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Multi-day canoe trips: Part Chiny-Chassepierre

Chiny - Chassepierre course +/-25km (+-5h00), open all year round according to the conditions of the decree in force

If done in one go, this course is quite sporty in its length. For recreational practice, with the family, it can be designed in two sections, Chiny – Lacuisine (9 km), Lacuisine – Chassepierre (16 km). Boarding at the Chiny lake, upstream from the Saint-Nicolas bridge, “Chiny beach” area on the right bank, and “Côte du Liry” area on the left bank (easy parking and maneuvering area). Sailing for a few minutes on the body of water is recommended to become familiar with the basic maneuvers and the reactions of your boat. Current on the body of water indicates a high water level and should result in increased caution during the descent. 

Downstream of the bridge, a first dam, easily jumpable, is crossed on the left (“undeveloped pass”, sometimes indicated by a wooden stake). On dams, the front passenger is often wet: be careful with young children for this first contact with cold water. Reminder: do not enter the reach of the Cambier mill (on the right). Downstream of this passage, the river takes its rhythm directly; some large stones are to be negotiated, depending on the water level, for the pleasure of directing your canoe-kayak. The river makes a wide meander that bypasses the hill of the village of Chiny and quickly leads to a second dam, without a pass: experienced practitioners can cross it by choosing their precise passage. You can also simply bypass it by entering the small arm on the left if the water level allows (low branches).  

After 4 km, Chiny pier area on the left bank, just after a footbridge (maneuver, little parking). The Semois then continues its course in the forest, to the lake of Lacuisine, the approach of which is announced by a marked slowdown in the current 4 km from the previous area. A rocky promontory on the left bank is often the site of the exploits of the young people of the village who jump there into the river from several meters high. A few hundred meters after this promontory, Le Hât area on the left bank (little access), then, at the level of the lake, La Rochette area along a beautiful vast meadow on the right bank (the Gardens de la Goutelle, playground, maneuvering and parking difficult in season due to the many rental vans and trailers).

From the lake of Lacuisine, the descent continues by first crossing the Lacuisine dam by a wide pass arranged roughly in the middle of the dam (it may be useful to warn the front passenger: shower guaranteed). The river now meanders through open countryside, as far as Florenville, whose church erected on the cuesta dominates the valley. To visit Florenville, stop at the landing stage of the municipal campsite (left bank, easy parking, maneuvering), or better, at the "la Rosière" landing stage, still on the left bank (signpost for access to the center of Florenville).  

Turning its back on Florenville, the Semois goes north to the village of Martué (1 km) where the traces of an old dam make it necessary to carefully choose its passage between several islets, often encumbered by ice jams. When the water level is high, beware of the risk of drossage just after crossing the dam. Shortly after, the Semois plunges back into the forest for almost 10 kilometres, for a series of meanders where it is easy to lose the sense of direction (bringing a small compass might not be a bad idea…) In this part of the course, depending on the water level, rocks can make navigation even more fun in places; avoiding them becomes a small challenge, even an excellent technical exercise. 

At the exit of the forest, a last large meander spreads out between the meadows which border the pretty village of Chassepierre. Immediately after the Chassepierre bridge, “Les Cabrettes” rest area on the left bank on a large meadow (easy parking and maneuvering). 


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