Are you a fan of walking and hiking? The Minett Trail is the perfect way to discover the landscapes of Luxembourg's Red Rocks region, combining industrial heritage with stunning nature. And there are several options for overnight stays along the route – a total of 11 lodges are available for visitors, offering the opportunity to experience the beauty of the region's famous red rocks from a whole new perspective.
The Minett Trail in a nutshell
The Minett Trail walking route crosses 11 municipalities, which together form the Pro-Sud syndicate. The trail was developed in part thanks to a competition held for Esch2022 and also in connection with the Minett UNESCO Biosphere project, on the initiative of Pro-Sud and the Order of Architects and Consulting Engineers (OAI).
The Minett Trail will delight walkers of all levels and is widely accessible. On foot or by bike, it is the perfect place to experience the joys of slow tourism and enjoy bucolic walks against an impressive natural backdrop. The trail offers a remarkable variety of contrasting landscapes, with scenery as diverse as it is breathtaking: rocky remains, outstanding plant life, varied topography and former mining sites, all in a mild microclimate home to outstanding biodiversity.
And to top it all off, a series of lodges can be found all the way along the 90km route. The lodges are brimming with originality and creativity as evidenced by the construction material, layout or location. For example, there's a floating lodge on a lake near the water tower in Dudelange, pop-up mobile lodges in Esch-sur-Alzette, a lodge inside a former water basin in Schifflange and an old railway carriage for travellers at the Fond-de-Gras in Pétange.
What can you see along the Minett Trail?
Cross Luxembourg's southern region at your own pace and discover the flora and fauna that have taken over the former mining sites. You don't have to complete the entire Minett Trail in one go – that's why the route is divided into several stages. There are relatively short sections such as the 6km walks between Belval and Esch-sur-Alzette or Schifflange and Bergem, as well as hikes of up to 16km like the stretch between Pétange and Differdange, so you can enjoy the beautiful natural scenery as it suits you best.
The entire trail, which goes from Clemency to Dudelange, gives you an insight into a key part of Luxembourg's heritage: the history of the steel industry, which shaped the economy, society and especially the landscape of the Red Rocks region in the south of the country. The 90km route is divided into ten stages, featuring former quarries, mine entrances, buggis – the mine carts used to transport iron ore out of the mines –, former electric pylons or even disused railway stations that have been turned into cafés.
In the region's rich and varied natural landscapes, there is an abundance of bird and animal life: you can see storks, lapwings, water buffalo, kites, and if you're very lucky you might catch a glimpse of some of the bats that now live in the former mines.
One of the best known illustrations of the bygone industrial era is the Belval site, once a jewel in the crown of Luxembourg's steel industry and now a shining example of urban conversion. The Belval blast furnaces are well worth a visit – they are now a unique tourist and cultural site. The journey back in time along the Minett Trail also takes you to Rumelange, home to the National Mining Museum, and Kayl, where you can see the monument to miners.
The signposts along the Minett Trail guide you to other important sites from the industrial era, like Esch-sur-Alzette – known as the Iron Metropolis –, and Differdange, Schifflange and Dudelange.
Staying along the Minett Trail
Since it is impossible to cover the entire Minett Trail in one go, the municipalities offer a number of places to stay along the way. A total of 11 lodges have been created on the route, either making use of existing structures or built from scratch.
Each stage on the trail includes at least one lodge (Kabaischen), where you can spend the night before setting off again the next morning.
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