Waterschei colliery

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Genk has three collieries: Winterslag, Zwartberg and Waterschei. The Waterschei mine was the very first coal mine in Limburg. André Dumont first found coal in As, but it was in Waterschei that he opened the first mine.

Thor Park

Today the colliery’s main building is a real eye-catcher. Now called Thor Central, it is a hotspot of technology, energy and innovation. It's the ideal place for a meeting or conference.

Thor Central - © Eddy Daniëls

Thor Central - © Eddy Daniëls

Thor Park Waterschei

GENK
Heritage and nature converge in Thor Park. Begin your visit at Thor Central, the main building on the site of the former Waterschei colliery, before setting off to explore the surrounding area with its imposing spoil heap, footpaths lined with little stone men and attractive picnic spots.
The 30-hectare Thor Park is part of the magnificent Hoge Kempen National Park. You can explore the park either on foot, or by bike using the Limburg bicycle network. The Schansbroek (stream), the Klaverberg (inland dunes) and the Kolenspoor (coal railway) are all nearby. The remarkable landscape is a combination of rare flora and fauna, magnificent industrial mine buildings and the garden suburbs. Hence the application for their classification as UNESCO world heritage.
Imposing spoil heap
Thor Park’s old Waterschei spoil heap, made up of waste rock adjacent to the coal seams removed during coal mining, is a nod to Genk’s rich mining history. In 1999 the spoil tip was given listed status, but you can still climb it. Just follow the little stone men to the top. You can contribute your own little stone man. At the top of the tip, you are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the impressive colliery and the KRC Genk football stadium.
The 11 walks map
To make the Thor Park area accessible to the public, eleven new walks ranging from 2 to 16 km have been mapped out. They are outlined in the handy THOR PARK map of walks, a total of more than 40 km of signposted footpaths. Information about the area is also provided. The map is available from F&B outlets at Thor Central, the main building on the site next to the C-mine Visitor Centre, or online via the National Park webshop.