Trail of Pit Heaps

Aisneau is a small community about 6 km east of Charleroi which is the headquarters of La Chaine des Terrils, an organisation that protects, conserves and interprets pit heaps across Wallonia from Bernissart on the French frontier near Valenciennes through the Borinage Coalfield, Mons, La Louviere, Charleroi, Sambreville, Flemalle and Liege to Herstal near the borders with Germany and the Netherlands.


The trail incorporates 43 towns and villages, and 340 large pit heaps from the Industrial Revolution period or later, as well as numerous smaller tips. The trail incorporates the tracks that miners once followed from their homes to the pitheads of the mines where they worked, and the lines of mineral railways that once carried away coal. The pits have developed their own microclimates, and many are rich in animal and plant life.


The trail can be followed by hikers, and parts of it can be used by mountain bikers and horse riders. The association organises guided climbs and walks from time to time. The trail provides evidence of miners of 60 nationalities who have worked in the mines along its route. It incorporates several conserved industrial heritage sites including the Route du Feu at Blegny, the Bois du Cazier Mine at Marcinelle, le Grand Hornu, the mining museum at Bar-de-Luc and the PASS science centre at Frameries.


La Chaine des Terrils has links with the similar association in Nord-Pas-de-Calais which is based at Loos-en-Gohelle.

Trail of Pit Heaps
Espace Terrils ASAL Ferme des Castors
Rue du Centre 78
6250 Aiseau-Presles
+32 (0) 71 - 761138