À Haulmé

A - Canoeing & kayaking: practical information

Hire a kayak or canoe:

Le Domaine d'Haulmé

A canoe or kayak trip of 11 km is available - From 31 March to 15 October. 

Tél. : 0033(0)

+ d'infos :

Landing :

Area at the bridge of Tournavaux (right bank, downstream from the bridge)


Attention, landing is compulsory: dam at 300 m

À Tournavaux

B - The ‘Roche aux Corpias’

The panoramic view from the ‘Roche aux Corpias’ or raven’s rock reveals the lovely Semoy river winding its way charmingly back and forth. But gentle as it may look, the river can be merciless. The people of Tournavaux still remember when, at the end of the 19th century, these usually beautiful waters rose higher than the first floor of the houses…

À Tournavaux

C - The Blackcurrant River

Rimbaud came to see his friend Léon Poncelet in Nohan, where his parents kept a small brasserie. Usually hemmed in by steep hills, between Tournavaux and Haulmé the Semoy opens out onto a vast alluvial plain: in winter, the site radiates a unique atmosphere. The mist envelops the landscape; the hills and the river become a single element, a single colour. The poet ‘with soles of wind’ mingles his footsteps with yours.


'La Rivière de Cassis roule ignorée

En des vaux étranges : La voix de cent corbeaux l'accompagne, vraie

Et bonne voix d'anges : Avec les grands mouvements des sapinaies

Quand plusieurs vents plongent.

Tout roule avec des mystères révoltants

De campagnes d'anciens temps. De donjons visités, de parcs importants.

C'est en ces bords qu'on entend.

Les passions mortes des chevaliers errants.

Mais que salubre est le vent!

Que le piéton regarde à ces claires-voies.

Il ira plus courageux.

Soldats des forests que le Seigneur envoie,

Chers corbeaux délicieux!

Faites fuir d'ici le paysan matois.

Qui trinqué d'un moignon vieux.


Poem  ‘La Rivière de Cassis’ (May 1872).


Unsuspected Blackcurrant river rolls

Through strange valleys.

To the sound of a hundred crows, true

Good voice of angels,

And sweeping forest pines lean

When several winds swoop.

Everything rolls with the sickening mysteries

Of olden-day lands;

Dungeons inspected, substantial parks;

On these banks you hear

The dead passions of knights-errant––

But how the wind restores!

Let the walker look through this lattice-work;

He’ll proceed with more courage.

You soldiers of the forest, sent by Heaven,

Dear delicious crows,

See off the cunning peasant, raising

A glass in his old stump!


(Translation by Martin Sorrell)


The Tournavaux plain

The poetry of this untamed river can be appreciated along the walk near Tournavaux: it goes to Haulmé before running alongside the wide, winding water. Superb!


Practical details

Distance: 3.5 km

Waymarking: white/red and yellow

Difficulty: easy

Time: 1.30 h

Start: from the town hall, cross the bridge and go along the river.

See the route of the walk

To go further afield…

Topo guide, Les Ardennes à pied (The Ardennes on foot), published by the French Hiking Federation. Walk No 6.