Ardennes Industrial Heritage
Brussels»Bruges through Ardennes
In Wallonia the bike paths are named RAVELS (Reseau Autonome des Voies Lentes). Old towing paths along canals and former railway tracks are conversed into a network of easy bike paths through the hilly countryside of Wallonia.
The tour starts in Halle (little town south of Brussels) following the Canal Bruxelles-Charleroi until Seneffe. After the Sloping Lock of Ronquières we bike to Feluy and enter the RAVEL to Seneffe (castle).
If the barge takes the old Canal du Centre with 4 hydraulic elevators there will be a stopover between Ronquières and the boat lift at Strépy-Thieu.
Until the end of the Sixties this was a mining region and the boat lifts are part of the industrial heritage and still in use.
From Seneffe the bike path follows the RAVEL Canal du Centre and then the RAVEL Ancien Canal du Centre.
From there we follow de RAVEL Nimy – Blaton – Péronne (not the famous French town!) to Mons.
From here we take the following itinerary:
Mons – Tournai – Ghent – Bruges, roughly following the river Scheldt.
Character of the tour (bikewise)
The Ardennes is hilly, not high, but occasionally pretty steep. Differences in height are never more than 70 mtr.
When leaving the Ardennes the hilly countryside changes into gently sloping easy riding in very small scale farming countryside. Between Kortrijk and Bruges, the countryside turns into flatlands.