Walking in the Cevennes
31 walks and the Tour of Mont Lozere
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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.
- April-October, but try to avoid July and August. Snow covers the region in winter.
- 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.
- All levels catered for, from easy walks to high mountains.
- Must See
- Cirque de Navacelles, the villages and towns of the region, the Gorge du Tarn.
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.
A Short History of the Cevennes
Using the Guide
Guidelines for Walking in the Cevennes
Travelling to the Cevennes
When to Go
Clothing and Equipment
Flowers and Vegetation
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
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 are at a scale of 1:25,000 (1cm = 250m) unless otherwise indicated.
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)
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)
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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
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.
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.
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.
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 ......
‘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)
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.View Articles and Books by Janette Norton
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