The Vallée des Fées hiking trail starts outside the brewery in Achouffe. It ends at the same spot some two hours later. If you time it right, you can get back for a hearty Ardennes lunch and a glass of Achouffe blonde. But first you have some serious walking to do.
The trail (marked with a blue rectangle) begins with an easy climb up the valley of a mountain stream called the Chevral. You pass a sign that explains in three languages the legend of the Vallée des Fées, or Fairy Glen.
Then the path climbs up through the woods and plunges down into a narrow valley with an ancient stone mill. This is where it gets tough, especially in winter. You have to scramble over tree routes, leap over mountain streams and navigate areas flooded by beaver dams.
No problem, as long as you are wearing decent boots. You eventually arrive back at Achouffe where they have built a thriving local industry around the troll-branded beer. You can join a brewery tour, settle down in the restaurant for lunch or pick up a dozen bottles to take home.
Derek Blyth’s hidden secret of the day: Derek Blyth is the author of the bestselling “The 500 Hidden Secrets of Belgium”. He picks out one of his favourite hidden secrets for The Brussels Times every day.