Circuit on the eastern slopes of the Causse de l'Hortus visiting its sites of interest: Lafous mill, Embruscalles lake, Mas Neuf, the archaeological site of the Causse rock with a view of the entire Gard plains and the pre-Alps beyond, Mont Lozère, Aigoual and more...
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.
Start at the cemetery car park. Follow road D107E3 to the north-west uphill.
(1) At the first hairpin turn right (alt. 204), do not take the first wide left path but the next that starts due north. Follow the blue-marked trail. At the first junction with another path coming from the left, head right.
About 50 m further on (2) turn left on a more marked trail and continue to the old Lafous mill (3). Pass by the mill if the water level allows. Head down along the river. At point (4), turn left (north) on the blue-marked trail. At the intersection continue straight ahead.
At the next junction (5), stay on the footpath to the right above the Gratet ravine. Arrive at a vineyard, leave the trail to walk along with the vines to the left. After the vineyard, take a small ridge trail down (due north) to the barrier of the hill reservoir.
(6) Go to the left. At a fork, turn left and go follow the blue and/or pale yellow markings. At the cairn, climb up to the south-west. Reach and take a more consistent path to the right, which is almost flat.
Follow the thalweg along its rocky bottom that rises to a small pass (7). Turn right on a balcony path that ends between a rock fault, climb using your hands. Arrive at the plateau (8), head along the ridge for about fifty metres and turn left to the crossroads (9) along the yellow marked path.
Turn due north on the rightmost path to Mare de l’Espinas (10). Then do a U-turn on the left and head back by the yellow-marked path to the crossroads (9). Then turn right (south) on the yellow-marked path.
Then reach the Mas Neuf (11). Following the yellow signs make a detour to the archaeological site of the Oppidum of the Causse rock (12).
(11) Back at Mas Neuf, follow the yellow-marked path to emerge, after some rocky ravines and a steep path, (13) onto a carriage road which you will follow down past a few bends to point (1). Then take the road to the right to reach the cemetery.
D/A : mi 0 - alt. 545ft
1 : mi 0.29 - alt. 679ft - Leave the road
2 : mi 0.64 - alt. 620ft
3 : mi 1.01 - alt. 692ft - La Fous mill
4 : mi 1.15 - alt. 679ft
5 : mi 1.92 - alt. 906ft
6 : mi 2.67 - alt. 627ft - The Embruscalles hill reservois
7 : mi 3.51 - alt. 997ft
8 : mi 3.71 - alt. 1060ft
9 : mi 4.44 - alt. 1066ft - Mare de l'Espinas
10 : mi 5.71 - alt. 1158ft - Mas Neuf (property of the department)
11 : mi 6.16 - alt. 1227ft - Archaeological site of the Causses Rock
12 : mi 7.19 - alt. 1014ft
D/A : mi 8.06 - alt. 545ft
A map or full IGN map: the trails are not always marked. Wear good shoes (rocky paths).
Water refill point above the mill (the spring runs very clear but not necessarily safe!).
Avoid extreme heat.
Mas Neuf shelters.
(3) If the water level prevents you from going around the mill, return by the same path as far as the road that we then take to the left, and after crossing the stream take a path on the left to arrive at point (4), and continue straight ahead.
(9) 2 km circuit.
We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 2742ET.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Ruins of the Fous mill with its old millstones.
Retenue des Ambruscalles
Mare de l’Espinas and the Bergeries du Mas Neauf are ideal places for picnic.
Archaeological site of the Oppidum of Causse Rock with a 360° view, orientation table and wind rose compass.
A journey through both geological time and history, exploring the medieval village of Sauve and the chaos of the Mer des Rochers.
Located between Nimes and Montpellier, the village of Saussines has a quite exceptional heritage: a listed 12th century church, a castle, beautiful mansions, old washhouses.
The gorse scrubland is close by with six capitelles (1), a nature trail, a picnic area with tables and is close to a spring at the high point of the circuit, plus there is a beautiful view of the Pic Saint Loup and the Cevennes.
Important note: Ignore the numbers marked on the ground and stick to the VisoRando instructions instead
This walk devoted to the discovery of Roman ruins will introduce you to two medieval Languedoc villages.The scrubland will bring you the fragrance of thyme and the landscapes will enchant photographers. Enjoy without moderation.
Note: To help with orientation, "tricky" sections have been highlighted with blue dotted markers.
A hike mostly through forest, under the canopy of the Bois de Lens.
Throughout the walk you'll experience stunning scenery.
You'll also discover the Pielles Roman quarry, Macassargues caves (which were occupied by Neanderthal man), the pre-Roman sanctuary of Mabousquet (1st century BC), the Clunisian abbey of Jouffre (3rd century) and the Castellas de Montmirat (11th century).
Amid hills and valleys, a bull ranch (manade) under the pine trees, abandoned quarries, and quaint villages with narrow, shady lanes. A wonderful glimpse of the Gard.
A pleasant and easy hike through scrubland and vines with views of the plain of Congéniès. A remarkable site, the Chapelle Saint-Nazaire enshrined in scrubland.
An easy walk with few real difficulties offering stunning panoramic views of the valleys of the Gardon in Saint-Jean and Mialet. On the trip you can discover the concretions and gours of the Grotte de Valaurie (300m of underground galleries) if the entrance is still open.
From Valleraugue, the famous trail of the 4,000 Steps up to the Mont Aigoual observatory.
To make this route into a loop, follow the GR6 on the long descent to the forest towards Aire de Côte, before finally crossing the chestnut groves above the village of Berthezène.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.