colline verte

Prepare your hikes in South Tarn and in Black Mountain: circuits, downloadable index card, Monitor of hike...

Mountain Guide - accompagnateur en montagne

Alexandre Lokteff, professional hiking guide ;  ‘handisport’ qualified
Alexandre will share his passion with you: flora and fauna, rocks, lakes, streams and wetlands, legends and tales of the area, architecture, local products, artisans, crafts, farming and place names,  
Alexandre offers to accompany you hiking any time of year, for the day, a weekend, for stays or circuits. His walks are adapted to all comers (groups, firms, schools, individuals) wishing to come closer to nature and our little-known heritage.

Tariff:
For the day: 20€ adult – 13€ child
Groups of 10 or more: 180€

CIRCUITS NATURE
06.77.15.34.11

contact@circuits-nature.com
www.circuits-nature.com

Hiking and walks

Discover the Black Mountain and the Upper Valley Thore walk through 32 hiking trails.




Contribute to environmental protection by indicating any damage you might come across on the paths by filling in an "eco-watch" form from the departmental committee for footpaths.

Eco watch file -path quality  (3,5 Mo)
You can find this form online. on the FFR Midi-Pyrénées website  :
Fill il an eco-watch form online
Site The hiking departemental comittee website

Aiguefonde - Lacalm grotto - 9 km - 3h

Countryside circuit ramble at the foot of the mountain…
Aiguefond is one of the many pretty piedmont Tarn villages tucked into the foothills of the Montagne Noire.  Its name is Occitan and comes from the words “aigue” (water) and “fonde” (bottom or bed,) and indicates the presence of springs and underground rivers.  The thickness of the layers of chalk sediment through which the water trickles in the entrance to the grotto or cave is proof of this.  The cool waters of the Coubas, a charming stream, run down from the mountain heights.  The walk continues through a bucolic countryside of meadows and handsome oak hedges.  It is an initiation to the rural heritage of discrete and harmonious constructions such as “pesquiers” and “béals” (reservoirs and ditches for irrigation puposes) which were used to encourage  the growth of grass (and hay.)  Similarly handsome hedges of oak and alder provided shade for the cattle to rest in, to shelter from rain, or simply to scratch. 


Download: Lacalm Grotto

Aiguefonde - Aiguefonde farm building - 14,37km - 4h30

A break in the Balck Mountain...
This path goes from the piedmont of the Black Mountain to its plateau, through the old farms of Courbas, la Récuquelle, les Soulhols, Prat Nouvel…on the footsteps of our history. First, you walk undergrowth among small chestnut-trees and some beautiful ones, local variety of chestnuts:” la dauphine d’Aiguefonde”; they remain from the cuts in the 50s when tannin was used in the wool industry. After 400m, you will be in the cool atmosphere of conifers. The top of the mountain was inhabited by some tenanted farmers with meadows, now covered with high beeches and forests with conifers: douglas used for its wood, fir-tree, pine, spurce, larch…From time to time,you will have magnificient views on the plain and the mountain.
A different path will allow you to reach the la Récuquelle dolmen”Peyra Estampa”, mystic or place.of graves. A small path will lead you there. Coming down to Aiguefonde is as sporting as going up, through the communal forest. Back to the village, discover the castle, the small streets, the wash-houses all along the stream.

Download: Aiguefonde farm building

 

Albine - Peyremaux rock - 13 km - 4h

To get to the top « patience rather than strength »
Peyremaux is perched at over 1000m on the watershed between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean.  Legend has it that the Rock, which is the emblem of Albine, was envied by their Audois neighbours.  They tried to pull it over to their side by brute strength using a hempen rope which snapped.  The Albinols on the other hand used a woollen rope to pull it gently to their side.  This little story illustrates the town motto “patience rather than strength” and also their pride in the wool industry that used to be of such importance to the prosperity of the town.
The history of the mountain unfolds as you climb, first chestnut copse wood, then beech, cut for fuel; terraced gardens and pastoral dry stone huts are witness to a numerous past population.  Higher still coniferous forest reflects the principal present activity of the area.  The top at last and Nature reaffirms herself.  The beech trees are tortured and twisted by the wind and the grass lies flat.  The view is all the better! 


