Tracing the past

Things start on a positive note as soon as you arrive at the heap, with the car park located just at the bottom, on rue Hector Delannois! You’ll first follow a permanent path along the mountain, where you can quietly admire the surrounding countryside. To your right, you’ll see the railway which probably encouraged trade during mining, since trading between the coal basins of Hainaut and French companies was very important in the 19th century.

And continue on your merry way...

A little further on, at the end of the route, you’ll turn left and take a new path. You’ll enter some undergrowth containing birch trees. This is where the climbing begins! Ignore the low relief, as it’ll be short-lived. You’ll notice that the soil changes colour, alternating from red to black. Shale is still apparent. It’s a calm area. The only thing you can hear is the rustling of the leaves and the chirping of the birds.

It’s at this point that you’ll see the steps; this is when the real effort begins! The summit is walkable. Beware, however, of brambles spread across the ground. Nature is not done yet.


That’s it, the summit is there, before your very eyes. A wagon stands before you, harking back to Borinage’s past.
And what a view all around! To the north stand the Belfry and Saint Waltrude Collegiate Church. To the west, other slag heaps are visible, including the “Crachet” and “Levant” slag heap. And to the east, Mont Panisel, a druidic place of worship, it would seem. What a great opportunity to discover or rediscover Mons and its environs. So, open your eyes wide and enjoy the reward...

Want a different kind of picnic break?

After this slight exertion, your stomach may start to rumble. Why not take the chance to do the egg test! And yes, despite mankind’s use of the land, Mother Nature has held on to its rights. On slag heaps, coal waste gives off a lot of heat. Are you starting to catch my drift? If truth be told, in the heart of a slag heap, the temperature can exceed 2,000°C. If you dig a hole in the ground, you can put an egg there and you’ll soon see that it’ll cook naturally. It only remains for me to wish you “Bon appétit!” and a nice climb down.

Converted buildings

The slag heaps of today bear witness to prosperous industrial activity in the region until the mid-20th century. But now just a few remnants remain. However, these black mountains have not been left behind, quite the opposite! The Grand-Hornu mining site today houses the Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC's) and the museum at Crachet in Frameries is home to the science discovery centre Parc d'Aventures Scientifiques et de Société (PASS). In Wasmes, the Marcasse site has been turned into a nature reserve while other sites have taken the form of sports fields, such as the Hornu slag heap, where paragliders take off and the QBike track in Quaregnon where enthusiasts do mountain biking and BMXing.


Terril de l'Héribus
Chemin de Bavay
7033 Cuesmes, Belgium