Meandering trails, unusual and surprising landscapes

Meandering trails, unusual and surprising landscapes

Miniature towns, wild panoramas, picturesque trails through fields and woods, the region is simply bursting with unique locations that you can discover on foot.

Explore the Metropolitan Area through its hiking trails, and find a surprising change of scenery.

The slag heap trails

The Slag Heap Trail (the Long Hiking Trail or “GR” 412) winds through the mining sites dotted around the former industrial basin of Charleroi and its slag heaps, formerly the terrain of men, but with nature now fully reasserting its presence.

Every year, Eden organises “la Boucle Noire” together with other Charleroi-based partners. This 20km journey, inspired by the GR 412, takes you on a journey right through the beating heart of Charleroi, full of the industrial charms of the black country.

The slag heaps boast an impressive 360° view.

The Abbey Route

The Long Hiking Trail of Wallonia’s Trappist Abbeys starts off in the Belgian Ardennes but finishes to the south of the Metropolitan Area, taking in the forest of Chimay Country. The three types of geological strata in this region offer walkers a landscape that is diverse and unique in Belgium.

In the same geographical area, the Great Crossing of the Chimay Country Forest offers a hiking trail that stretches to over 150 km. All along the marked trail, you will find bivouac areas for those who want to fully embrace nature and sleep under canvas on the edge of the woods.

Several bivouac sites play host to hikers on the trail (photo credit: Escapardenne)

To the rhythm of water

The Long Hiking Trail 129 “Diagonal Belgium”, linking Lobbes to Gerpinnes, crosses the countryside through fields and hamlets.

When Thuin and its belfry suddenly come into view upon emerging from the forest, the sight is breathtaking.5 km-long Mariners’ Walk.

Over the centuries, the region of Thuin has counted many mariners among its inhabitants (photo credit: CM tourisme)

Wooded landscapes

The section of the Long Hiking Trail 125 that links Froidchapelle to Virelles offers up many trails that take in meadows and crops, bordered by hedges and embankments.

For those with extra stamina, this long hiking trail takes you all the way to the Calestienne which in particular is home to the natural sinkhole “Fondry des Chiens”; a unique and symbolic place in the region.

The Fondry des Chiens was formed by a natural watercourse (photo credit: Teddy)

Saint-Feuillien Way

Along the Way of Saint James of Compostela, upon entering the municipality of Seneffe, you will stumble upon Long Hiking Trail 655, also known as the “Via Gallia Belgica”. This section cuts across long plains typical of the Northern Metropolitan Area.

The trails gently wind through meadows and villages (photo credit: GR)

 

Other corners of the Metropolitan Area, such as the Centre de délassement de Loverval or the Vita Way in the Grand Bon Dieu woods in Thuin, have different routes on offer, which can be chosen on the day depending on what you have in mind: a family walk, lacing up your running shoes or simply taking in a breath of fresh air at the end of a long day.