Download: Le roc de Peyremaux

Albine - The Candesoubre stream -6 km - 2h

From basins to rapids , in the coolness of the valley …
The waters of the stream Candesoubre reach the Thoré , coming from the Black Mountain with a difference in altitude of 600 m.
 This extremely active energy was used to run many mills , today replaced by some small power-stations. The route first follows a shady valley where nature is very important. The lovely stream of Candesoubre goes down from basins to rapids in the middle of rocks, in a cool forest atmosphere . Going through wild ravines , you can see and hear some other small streams . After the hamlet of Gourgne, the path is at the cliffside and follow the stream of Candesoubre to join the hamlet of Labasset.

Download :  The Candesoubre stream

Albine - The Wibault path - 10,5 km - 3h

In the steps of Mermoz ,in the middle of the mountain …
Witness of the”Aéropostale”(airmail) saga, this path in the middle of the Montagne Noire forest, leads to the exact place where the plane Wibault283 from this famous company crashed. On 2ndAugust 1936 , after a radio-control error, the crew got lost in the mist just after their taking-off from Toulouse and never reached South America. The history lovers will be able to pay homage to the 3 aircraftmen who disappeared and think about this dramatic time. Mermoz himself came looking for them and went down the valley with his friend ‘s body, the pilot Génin.
 
As an opposition to this dramatic episode, the mountain here offers its most beautiful waters , from the small lake of Lestap in Albine to the streams and waterfalls of Beaux and La Resse The Montagne Noire is a real water supply for the plains around and a paradise for the different mountain-trees as the beeches  and the silver fir-trees.

Download : The Wibault path

Aussillon - Puech d'En Blanc - 15 km - 4h30

From the medieval village to the forests and mountain-lake…
At the gates of the mountain, the historic village of Aussillon stands up; it has been inhabited for centuries first of all by Gauls, then by Wisigoths. Along the half-timbered houses, the path goes up to cooler places, across chestnut-trees and rapidly high resinous trees. The forest tracks are above 300m from the village and the Thoré Valley that you can admire through clearings. Soon you will see the clear waters of the “Montagnès Lake”where you can swim or have a nice nap under the trees. 
The Pic de Nore which is not far shows its large slopes with meadows and moors. Back to the village, you will have walked with the old generations of woodcutters, shepherds or peddlers who used to walk between plain and mountain for their prosperity.

Download : Puech d'En Blanc

Labastide Rouairoux - Beson Forest - 14 km - 5h30

In the middle of the High Valley, the textil story...
From Labastide-Rouairoux, this circuit makes you discover the edges of the Thoré valley; it is a climatic frontier and a junction of 4 different mountains and different waters. In the East, it is the Jaur valley with gorgeous views on the Espinouse, Caroux massifs and the Avants-Monts whereas in the South, you can see the high Black Mountain; in the North: the plateau of Anglès.
From everywhere, big forests with different trees: oak-groves, beechwoods and fir plantations, chestnut-trees and holm-oaks
towards the East. In this landscape, you can read the textil story of Labastide-Rouairoux over 5 centuries.


Download: Beson Forest

 

Labastide Rouairoux -The Cayrans path - 6km - 1h45

Let’s walk around the woods…
An easy walk for families. This path goes through the Green Way(la VoieVerte)first for about 2kms . When you leave it , you take a small forest track-the forest is very thick- this track is a link between 3 hamlets in the South of Labastide- Rouairoux : Lafeuillade ,Cantignous et Fon de Santé. The tracks are inhabited by wild animals , particularly roe deers-you may see them , if you are lucky -, an important number of different species of birds who want to live in the quietness of the woods.
      
On the way , you will see chimneys and roofs of ancient factories . In the 19th century ,Labastide-Rouairoux had an important industrial development with the building of many textile mills , weaving and dyeing factories .The industrial activity of the village influences the landscape of the valley still now . This industrial heritage remains an important indication of the industrialization of the valley .

Download : The Cayrans path
 

Labastide Rouairoux - Mastercraftsmen Glass-makers - 14 km - 4h30

Mastercraftsmen Glass-makers 
In the 18th century many parishes in the Montagne Noire boasted active glassworks, one of which was Labastide Rouairoux.  On this walk you will come across one of these ancient glassworks.  A decree dating from 1445 stipulated that none other than people of noble birth could exercise the art of glassmaking.  The sovereign granted the rights of the Art and Science of glass to certain nobles who carried the title of Ecuyer and Demoiselle.  The glassworks form an economic entity with its production site of kilns and wood stock, and also the living quarters for the craftsmen, their workers and their families.  The glassworks are mostly situated in the heart of the woods as near as possible to the fuel, and the glassmakers lived there during the active season from November to April.  Their knowledge and knowhow was handed down from father to son whose families settled in the Tarn for several generations.  The families of these gentlemen glass-makers intermarried and thus created close ties between the various glassworks. 


