Hiking And Cycling In The Valenciennes Area

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The area has a wealth of hiking and cycling trails. Discover the local fauna, flora and heritage sites thanks to the "hiking and cycling packs" published by the Conseil Général du Nord (the regional council), in addition to the maps published by the Scarpe Escaut Nature Park and the booklets published by Terhistoire.


Hiking & cycling packs from the Conseil Général du Nord:



The "Abbey Churches and Mining History" pack

  • Circuit no.13 from Le Gros Chêne and Le Coucou, Odomez 2.5km 45min: Two short family-friendly circuits, taking in the forest trails of the Raismes-Saint-Amand-Wallers range. They provide a great opportunity to discover the extraordinary variety of plant life in the forest.
  • Circuit no.16 from the Somain-Péruwelz line (Fresnes-sur-Escaut, Escautpont) 6 km – 2h: This former railway line linking the mines, of which 15km has been renovated between Bruay-sur-Escaut (France) and Péruwelz (Belgium), today offers a fascinating nature trail and a pleasant hiking route. A great way to enjoy a day out without all the nuisance of motor vehicles.
  • Circuit no.17 from the Grand Marais, Hergnies 4.3km – 1h20: Discover the Grand Marais and the Vergne Valley. As the area is quite wet you’ll need to wear waterproof shoes. Don't forget your binoculars and bird and plant spotting guidebooks.
  • Circuit no.18 "Between land and water": 5.5 or 7 or 12.5 km – 1h50 or 2h20 or 3h15: The circuit is marked out in yellow along the route. This 6 to 7 km journey provides a chance to discover the extensive presence of water throughout the district, the Amaury pool, the Jard, the Scheldt, the Wieries pools (the "Grand Marais" or "great marsh"), La Verne Noire and the pits. It will also help you to discover Hergnies’ past through a number of features which can still be seen today along the wayside. Among other things you will discover the former biscuit factory and the church, of which the oldest part (the base of the church tower) dates back to the 1700s.
  • Circuit no.20: La Canarderie, Condé-sur-l’Escaut: 7.5 or 9 km – 2h30 or 3h: A route to be discovered and enjoyed all year round in a former mining area. A combination of shale and dirt tracks running alongside the canal and small roads comprise this trail which allows you to discover the various pools and reed beds created as a result of mining subsidence. Above all, don't forget your binoculars and your bird spotting guidebooks! This is one of the richest ornithological sites in the département thanks to the number and variety of species to be admired here.
  • Circuit no.21: The Château de l’Hermitage / The Marshal de Croÿ trail: 2.5 km or 7 km – 0h50 or 2h20: These two family-friendly circuits cross through the state forest, covering a surface area of 720 hectares, straddling France and Belgium. The Marshal de Croÿ trail is a shorter variant of the Château de l’Hermitage circuit. It will take you to discover the remains of the former estate once belonging to this well-known character.
  • Circuit no.22 The cobbled paths trail, Vicq 7km – 2h20: This easy circuit travels via a number of cobbled tracks, which to this day remain a distinctive feature of the area. Some of them are listed as genuine historical monuments. The route also takes in landscapes typical of the Scarpe and Scheldt plains. The ancient pollarded willow trees, favourite nesting sites for green woodpeckers and little owls stand in stark contrast to the poplar forests.



The "Scheldt and Sensée: the sources of the Hainaut in two valleys" pack

  • Circuit no.17 from Le Mont des Cailloux, Verchain-Maugré, Monchaux-sur-Ecaillon, Maing 12km - 3 to 4kms: This hike through the Ecaillon valley, just a stone's throw from Valenciennes, will delight walkers with the typical architecture of the villages through which you pass and the picturesque cobbled and packed earth trails. The best and most attractive time of year for this hike is between April and October.
  • Circuit no.18 "Sebourg and its censes" 6.5km – 1h40: Just a stone's throw from Valenciennes and near the border, this like will take you discover the marvellous heritage of Sebourg, a village nestling in the Aunelle valley. Its footpaths pass through a landscape of hedged fields and streets offering no shortage of charm and tranquillity. To be discovered all year round.
  • Circuit no.19 "The Sebourg Heights” 8km – 2h: Departing from Sebourg, your trip takes in paths flanked by hedged fields, quiet roads and farm trails for an exhaustive visit from the heart of the leafy valley and the agricultural plateau to the numerous excellent views to be admired in the area. The former passage along the Aunelle is to be restored and will further enhance the charm of this particular itinerary.


