1980s: the birth of the Belgian GTA
From conception to completion
As Françoise Lempereur writes in the guide dedicated to the Transardennes and Transfamenne: “The Ardennes… a word that puts energy in the legs of all those who dream of an alternative form of tourism, far from congested highways, crowded and noisy cities; tourism discovering nature that is almost untouched; tourism that can be enjoyed by walking on paths or small, peaceful roads through woods and meadows.”
It was with the Ardennes in mind that the designer Denis Jusseret conceived of a new way of exploring the wonderful region of Belgian Luxembourg. That was in 1985. Since then, several long-distance routes have been created, as well as short, local walks supported by the expertise of the Maison de la Randonnée.
In 2020, a new trail was created, dedicated to the memory of the Second World War in the Ardennes . ‘The Way of Freedom’ takes walkers and mountain bikers to different places in the Bastogne region, which was crossed by the American Army and, in particular, by General Patton’s 3rd Army, during the Battle of the Bulge.
The Maison de la Randonnée GTA Belgium is a member of Visit Ardenne and Visit Wallonia. The association ‘La Maison de la Randonnée -GTA Belgique’ is recognised by the General Commission for Tourism.
Maps, books and roadbooks
The organisation encourages hikers to appreciate the regions they pass, with a variety of initiatives:
• Creating various itineraries
• Publishing guides, maps, road-books and even colouring books
• Promoting major hiking routes and the day walk
• Developing routes for hiking, mountain biking, cycling, and Nordic walking
The colours that characterise the GTA signage are yellow and white.
The GTA signage
Good to know:
- a doubling of a sign indicates that you must change direction – a pole, or milestone confirms that you must continue straight ahead
- a cross indicates the paths not to take
- a simple directional marker indicates the direction to follow
- a complete directional marker indicates what’s coming next and where the trail will end up
Well-established signs ensure the directions are clear. Nevertheless, unforeseen events can happen such as the clearing of a plot in the forest or a broken pole. If you notice a problem, don’t hesitate to let us know.