The walk descends the Hérisson ('hedgehog') River with its series of rapids and waterfalls, then returns via Bonlieu, passing through the Dame Blanche viewpoint, with a panoramic view over lakes Val and Chambly and the Herisson valley.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Starting from the car park in Ilay, follow the trail (GR559A) downhill to the first waterfall (Saut Girard). (1) At the bottom of the Girard falls, cross the river and follow the track along the left bank. The path is wide and easy at first but can get slippery after the Saut de la Forge. It becomes slightly steeper but is well maintained.
Continue downstream to the Sarrazine footbridge (2), then follow the yellow waymarks and continue towards "Bonlieu". (3) Here you can follow the barrier to admire the view. On the way back, just before the end of the barrier, turn right towards Bonlieu. The uphill path is a bit narrow and very steep on the right, so be careful!
When you are almost above the cliff, you can either continue directly to Bonlieu, or take a detour to the Dame Blanche viewpoint (definitely worthwhile) (4). To get there, follow the yellow waymarks which lead to the viewpoint, then on to Bonlieu.
(5) Go through the village, first taking the rue de la Maison Blanche, then the main street taking you to the other side of the village.
(6) When leaving the village, follow the GR signs up a small road, which becomes a track then a forest path.
The GR markings will lead you back to your starting point via the Girard falls (1).
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 2526ft - Auberge du Hérisson
1 : mi 0.27 - alt. 2431ft - Saut Girard
2 : mi 1.78 - alt. 2110ft
3 : mi 1.9 - alt. 2021ft - Cascade de l'Éventail
4 : mi 3.61 - alt. 2346ft - Dame Blanche viewpoint - Belvédère de la Dame Blanche
5 : mi 5.35 - alt. 2536ft
6 : mi 5.65 - alt. 2605ft
D/A : mi 7.53 - alt. 2523ft
It is possible to start from different points along the route.
We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 3326ET, 3327OT.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Boissellerie du Hérisson, Auberge du Hérisson, Auberge l'Eolienne. (Auberge: Hostel/Restaurant)
Global average : 4.62/5
Number of opinions : 146
Description quality : 4.65/5
Routemap quality : 4.6/5
Walk interest : 4.6/5
Global average : 5 / 5
Date of walk
Description quality : Very good
Routemap quality : Very good
Walk interest : Very good
Hello! Tried to follow this rout, but the footpath is closed where you should turn away from the river, just after way point 3. Very sad
Very nice and easy walk above the lakes of the Jura, Maclu and Illay.
A hike to do preferentially during fall to admire the beautiful colors of the Indian summer reflecting off the lakes.
Pleasure in cascades.
This extraordinary walk around the Pertes de l’Ain gorges sets out from the remarkable site of the old forges and is a delight for all the senses.
Along the way: The Pertes de l’Ain, gorges, cascades, the ruins of Villain castle, and the relics of an old village.
Discover one of the most beautiful natural sites and one of the prettiest villages in the Franche-Comté.
Surrounded by Sala and Noiremont summits, this hike that allows you to explore Swiss forests and pastures. You'll need two cars for this straight route hike.
Without doubt, the shortest path up to the summit of La Dôle (1677m altitude) from the French side of the border. In good weather, the views are breathtaking and go on for over 250km: from the Swiss Alps to Mont Blanc and on to the Vanoise and the Ecrins, all of this with plunging views down over Geneva and its lake.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.