Time  5 hours 49 minutes

Coordinates 1816

Uploaded March 21, 2015

Recorded March 2015

591 ft
341 ft
10.65 mi

Viewed 643 times, downloaded 15 times

near Herzogenrath, Nordrhein-Westfalen (Deutschland)

Discover remains of the mining industry in the charming natural landscape of the river Wurm valley. A hike starting in Herzogenrath, just across the border in Germany (15 minutes by train from Heerlen). More photos are added to the individual waypoint descriptions.

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Burg Wilhelmstein [castle]

The castle is open to the public and houses a restaurant. There is a good view over the valley.

Old water mill

The Bardenberger Mühle or Alte Mühle is an old water mill dating from 1568. An information panel explains it is one of two mills that used to operate at this site. The mills were already mentioned in a document from the year 867. Presumably, the mills operated between 867 and 1899. The farmers from the area were obliged to grind their products at these mills. Till the 19th century a stream diverted from the river Wurm flowed parallel to the current road, driving three wheels. Nowadays the Mühle houses a hotel/restaurant. At its heyday, around 1890, 80 mills and other water works were driven by water from the river Wurm. In this way, the river contributed to many industries, e.g. oil, copper, paper, textile and needles.

Mine drainage

30 meters passed the garden of the house where the trail turned right, you will see the opening of the drainage pithead of the former coal mine Ath. Later it was used by the Gouley mine. An information panel tells the history of this pithead and mine.


Down the road you reach the site of the former Pumpermühle. Across the valley you can see the houses and the church of Kohlscheid.

Mine stone hill and soda heap

The mine stone hill is a silent witness of the mining history of this area. The dump site of the Gouley mine was first used in 1880. Gouley was one of the oldest mines of the region, operating between 1599 till 1969. The white hilly area on the right is the former dump site of the Solvay soda factory in Würselen. A window shows a view on the soda heap, called Teuterhof. The factory used coal for its production of soda and closed down in 1929. In the course of time the soda heap was partly excavated. What remained were formations reminiscent of chalk rock cliffs.

Anti tank wall [WWII]

Among the trees you can see an anti tank wall dating from Second World War.

Layers of coal in carbonic rock

On your left hand you can see layers of coal in the carbonic rock of a steep cliff. It is the entrance of a former primitive pithead.

Cliff with coal layers, fern species

Another cliff showing layers of coal in the rock. Also note the sandstone in this cliff. Special fern species grow in this small and relatively cool valley.

Former water wheel

Down the long stairs you reach a bridge crossing the river Wurm. This place is called 'An der Pomp' [at the pump]. The first water wheel to drain mine water to the Wurm valley was located at this site.

Shaft building

Shaft building of the 'Fuhrt' mine. A little further an information panel provides explanation about the coal mining history in the Wurm valley. One shaft was situated in the valley, another up on the hill. They were connected through a steep road, which is still visible using a little imagination.

Dwellings of mine workers

Following the paved road uphill you'll reach the road between Pley and Kohlsheid. In the spruce to the right are the remains of an old shaft (170m deep) belonging to the Grube Alte Fuhrt mine. Along the road are three white, terraced houses. The former director of the Alte Fuhrt mine used to live in the middle house.


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