The "Sparking water and light" pack

  • Circuit no.22 The standing stones trail. 11.5 km - 3 to 4h: A pleasantly undulating and rural route which will take you through the cereal and beetroot fields of the Cambrai area to the valley pastures of the Ecaillon. Best enjoyed on a fine autumn day to admire nature's autumnal shades.


The "Balades en Nord" pack

  • Circuit no.20: Hiking to Estreux – Sebourg 5 to 9 kms from 1h30 to 3h: As you leave the town, this hike makes extensive use of farm trails and cobbled paths, taking you for a hike through the rural countryside far from the noise of the towns, offering a welcome breath of fresh air.


The "Great getaways in the North" pack

  • Circuit no.13: The artists’ town of Valenciennes. 7 to 12 kms – 2h30 to 3h30: Enjoy a stroll through a town which has successfully transformed itself from its industrial origins, combining new technology with culture.
  • Circuit no.14: The Rhônelle valley (Aulnoy-lez-Valenciennes, Artres, Famars, Préseau). 11 to 13.5 kms – 3h: The left and right banks of the Rhonelle offer a peaceful environment in which to admire nature at first hand, just a stone's throw from the town of Valenciennes. Aulnoy-lez-Valenciennes presents two very different faces, one rural and one urban. Connections with Valenciennes are possible taking the tram, by following the specially laid out footpath along the tracks.
  • Circuit no.15: The chapels of Rombies et Marchipont. 9.5km – 3h: A walk in the countryside where the chapels and churches reveal a little of the history of the villages through which we pass. Some excellent views can be admired across the wooded countryside and the Aunelle valley along the way.


Cycling or mountain biking

  • Mountain bike circuit no.11: Condé-sur-l’Escaut – Bonsecours 12km - 1h20: An easy circuit through the cross-border forest of Bonsecours. This forest was "gardenised" by Marshal de Croÿ who, after being inspired by the Anglo-Chinese gardens, sought to produce a wild yet controlled natural environment. Nature has now reasserted its dominion of the site but a number of traces of its history still remain in the forest.
  • Mountain bike circuit no.13: “la folle emprise” Aubry du Hainaut. 10 km, 1h10: Discover a historical site taking in countryside, mining housing and villages. The Wallers Arenberg pithead has lost none of its authenticity and some of the settings from the film "Germinal" can still be admired here.
  • Mountain bike circuit no.4: The Aunelle Valley and boundary monuments. Choice of several loops of between 11km and 31.5km, lasting from 1h40 to 3h30: mountain bike trail through the heart of the main valley, presenting no particular difficulty other than its length and some muddy stretches in rainy weather. This circuit is the longest and most demanding of the available options. The options are marked out in both directions and you can start in any of the villages.



These hiking and cycling information sheets are on sale at the Tourist Office’s reception sites or available for download on the Comité Départemental du Tourisme du Nord’s website at:: http://www.tourisme-nord.fr


Cross-border hiking and cycling maps published by the Scarpe Escaut regional nature park:

  • A map of hiking routes
  • A map of cycling and mountain biking routes


These maps are available at the Scarpe-Escaut regional nature park reception centre at Saint-Amand-les-Eaux, at the Parc des Plaines de l'Escaut reception centre in Bonsecours and at the Tourist Office’s reception sites.



Information booklets published by Terhistoire to discover mining heritage sites and biodiversity:

  • Discovering cross-border mining remains from Condé-sur-l’Escaut to Bernissart in Belgium in 15 landscape stages. 37 km of hiking routes and 40 km of cycle touring routes. The book is available from the Tourist Office’s reception centre in Place Pierre Delcourt in Condé-sur-l’Escaut.
  • Discovering biodiversity (Terhistoire), from Condé-sur-l’Escaut to Bernissart in Belgium in 14 landscape stages. 39 km of cycle touring routes.
    The book is available from the Tourist Office’s reception centre in Place Pierre Delcourt in Condé-sur-l’Escaut.


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