The South of Luxembourg is the region of the Red Earth ("Terres Rouges") and the steel mills. After more than 100 years of mining activity, the pits were closed at the beginning of the eighties of the last century. The mining activity has changed the landscape dramatically but since then, nature has taken back its rights and now, the new green is contrasting with the old red rocks and 2 Nature reserves ("Haard", "Giele Botter") have been declared within the whole area. The latter has hence become a paradise for hikers and bikers with a maze of endless singletrails, assorted with short up- and downhills. Concentration and technical dexterity are essential but there are never more than 100 m of climbing in a row. The will be two day-trips, starting from Esch-Gaalgenberg, on the heights of Esch/Alzette, in the midst of a luxuriant natural environment.
The trailcamp as it is planned is most suitable for beginners and intermediate
bikers with a sound physical condition (but can easily be made fun and full with challenges for advanced bikers within an "on demand" event). The difficulties of the trails in the South have
a wide spectrum; often, the trickiest parts can be avoided, by just posting a small detour. Alternatively, the guide will always be able to spot an even “dirtier” descent than the last one… In
any case, you should have an excellent command of your bike, as well as strong legs, for there may be steep climbs.
For beginners: approx 40 km and 750 m of climbing per day
For advanced bikers: up to 60 km, with around 1000 m of climbing per day.
1. Day: From Esch-Gaalgenberg to Rumelange (and back)
We will leave the meeting point direction south-east to warm up on the first singletrails of the day. In the forest between Esch-sur-Alzette and Rumelange, the trails are technically not too difficult and the biking is fluid. When reaching Rumelange, we may stop at the terrace of the “Musée des Mines” for a cup of coffee or a sip of history. Near Rumelange, the trails become more rocky and narrow and we will have some nice views over canyons created by the mining activity. We will continue to Tétange and Kayl, where some really steep uphills await us. As a matter of fact, around there, the tour includes some really beautiful paths in the "Haard" Nature Reserve. Towards the end, we will get our kicks on the “Rollercoaster” trails of the “Lallénger Bierg” in Schifflange, where there is a fully-fledged bike-park. We then head back to the hotel on the “Gaalgebierg” in Esch-sur-Alzette with some last really nice technical sections.
2. Day: From Esch-Gaalgenberg to Differdange (and back)
On the second day, we will leave Esch-Gaalgebierg North-West towards Belvaux, pedaling some 3-4 km on an easy road. On that occasion, we will cross Esch-Belval, where the former steel mills are being transformed into a Docklands-style business district, keeping whole parts of the old halls and machines to form a kind of open-air museum. Arriving on another “Gaalgebierg” (lit.: "the hill with the gallow"), we can do an extra round on a 3 km trail specially created for mountain biking, quite technical and strenuous. We will then continue to Differdange and Fonds de Gras, the following kilometres being very varied: singletrails, large forest tracks and some portions of paved cycling roads. In the valley of “Fonds de Gras” we will find an old railway station and a pub, unchanged since the 1950’s: time to take a break. Leaving “Fonds de Gras” behind, we will go up and down again into the next valley which hosts the old mining village Lasauvage ("the wild one") where we will admire the typical architecture of the 20th century mining worker's homes. We soon ride back to Belvaux following the French border, through a small valley with a little river, passing some more remains of the mining industry. Back in Belvaux, we return by road to Esch-Gaalgebierg.
This camp is planned for October 20-21, 2018.
Starting point is the Esch/Alzette Youth Hostel (17, bd J. F. Kennedy, Tel. 26 27 66 450) where we will meet on the first day at 8h30 for a coffee and briefing on the program of the weekend. The camp ends at 16h00 on the second day, at the same spot. A detailed programme will be sent to the participants one week before the start.
Prices are as follows:
- 85 EUR guiding only;
- 110 EUR with an overnight stay at the Esch/Alzette Youth Hostel (breakfast included, 3-4 pers. rooms).
Single/double rooms upon request and availability.
It is possible to opt
for one day guiding only participation (42.5 EUR). Evening meals and lunches are not comprised. Registration deadline (payment received) for bookings with overnight stay is
Sept. 28. All other bookings are accepted until Oct. 12.
Please use the following link to the registration page (reservation code RRE 2018): not binding at that stage, you will be sent a registration form to be filled in, scanned and sent back. Once the payment is done, your registration is effective.
Every participant will be responsible for the biking gear and the bike - participants without a helmet or with a clearly insufficient bike will be refused. For this trip, we recommend a cross country bike with at least 120 mm of front suspension. A full suspension bike will be an advantage but is not necessary. Participants can rent test bikes from S-cape Sports (25 EUR / day).