“It’s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves” – Edmund Hillary
The Escapardenne Lee Trail is one of the European Leading Quality Trails. This means it is one of the best hiking trails in Europe. For a full list of these hiking tracks and how they qualify, please check out their website.
The Lee Trail takes you through the Luxembourg Ardens and along ridges (“Lee” in Luxembourg) with magnificent views. With over 80% of this hike being natural paths, you will get a real chance to reconnect with nature.
One of the things that makes this trail unique is the amount of benches on the trail. Almost every kilometre you can find a bench. I have made a short compilation video of them, so you can see for yourself.
It was one of the most spectacular trails I have ever walked!
The Lee Trail can be done in 2 or 3 days, and most guidebooks will show you a 3-day itinerary. The guidebook I used showed the following section breakdown:
Recommended Itinerary in the guidebook:
Day 1: Ettelbruck – Bourscheid/Moulin: 18.3 km
Day 2: Bourscheid/Moulin – Hoscheid: 19.7 km
Day 3: Hoscheid – Kautenbach: 15 km
My actual itinerary was a bit different because I wanted to use the campsites along the route. There is no camping in Hoscheid…I was very happy the guidebook showed details on what sleeping arrangements were available along the trail.
My actual itinerary:
Day 1: Ettelbruck – Bourscheid/Moulin : 18.3 km
Day 2: Bourscheid/Moulin – Goebelsmuhle : 13 km
Day 3: Goebelsmuhle – Kautenbach : 21.7 km
If you are still looking for a guidebook and you understand German, I would definitely recommend the below, it is light and easy to use. I have linked it to Amazon, but it is usually also available at the tourist information centre in Ettelbruck.
How to get to there?
The most convenient way to get to the Lee Trail is by public transport. Both ends of the trail are only a few hundred metres from the train station. Ettelbruck is the largest of the two towns, with a Tourist Information Centre that can help you out.
Along the trail you will pass by bus stops, from where you could always take the bus back to Ettelbruck.
If you are coming from outside of Luxembourg, you will probably need an international ticket if you take the train. One way to overcome this is to stop at the last station before the border and take the next train into Luxembourg. You will then have the advantage of local pricing – which is much cheaper…
Checkout this website for your best itinerary.
Accommodation on the Lee Trail
You can find many inviting camping spots along the way, but please keep in mind that it is officially not allowed to wild camp in Luxembourg without the permission of the landowner.
The trail offers some good campsites and hotels. All campsites have a designated trekkers area and offer lunch options.
Check here if you want to continue the Escapardenne on the Eisleck Trail.
There are only a few options to resupply along this trail and you will need to bring food for at least 2 days. If you don’t want to carry all your food, there are a few alternatives that you can try.
The official campsites along the trail offer pre-booked lunch packages and sometimes dinner, but they usually have a threshold on when you can order. It is usually before 16.30 the day before.
Some campsites cafe/food along the trail. However, opening hours can be disappointing. It happened to me 3 times that the cafes along the trail were closed or only open after 3 pm.
No shops in Kautenbach. There is a hotel/restaurant and a campsite which does offer some camping supplies on site.
Ettelbruck has a great selection of shops and restaurant and is the closest you will come to a bigger town along the Lee Trail. My suggestion is therefore to start in Ettelbruck to stock up on supplies.
For those of you doing the entire Escapardenne, including the Eisleck Trail, there is an option to stock up in Troisvierges and Houffalize.
No supermarket in Clervaux, but there are many cafes and restaurants to fill your belly and bring some takeaway baguette or something. That’s what I did at least.
To my surprise there were not as many water sources as expected. Many times when you go along a river, you are either way up or there was no running water. It might be due to the time that I was hiking (September), but please keep this in mind.
If you are staying at the official campsites, you can obviously use their facilities to fill up your water bottles. Tap water is usually safe to drink in Luxembourg, although it wouldn’t hurt if you filter it if you are unsure.
Another way to stock up on water is to make use of the small towns you come across. There are no water fountains anywhere, but you will be able to find a cafe/restaurant or worst case scenario you could knock on someone’s door if you are in desperate need of water.
Luggage Transfer: Available when booking a guided hike
Maps and Guides:
- Complete guide for Lee Trail and Eislek Trail (German version)
- For more, visit the official shop
My Experience on the Lee Trail
The Lee Trail is one of the most spectacular hikes I have ever done in the Benelux area. To get there, I took the train to Luxembourg, via Arlon and then onwards to Ettelbruck.
Arriving at the train station I bought my Escapardenne guidebook from the tourist information centre and started the trail straight after.
As soon as I set foot on the Lee Trail I was stunned by its beauty and peaceful nature. Clearly this path is being managed with love and care.
There are many amazing views to enjoy on the Lee Trail. Sometimes out of nowhere, you can catch a glimpse of where you are amidst the hills and trees.
The photo on the left shows how steep the climbs can be, but the views are always rewarding!
One of my favourite spots is this bench just before Hoscheid.
This section of the trail takes you over ridges and has you walking on rocks, feeling like you are in the middle of nowhere.
I had the most peaceful break on this bench. I was also very lucky – no wind and excellent weather!
I have enjoyed some of the most amazing sunsets on the Lee Trail.
I took it easy on the hike and was still walking in the dark on my first day, but it was totally worth it to make it to the campsite.
The trail is signposted in both ways, and even in the dark, the signs are reflective!
I will definitely explore the area again!