Cycling in Wallonia | The historical Canal du Centre and its boat lifts

  • The historical Canal du Centre and its boat lifts | Cycling trails in Wallonia
  • Le Roeulx - Canal du Centre - funicular lift of Strépy-Thieu - bike
  • Cycle ride

Welcome to the Cantine des Italiens, in the province of Hainaut: a 30-km bike ride, using the historical lifts of the Canal du Centre awaits.

Cycling along the Canal du Centre offers a spellbinding experience indeed - the lifts have been listed by UNESCO as cultural heritage. Imagine a spring morning - La Louvière is so pretty then. Forget the stereotypes you might have heard about the Pays Noir (Black Country), this RAVel is sure to enchant you. This is a real journey through time!

Practical information

Start: La Cantine des Italiens (La Louvière)
Duration: 1h45
Distance: 20 km
Level: Easy
Signs: RAVel and W4 itinerary

The trail

  • From the Cantine des Italiens, cycle along the Canal du Centre, admiring the 4 steel giants built in the 19th century as you pass: these hydraulic lifts are the only ones in the world to still be working.
  • Along the RAVel 1, swing and metallic bridges witness of an exceptional know-how and heritage.
  • Continue through the countryside - it's easy to forget an industrial city is so close.
  • From the historical canal, you then switch to the newer part of the Canal du Centre, passing the impressive, unique funicular lift of Strepy-Thieu
  • There you can visit the engine room and enjoy the immersive show « Pays de Génies » (a land of geniuses), paying tribute to Belgian industrial engineers.

Good to know

Love cycling along the water? The RAVel 1 goes along the former Brussels-Charleroi canal, between Ronquières and Seneffe, a wonderful example of how towpaths can be reused.

Click here to see the Bikes Welcome attractions and lodgings in the area.




Information on the walk




Minimum distance20 Km


Minimum duration1:45


The information provided is an indication only. We advise you to inquire directly with the organisers of the event that interests you before you leave.