Walking in the Cevennes

31 walks and the Tour of Mont Lozere

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ISBN
9781852843366
Availability
Published
Published
1 May 2002
Reprinted
17 Mar 2010
Edition
First
Pages
256
Size
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.6cm
Weight
300g

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An introductory guidebook to walking in the Cevennes region of southern France. The guide describes 16 day walks in the south (based around Le Vigan), 15 day walks in the north (based around Florac) and a 5-day trek around Mont Lozère. Includes routes in the 230,000 sq km Parc National des Cevennes and upper reaches of the Tarn gorge.

Seasons Seasons
April-October, but try to avoid July and August. Snow covers the region in winter.
Centres Centres
Main centres are Florac and Le Vigan, with smaller centres such as Cassagnas, Le Pont-de-Montvert, Ste Enimie, Barre des Cevennes, Valleraugue and Montdardier.
Difficulty Difficulty
All levels catered for, from easy walks to high mountains.
Must See Must See
Cirque de Navacelles, the villages and towns of the region, the Gorge du Tarn.
Old houses near Les Bondons, Sentier des Menhirs (Walk 18) (Photo by Janette Norton)
ISBN
9781852843366
Availability
Published
Published
1 May 2002
Reprinted
17 Mar 2010
Edition
First
Pages
256
Size
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.6cm
Weight
300g
  • Overview

    Full introduction to the Cevennes region and the best walking in the area.

    • 16 day-walks in the southern Cevennes (based around Le Vignan)
    • 15 day-walks in the northern Cevennes (based around Florac)
    • Plus the 5-day trek around Mont Lozère

    Although just across the River Rhone from Provence, the Cevennes is one of France's wild and unknown regions. Resembling the Scottish Highlands in places (similar in height at a maximum of 1567m, but warmer and with fewer midges), the region includes the 230,000 sq. km Parc National des Cevennes and the upper reaches of the Tarn gorge. First introduced to a wider world by Caesar's crossing and then by the young Robert Louis Stevenson and his Walks with a donkey (1879), the Cevennes still has much that can be freshly explored.

    Compared with Provence the landscapes are harsher, more mountainous, less populated. The weather is more extreme: winters are cold, windblown and snowy, summers are dry and hot. The Cevennes attracts the walker and explorer who has a taste for a more rugged and subtler landscape.

    This is Janette Norton's third Cicerone guide to France, following on from her Haute Savoie and Provence guides. Based in the north around Florac and in the south around Le Vigan, the guide explores the walking potential of the region in 31 half- to full-day walks and the well-known five-day circuit of Mt Lozère.

  • Contents

    Contents
    Introduction
    The Cevennes
    Southern Cevennes
    Northern Cevennes
    A Short History of the Cevennes
    Cevenese Life
    Using the Guide
    Guidelines for Walking in the Cevennes
    Travelling to the Cevennes
    When to Go
    Accommodation
    Clothing and Equipment
    Flowers and Vegetation
    Wildlife
    Southern Cevennes
    Walk 1 Circuit de L'Arre
    Walk 2 Circuit des Maures
    Walk 3 Roc de L'Esparon
    Walk 4 Pic d'Anjeau/Rochers de la Tude
    Walk 5 La Cirque de Navacelles
    Walk 6 Sentier de la Trescoulade
    Walk 7 Sentier des Ruisseaux
    Walk 8 Circuit des Camisards
    Walk 9 Le Sentier des Anes
    Walk 10 Truc de Montaigu
    Walk 11 La Draille de la Transhumance
    Walk 12 Les Cascades d'Orgon
    Walk 13 Lac des Pises
    Walk 14 Circuit de Mont St-Guiral
    Walk 15 L'Abîme de Bramabiau
    Walk 16 Vallée du Bonheur
    Northern Cevennes
    Walk 17 Round Mont Puecheral
    Walk 18 Sentier des Menhirs
    Walk 19 Walk around Le Pont-de-Montvert
    Walk 20 Sentier du Pic Finiels
    Walk 21 Ste-Enimie (Gorges du Tarn)
    Walk 22 Gorges du Tarn from La Malène
    Walk 23 Sentier des Couronnes
    Walk 24 Sentier du Tarn and Causse Méjean
    Walk 25 Sentier de Vernagues
    Walk 26 Le Chaos de Nîmes Le Vieux
    Walk 27 Sentier de Fourques
    Walk 28 Sentier de Pompidou
    Walk 29 Round Barre-des-Cévennes
    Walk 30 Round Fontmort Forest
    Walk 31 Sentier des Cans
    Tour of Mont Lozère
    Day 1 Florac to Mijavols
    Day 2 Mijavols to Les Bastides
    Day 3 Les Bastides to Le Bleymard
    Day 4 Le Bleymard to Les Laubies or La Fage
    Day 5 Les Laubies or La Fage to Florac

