Charleroi, Black Loop with green interludes
This is a twenty-kilometre hike, partly through the remains of a flourishing industrial period, and partly through nature. The 'Black Loop' between Sambre and the slag heaps, allows visitors to see a different side of Charleroi as they discover the industrial and mining history of the Black Country.
Departing from Charleroi South station, the trail leaves the city to plunge into a world of concrete and steel monsters, disused factories and colourful frescoes that add a touch of life to these abandoned sites. Some factories along the towpath are still in operation, but for how long? Concrete quickly gives way to nature, beautiful castles, memories of a prosperous past in which Belgium was the second-largest industrial power in the world, thanks to Charleroi, among other places.
At the bend of a path is a tiny bubble of green tranquillity in a small village with quiet barges! On the other side of the river Sambre, Monceau-sur-Sambre is full of shops, small cafés and a park with a superb arboretum. After climbing a slope in a beautiful forest, the route joins the RAVeL network path created on an old industrial railway line.
The end of the route plunges us into the city's mining past with its chain of slag heaps. This more physical section offers views of the canal (Bayemont St-Charles slag heap), the industrial zone (St-Théodore slag heap) and a breathtaking panorama of Charleroi, with its towers, chimneys and industrial sites.
Plan your hike on the slag heap trails!