A - Slate capital Voir sur la carte
Follemprise, Bellerose. Mine names that refer to the slate works, the schist plates which for centuries covered the roofs of houses: grey mirrors of a watery sky. While it made Fumay’s fortune, it also sent its sons, its women and its children down in the hell of the icy waters in the galleries. Their labour, slave labour, meant digging in the schist for 14 hours: in 1971, everything came to a halt…
The river port, from which the slates left, bound for all four corners of the earth, has now become a pleasant marina with café terraces dotted along the quays.
B - Terraltitude Park Voir sur la carte
Laid out on the site of the old Saint-Joseph slate quarry, this park has a great many activities for thrill seekers. The main attraction is the “fantasticable”, a giant flying fox or zip wire over a kilometre in length which, above the Meuse, can reach a speed of 130 km/h.
Site : www.terraltitude.com
Tel : 0033(0)3 24 57 57 59
Web : http://www.terraltitude.com
C - Haybes-la-Jolie Voir sur la carte
Also known as ‘Haybes-la-Rose’ or ‘Haybes-la-Jolie’, Haybes is a delightful place. The roofs tinted with pink or blue and the charming square in front of the town hall, as well as the nearby forest…. an entire heritage, be it architectural or natural, contributes to the special nature and the beauty of this commune.
D - Walking Voir sur la carte
The slate and legends circuit
Fumay had 50 slate quarries: the mountain looked like a Gruyère cheese. Along the path of legends and slate, the charming Mohron stream cannot erase the memory of what this valley once was. The blue and violet mosaics created by the remains of sheets of slate sparkle at our feet: this starry path leads us to the heart of this story of slate extraction. Just after the schist bridge, a huge, narrow passageway on the bank of the Mohron forms a gaping hole. This is the entrance to a mine. As soon as you enter, the humidity and the cold go right through you. Approaching Haybes, La Platale beauty spot catches the eye. The slag heaps, loaded with black stones, are frozen like petrified monsters.
Just after the Moulin Labotte hotel and restaurant, the Fond d’Oury gallery lights up as you pass by.
Distance: 6 km
Waymarking: red with logo
Start: From the Maison de la Randonnée in Haybes, follow the road that leads to the Moulin Labotte hotel and restaurant
To go further afield
Topo guide, The Ardennes on foot, published by the French Hiking Federation. Walk No 14
Did you know?
On 24 August 1914, the German army crossed Belgium, pushing through the Ardenne and wiping out every pocket of resistance. In Haybes, a massacre occurred: 52 civilians were shot and the martyred city was burnt. The ‘département’ endured four years of occupation.
E - The Maison de la Randonnée Voir sur la carte
A bicycle hire service is available to explore the Meuse valley along the “Trans-Ardennes” green track or follow the many mountain biking circuits in the area.
50 rue Dromart
Tel : 0033(0)3 24 41 02 75
Web : http://www.haybes.fr