    Appendix A Glossary of local words
    Appendix B Table of Walk Times
    Appendix C Maps
    Appendix D Tourist Offices and Syndicats d'Initiative
    Appendix E Market Days

  • Maps

    Maps are at a scale of 1:25,000 (1cm = 250m) unless otherwise indicated.

    Southern Cevennes

    Cartes IGN 2641 ET Top 25 Mont Aigoual/Le Vigan (Walks 1, 2, 3, 6,

    7, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16)

    Cartes IGN 2741 ET Top 25 St-Hippolyte-du-Fort/Anduze/St-Jean-du-

    Gard (Walks 8, 9, 11)

    Cartes IGN 2642 ET Top 25 St-Guilhem-Le-Désert/Cirque de

    Navacelles (Walks 4, 5)

    Northern Cevennes

    Cartes IGN 2740 ET Top 25 Corniche des Cevennes (Walks Nos. 28,

    29, 30, 31, and Tour of Mont Lozère)

    Cartes IGN 2739 OT Top 25 Mont Lozère/Florac (Walks Nos. 17, 18,

    19, 20, and Tour of Mont Lozère)

    Cartes IGN 2640 OT Top 25 Gorges du Tarn et de la Jonte/Causse

    Méjean (Walks 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27)

    Other useful maps

    Parc National des Cevennes IGN – 1:100,000 (1cm = 1 km): gives an

    overall view of both regions

    Carte Routière et Touristique Michelin No.240 Languedoc/Roussillon

    – 1:200,000 (1cm = 2 km)

  • Updates
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    Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction
    PLEASE NOTE THAT THESE ARE CORRECTIONS SENT IN BY READERS AND HAVE NOT NECESSARILY BEEN VERIFIED BY THE AUTHOR.
    Walk 4 - Pic d'Anjeau/Rochers de la Tude

    How to get there:
    Take the D48 (not D239) from Le Vigan to the village of Montdardier (9 km) on a winding road.Longer walk - Rocher de la Tude:(B) Take the PR sign (petite randonnée) to the right, with yellow, orange and red splashes just beyond.

    Walk 28 Sentier du Pompidou

    Signposting:
    Recently all but one of the small wooden signs marked with a chestnut, an arrow and a green square, have disappeared. (2) and (3) - Follow sign Le Masaout.
    (9) - Ignore - "A few minutes later look for a chestnut sign which takes you up left and past the back of an abandoned hamlet", as there is now a sign Propriété Privée - Defense d'entrer. The hamlet is being restored.
    Instead - Continue down the road and turn left, passing the hamlet of le Soulie. Take the first turning back up left which will meet no. 11 on the map.

    From Kit Hum

    Walk 29 - Round Barre-des-Cevennes

    Nos. 1 & 2 - There is now a fence between the path and the Balmegouse barns. We climbed over the fence at a low point and were able to follow the book by going to the right past one of the barns. However, we never found the water tank (although a heap of demolished masonry may once have been the tank) and we never managed to find Les Combes. After pottering about for a bit we came to a crossroads where there was a yellow PR sign for Barre-des-Cevennes to the right.

    Looking at the lie of the land, it seemed very likely that if we had not tried to get over the fence but had simply walked on past the barns the path would have delivered us to this spot via the turning to the left. We took the path to the right signposted Barre and 10 minutes later it emerged at the oak tree on the D20 as per paragraph 4.

