Short Trails and hikes around Anduze

Short Trails and hikes in the Cevennes
Short Trails and hikes in the Cevennes | ©:

Because the Cevennes present, on a relatively small area, a wide variety of landscapes, this region is very popular with nature lovers and hikers. Decisive for the popularity of the hiking area was the British writer Robert Louis Stevenson. In autumn1878, in the company of a donkey he undertook a 10-day hike and wrote later about it.

The Stevenson Trail

In honour of the great hiker, a 252km long hiking trail in the Cevennes was established, called the Stevenson Trail (GR70). The Stevenson Trail starts in Le Puy en Velay and leads hikers through a hilly landscape to St. Jean du Gard in the south. Everyone who wishes to hike the Stevenson Trail in part or its full length can use the services offered by the association "Sur le Chamin de RL Stevenson" along the way.

To enjoy the hike your need to prepare it well. In a brochure, the organisation has collected all relevant information and also mentions stations, where the hiker can hire a donkey, so he does not have to carry all his field pack entirely by himself.

Hikers in particular like, on the well signposted Stevenson Trail, the solitude and impressive flora along the way. The traveller can enjoy all that because the Stevenson Trail runs from the north to the south largely off the regular roads. Along this hiking trail, especially the old paths are well maintained, where once people drove their animals.

For culturally interested hikers, especially the villages of the Massif Central will be of great interest because the houses seem to cling to the rocks, so to speak. Among the best-known attractions on the Stevenson Trail is the old town of Le Puy, the convent of the Notre Dame des Neiges and the Castle de Luc.

Rocher de l'Aigle

Short Trails and hikes in the Cevennes
Short Trails and hikes in the Cevennes | ©:

The Rocher de l'Aigle is known as one of the most striking views of the Serre de rocks in Borgne. If you want to visit the outlook rocks, you have to start in l'Estrechure, and then drive on the D152 to the “hiker’s car park” on the D20. Plan about 1 ¾ hrs for this hike; thereby overcoming an altitude difference of about 300m. If you wish to extend this hike, you can combine this trail with the tour number 29. That will prolong the walk to 4 ¼ hrs or 16km. For the ascent, hikers need to be free of vertigo and also must have surefootedness. You should also remember to take sufficient drinking water because along the track is no possibility to buy anything.

Dolmen Grande-Pallières
Dolmen Grande-Pallières | ©:

Dolmen Hike

The Dolmen track takes hikers from the west of Anduze to the south-eastern foothills of the Cevennes, offering an excellent view of the village and the Porte des Cévennes. Hikers take the D133 to the parking lot on the Come Sass, which is the actual starting point. To the greater part, this 9km long hike will lead the visitor through some mixed forest rich in chestnuts. The entire trip takes about 2.45 hours. However, you can take a short cut and only walk the 5km long Dolmen tour or visit the lookout Les Capelans. This route is about 7.5 km long.

Valléedu Gardon de St-Jean

This walk begins in l'Estruche and leads hikers along the River Gardon after the Gardon de St-Jean has joined the Gardon Mialet to the Gardon d'Anduze. Starting point is the parking lot at the D 907 in the town centre. From here, hikers walk first towards St-Jean. This tour mostly leads through forest paths, hiking trails and small roads. After about 1 ¾ hours you will be back again at the starting point.

Hike to Mt. Brion

Hikers start at the car park at the Office de Tourisme in St-Jean-du-Gard. The 16.5 km hike will take you to Mt. Brion. You will walk through a vast mixed forest. Crossing the ridge, you will accomplish an altitude difference of 630m. Largely, the path leads along narrow trails that are well accessible. Only in the subsequent descent requires hiker’s surefootedness. An alternative for this 16.5km hike, which will take you more than 5hrs, is to start in La Graussil. This reduces the distance to about 6.5km and a walking time of about 2¾hrs. Because there are no rest places, hikers are required to take plenty of water.

Tarn Gorge Hike

The hiker awaits an impressive sight at the narrowest point of the Tarn Gorge opposite the Causee Méjan. Those two plateaus are separated by a distance of 750m, with a gorge, more than 400m depth and very steep walls. To reach this point, hikers walk about 1½ km starting at Le Mas-Rouch, along paths and small streets. If you want to extend your hike, you can walk along the ridge and then take the steep hiking trail down into the Tarn Gorge. However, a surefootedness is needed on this steep and rocky track. Those wishing to take this route during the summer should start in the early morning hours. This path extends to a total of about 6.5km and takes another 2 – 2 ½hrs.

Hike from Anduze to St-Jean-du-Gard

Short Trails and hikes in the Cevennes
Short Trails and hikes in the Cevennes | ©:

A hike along the Gardon Mialet from Anduze to St-Jean-du-Gard takes about 1 day. This trail is signed as GR61. You get there by hiking from Anduze to the Bambouseraie de Prafrace. The trail is about 18km long and leads the hiker past various attractions. Once you reached your destination, you could also take the bus or train back to your starting point.

While hiking, you will walk past a small place called Mas Soubeyran, which until today, has the highest percentage of Protestants in France. Traditionally they meet here on the first Sunday of September; thousands of Protestants attend to commemorate the strength of faith of their ancestors. Other attractions along the track are the Housee du Désert, where the Camisards leader Pierre Laporte was born, as well as the stalactite cave Grotte de Trabuc in Mialet.

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