beautiful landscape.
The alarm goes off early in the morning. With enthusiasm and coffee I soon awake. We meet at my sisters home and drive towards Clervaux, Luxembourg. In the town we take the train to Ettelbruck. A short drive of 31 minutes …
Ettelbrück – Bourscheid 22 km
We’re now at the starting point of the Lee trail, a hiking route of 53 km that showcases the steep paths and rocky ridges (“lee” in Luxembourgish) through the wooded valley of the Sure, with several beautiful sites to discover such as Gringlee in Bourscheid-Moulin, the Molberlee in Hoscheid or the atypical village of Dirbach. This extension connecting Ettelbruck with Kautenbach should please all walkers in search of heritage, nature, culture and of course landscapes.
The website indicated that the Lee trail would take three days, but of course I didn’t want to spare my little sister and brother too hard so we did a piece of the Eisleck Trail to Wirwelwiltz extra. Quite a tough trip with 2000 elevation meters to gain for the piece of the Lee trail alone.
Starting under the eye of General Patton
After a coffee in the sun we walk from the station along the monument for General Patton towards the official start. Under Patton, the Germans were driven back from Ettelbruck during the Battle of the Bulge. Slightly further the Lee trail, named after the rock formations that characterize the journey, begins. Immediately we rise and we walk through the woods to Erperlange. Past a huge St.- Francis Cross and through the valley of Mëchelbaach we wander and enjoy nature. Beautiful forests, roadside flowers, herons and a few deer… already a good start. Then it is a first time to rise seriously. We climb to a plateau and a short but tough excursion to the ‘Predigtstuhl’ where we have a beautiful view of the meandering Sauer.
We ask in ‘Jean-Marie-Pfaff-German’ a friendly farmer in Closdelt for some water and descend to Micheleau. After a long climb of 251 vertical meters we have a beautiful view. The Gringlee overlooks the landscape of Boursheid and his castle. A steep descent of 220 meters brings us to a camping where we enjoy a pint of barley beer.
The Lee Trail in figures :
- 2000m of elevation gain
- More than 60% natural trail
- Less than 20% with an asphalted surface
- 16 natural sites crossed or followed
- 32 outstanding views
- 1 town and 10 villages or hamlets crossed.
Along the Sauer
We walk along the Sauer and a railway before a steep climb takes us up again. Finally we arrive tired at the plateau of Bourscheid. We put up the tent next to the panoramic view point “Napoleonsknäppchen”, with 505 meters the highest point on the Lee Trail. A beautiful sunset beside a lonely tree is our reward. The tree was planted in 1811 to commemorate the birth of Napoleon’s son. ‘The Germans’ cut down the tree in ’41 after which the inhabitants of the area planted a new one.
Bourscheid – Kautenbach 31 km
The sunrise in the morning is even more beautiful than the sunset of the previous evening. We woke up quietly and after some tea or coffee and breakfast we continued our trip. We descend and pass the rocky foothills of Rouschteschleen, popularly called “the finger of God.”
Finally we arrive in the beautiful Dirbach where we take a coffee break near the river. After another few ascents and descents we reach Goebelsmühle where it goes up again. We pass the beautiful Molberlee, a rocky ridge that connects the valley with the village of Roscheid. We light a candle in a Maria Grotto, take the time for some pasta Stroganoff
on a grassy meadow and walk further again. After a few steep climbs we pass the St Michael’s Chapel in Uewerschlënner and after 31 kilometers we arrive in Kautenbach. We sit on a terrace and enjoy some refreshments.
Kautenbach – Wilwerwiltz 12 km
We’re jumping out of our sleeping bags early in the morning and after a scrambled egg with Provencal vegetables we hike on. A few kilometers from the beautiful site of Kautenbach we arrive at a kind of entrance gate of the Eisleck trail. We get a few kilometers through the forest to process a steep climb and then descend towards Wilwerwiltz. Along the way we rest on a nice wooden couch and then make our final piece to the station of the picturesque village. We look at the clock and decided that the journey ends here so we’ll be home at a decent hour and the tent, wet from the rain at night, can still dry in the beautiful spring weather. Another nice dinner with my girlfriend and daughters in Restaurant Ter Venne made this great weekend complete.
Lee Trail Practical
Signage, Books & Maps
The route is completely marked in two directions. There is also a nice topoguide for sale the website. Difficulty level 3, the stretch between Bourscheid-Moulin and Hoscheid got cat. 4 in the topoguide.
Card Material: R2 Boulaide – Luxembourg Wiltz ACT 1: 20000 & R3 Diekirch – Putscheid Luxembourg ACT 1: 20000
There are several campsites and hotels on the route. We camped the first night in the wild. Tent set up at sunset and break up at dawn and leaving no dirt or marks is evident. The second night we were camping in Kautenbach. A well maintained campsite with shop, restaurant, clean sanitary, possibility to make a fire in a brazier, …
Take all your supplies. There are shops in Ettelbruck but not thereafter. There are still a few bars and restaurants but these are limited. If you don’t purify water it’s recommended to fill water where possible. The second stage we ran out and we had to rely on our purification tablets.
The weather was beautiful. We are walking the long weekend of 6 t.e.m. May 8thLUXEMBOURG WEATHER
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