    Halfway between the crossroads and the D20 our path was joined by another coming in from the right which may have come from Les Combes. However, this path was fenced across and not with a 'gate' type fence.

    This walk was recently done by the author who noted one or two amendments.

    Walk 9 - Le Sentier des Anes

    Under (How to get there)

    Note: There is now a parking area on the left before you reach the village. No.1 - 3rd Paragraph

    A tarmac road now leads to the Mas Goutanière which has been renovated. Cross the road and continue straight on the path.

    No.2

    There is no longer a yellow splash on the tree but turn right as indicated and you will see a yellow splash further on.

    Line 5 - A tarmac road now leads to the farm down left and continues to the D420.

    No.4

    The signs at the Col de Tribale have been changed around. The undefined eroded path is behind the sign Col de Tribale and not Notre Dame de la Rouvière.

    No.6

    From the Col de Bes there is now a new jeep track. You will cross this track further down (it leads to a gate). - note you can go down the jeep track but you will then find the continuing narrow path down difficult to locate as tere are no splashes.

    Walk No. 3 - Roc de L'Esparon

    This walk was recently done by the author who noted the following changes. NOTE - THERE ARE NEW SIGNPOSTS ALL THE WAY ROUND WHICH MAKES IT EASIER TO FOLLOW.

    (4) Line 6 - the barbed wire fence has been replaced by a smart new style.

    (8) Cross the road to meet a signpost at the Col de L'Esparon. Take direction La Bernadette 3.8kms, Bréau-et-Salagosse 4.9kms. The jeep track passes a house up on the left and soon enters cool chestnut forest. Ignore any turnings off and keep to the main track, which is wide and flat.

    (9) Where the track meets pine trees look for a signpost indicating right down a narrow path. There is a red/yellow cross on the track ahead. The path goes down medium steep through tall grasses and pines to reach a jeep track in a clearing.

    (10) Go down right on the jeep track. CAREFUL do not take the track immediately right. Further down you go through a barrier (sign here indicating 'Fôret Dominale de L'Aigoual'). When the jeep track veers to the RIGHT go straight on to a narrower track.

    Note in the village of Bréau-et-Salagosse there is now a signpost.

    (13) Go LEFT in the Place and then RIGHT down the Ancienne Voie Romaine which turns into a narrow track with high walls................

    (15) Go right and cross a bridge over a dry riverbed. Turn a corner and take the second turning to the right at a new signpost Les Vignes indicating Molieres-Cavaillac 1.3kms. There is a warehouse left and further up a number of new houses. At the end of the houses the road becomes a jeep track. Continue up keeping to the right and where it goes into a field take a narrow rocky path right (there are yellow splashes here). Shortly after keep left .........

    (16) The path goes down between high banks to a road. Go right to reach a signpost. Following yellow splash go up right on to a wide jeep track. A few minutes after, on a wide corner, go straight ahead on a narrow path and follow signs on left which take you up by a small park to the entrance of the village.

    WALK NO.29 - Round Barre des Cevennes

    Correction sent in by Pat Godden - October 2008.

    (1) Second Paragraph

    The path goes along the side of a fence passing behind two large barns. Follow the signposted route through the trees to reach a narrow road - you can see a beautiful old farm called Les Combes along the road to the right.

    Cross the road slightly left onto a marked footpath which brings you out to the D20 road at a large oak tree. (No.4)

    Turn down right ......

  • Reviews
    ‘Best known as the area RL Stevenson roamed around with his donkey, this is otherwise a little-known area to British walkers and well worth exploring. The author’s selection of over 30 walks gives an in-depth exploration of the area and the tour of Mont Lozere would make for an excellent backpacking trip.’

    (Outdoor Pursuits, Oct/Dec 2002)


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Janette Norton

Janette Norton lived in France, near Geneva, for over 30 years with her physicist husband, Alan, raising four children and working in the marketing field. Her love of mountain walking dated from the time she was a guide in her twenties, and the proximity of the Alps and Jura to her home inspired her to continue her passion. After her children grew up, she branched out to explore other areas of France.

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