Welcome to the “super-natural” hills!
The five municipalities of Pays des Collines (Ellezelles, Flobecq, Frasnes-lez-Anvaing, Mont-de-l'Enclus and Ath with the villages of Mainvault, Houtaing and Ostiches) are greatly appreciated by walkers for their wild, hilly landscapes, gourmet food and rich folklore. Here, witches and legends inhabit the strange paths and rural landscapes dotted with pollarded willows, copses and "super-natural" hills.
The Maison du Pays des Collines
The Pays des Collines is a hilly and mysterious country that is brimming with legends. Its landscapes are crisscrossed by paths offering unique walks, and bordered by well-preserved rural architecture and working mills. The Maison du Pays des Collines information centre can provide you with a full list of activities, festivals, accommodation, walks and the many good restaurants in the area. It also offers a range of fine local produce. The Parcours-Spectacle, a 40-minute visit within the centre, offers an excellent introduction to the richness offered by the nature park’s landscapes, customs, traditional crafts, tales and legends.
Routes for walking, cycling, mountain biking and horse riding
There are plenty of options to choose from, and with a network of walking marker points, you can explore over 350km of routes.
Many of them is ideal for these kinds of activities:
- The Landscape Trail: a 90km marked trail through the characteristic landscapes of the national park; a route dotted with artisans and local producers.
- The RAVeL des Collines Greenway: this former railway line has been redesigned as a greenway (RAVeL) and features fine landscapes, picnic areas, dedicated tracks for cyclists and walkers, and a separate bridleway for horse riders. The route connects Mont de l'Enclus with Ellezelles and Flobecq and it will soon extend as far as Lessines. It is part of the EuroVelo 5 European cycle route.
- Mont de l'Enclus: the highest point of the Pays des Collines (141m). Mont de l'Enclus, and its Enclus du Haut in particular, is a very popular area for woodland walking, cycling and mountain biking. Call at the Maison des Randonneurs walkers information centre to collect information on the many routes available.
- Le bois de la Houppe: Situated 4 km from the center of Flobecq, this is the starting point for many of the woodland walks.
Find out more
- The Strange Zone Walking Tour: this art walk, punctuated with the works of the artist, Watkyne, is a must-see in the Pays des Collines. The Strange Zone Walking Tour starts at the Maison du Pays des Collines and crosses the village of Ellezelles.
- Frasnes : Scaling the steep slopes of Frasnes will register high on any mountain biker’s excitement scale! The steep hillsides, woods and paths are a pleasure for the seriously athletic. And it's also at Frasnes that you can take a walk on the Sentier Enchanté (the enchanted path).
- Flobecq : the Flobec countryside is simply superb. Head for the House of Medicinal Plants and set off on the Medicinal Plant Trail.
The Pays des Collines Nature Guides offer you a tour on practically every Sunday of the year; a chance to be guided through the natural park and discover its characteristic fauna and flora. To discover the richness on offer in the park, you should also visit the House of Medicinal Plants and the Jardins de la Grange (Grange Gardens) for an introduction to traditional ways of using plants. The Pays des Collines Ecomuseum presents the rural life of times past. Finally, the Asinerie du Pays des Collines (Pays des Collines Donkey Farm) invites you to join them on Sunday afternoons for a treat for the little ones.
& a beer or two!
Walks in the Pays des Collines are always a good opportunity to stop and taste a local beer! Let the Brasserie des Légendes quench your thirst with its infusion beers Its Quintine and Hercules brews are a must. Here too, you can taste some of Ath’s hoppy brews: Gouyasse and Ducassis, for example. The Brasserie la Frasnoise offers its signature beer of the same name. Guided group tours of both breweries are possible with a reservation.