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The valley of the Wamp

  • Author: TrailExplorer

Vallei van de Aa

This nature walk goes by nodes of the Kempens Landgoed walking network through the nature reserves Lokkerse Dammen and Het Goorken. These areas are located in the valley of the Wamp. In this marshy area you will find both peat moor, heather and reed lands as well as open water, willow and gale bushes. The second part goes through the Dessel-Schoten Canal and past wet meadows and open countryside.

Distance: 9.5 km.

Time: 2h30.

Grade: Easy.

Type: Circular.

Gps Track: Yes.

Route description: Yes.

Wheelchair: Not suitable.

Dog: Allowed.

Height gain: Flat.

Trail: Paved - unpaved: 25% - 75%.

Marking: Walking nodes.

Hiking shoes recommended.


Lokkerse Dammen and Goorken.

Shortly after departure, you walk on a plank path in a swampy area and the river Wamp is already prominently present. Then it continues towards the Toremansmolen, one also says 'coffee pot mill' against the Toremansmolen. The inhabitants of Arendonk got a nickname: Nen Aorenendoenkse Telouwerele'er. In the past, residents of neighboring municipalities gave each other nicknames that were used as spot or abuse names. The neighboring municipalities emphasized the scarce, shabby food served to the Arendonkers, who were licking their plates so as not to lose anything. As soon as you leave the village you enter the nature areas Lokkerse Dammen and Het Goorken in the valley of the Wamp river. Here is the pure enjoyment of the silence and you a splendid view at the lookout tower on the Lokkerse Dammen. A little further you can then spot birds from a viewing hut. You leave the nature reserve and quickly arrive at the canal Dessel-Schoten that was built in 1846. You follow the banks of the canal for a short distance and you arrive at Taverne 't Paradijs. Here you can go for a snack and drink. The Tavern is known for its own smoked trout. The second part of the walk goes along damp meadows and open countryside. Once back in the built-up area you follow the 'begijnenstraatje' that brings you back to the starting point. A pure nature walk!

De Borrekens

Some paths can be muddy.

Map & Poi's.

POI 1 - Toremans mill.

The Torenmans windmill is located near the Arendonkse Heemhuis. This monument is owned by the municipality. The mill was erected on the spot in 1809 with parts of the blown-down mill from the fifteenth century. In 1988 he was restored and he can grind again. It is a wooden "coffee pot mill - an upper cruiser - with two pairs of cornstones on the first floor and an oil mill in the basement. The combination of grain and oil mill in this type of wooden mill makes the Toremans mill unique in the world. You can visit the mill every last Sunday of the month from 2 to 5 pm in the period May through September.

Miller Jef Raemaekers.

POI 2 - Het Goorken Nature Reserve.

The Goorken is a green gem on the Kempense crown in the valley of the river Wamp. In this marshy area you will find both peat moor, heather and reed lands as well as open water, willow and gale bushes. Several animals find a safe nest, such as the rare and beautiful butterfly heather blue. By the straightening of the river Wamp the water level dropped, causing the swampy Goorken to land. Open water features were created by the roofs and the banks were plagued. Today is growing, there are masses of sundew and both heather and heath are on the rise. The combination between acid, Kempens groundwater and lime-rich canal water gives the Goorken an exceptionally high natural value. Groundwater, with nutrient-rich water from the Meuse, enriches the naturally iron-rich and nutrient-poor Kempen soil. Those places grow with plants such as reed, hairy fireweed and royal fever. At the transitions between nutrient-rich and nutrient-rich water, peat bog was created with wire sedge and small hedgehog's head. Animals such as green frog, band-like dragon, alpine water salamander, large mud crawler, bluethroat and rare water shrew are all here. With some luck you can see the heather blue fluttering around. That rare butterfly only occurs in the Kempen in Flanders and needs moist to dry heath to deposit its eggs. Galloway cattle and horses provide natural grazing for the Goorken. Together with the Lokkerse Dammen and the Red Del, Goorken was once part of a cross-border swamp area in the Wamp Valley. The name is therefore very appropriate: 'goor' means 'swampy stream valley'. Until the Second World War, the area had considerable economic activity. In the summer cows grazed on the meadows, in the winter they grazed on the hay meadows. On the wetter parts they fished and peat peat. Weed baskets and beehives from reeds, willow twigs and pipes. The alder and willow trunks, for example, provided fire and timber. These varied activities created a wide variety of biotopes in Goorken. The construction of the Dessel-Schoten canal in 1846 heralded the start of changes. The Goorken and Lokkerse Dams were separated from the Red Del, which drastically changed the water management in the area. Shortly after, large parts of the surrounding moorland have been mined. Meadows and fields appeared and forests were planted.

Natuur en Bos.