Download : Mastercraftsmen Glass-makers

Labastide Rouairoux - Trail of the three passes - 12,5 km - 5h

The Thoré valley: subject to both oceanic and Mediterranean climates …
Bordering the Thoré valley and influenced by both the Atlantic and Mediterranean climates, the trail of the three passes follows the watershed.  On one side the luminous and sunny Mediterranean climate of the Jaur valley; and on the other the green and luscious Thoré valley presents its natural mountainous landscapes of fir forests, streams and waterfalls.
 
The trail will take you past elements of cultural heritage.  “Capitelles” used to shelter the shepherds while attending their flocks.  Beside the ruined mill, Moulin de Mathas, the superb mill-pool survives, constructed from standing stones.  The trail passes near the Ganthe dolmen and the standing stone opposite.  It is one of the few remaining witnesses to the ancient peoples of the Thoré valley.
 
Just before the Ganthe the trail passes near the arboretum created by the national forestry commission.  Finally it runs down beside the Frescaty stream into the cool hollow of the valley before finishing in the village of the Textile museum. 

Download:  Trail of the three passes

Lacabarède - The Three Bishops’ Spring - 12,5 km - 4h

A hike through three departments...
This superb mountain hike will take you round the Sales plateau and onto the border ridges of the Herault and Aude.  The rigorous climate on these high granite hills has favoured the formation of peaty bogs, beech woods and highland meadows: a wild and beautiful landscape.  The ageless rock-lined tracks and wind-tortured beech trees are a delight and lead you through charming hamlets of stone houses which blend naturally into their surroundings: Sales, Lebrat, le Bayle ...  Newcomers enchanted by the lonely solitude are slowly bringing back life to these hamlets which were the  victims of the rural exodus.  Moving on just round a rocky ridge you will come across one of the most beautiful views of the Montagne Noire: an incredible panorama of the Minervois hills rolling down to the Languedoc plains with, as a backdrop, the majestic summits of the Pyrenees towering over all. 

Download: The Three Bishops’ Spring

Lacabarède - Sales clearing - 8,50km - 2h50

Sur les hauteurs du col de Salette
From Sales, small hamlet in the district of Lacabarède, this track goes from undergrowth to small meadows alternately.  You will have beautiful views from the hamlet of Farail in Tarn. Then, you will go to a forest track. When you come back to the departure point, you will have a panorama view towards Aude, mainly after the hamlet of Baylé, then between Lebrat and Farail.
At the top part of the parcours( 940m) you will see the Pic de Nore( the highest of the Black Mountain): an impressive red and white pole of 102m; it is a radioTVtransmitter.It is the arrival point of a cycling race: la cyclosportive La Jalabert.

Attention: The GR7 has shifted and is now indicated on the stretch between points 5 and 8.  

Download: Sales clearing 

Mazamet - The spring path - 4 km - 1h00

The hills of Hautpoul...
This path takes you through the picturesque little village of Hautpoul, perched above Mazamet on the mountainside. The charming medieval character of the village will urge you on and up. You can stop for a minute under the old chestnut tree in the square from which the walk begins; but before that, climb up to the statue of the Virgin Mary to admire the view of the valley below. You can get a real feel for the village perched on the mountainside with its natural defences formed by the rocky cliff faces below. The view will amply reward your efforts so far. This walk will enable you to enjoy a rich variety of landscapes in just a few kilometres, passing through the forest with a number of different species and constantly changing flora. You will come across other historical sites as well as the fascinating village of Hautpoul; the church of St Pierre des Plots, the remains of the tower of the chateau trompette, and finally the Spring path that lends its name to this circuit.

Download : The spring path

Mazamet - Over the water - 6.5 km - 2h30

The pathway of the Industrial Arnette River
Mazamet owes its existence and its economic development to the Arnette River. It was both the quality of, and the energy provided by, the tumultuous waters flowing down the green slopes of the Montagne Noire that enabled the industry to develop in the town.
Taking you on a journey along its banks, through hills and forests, this circuit will show you the industrial and human evolution that has taken place over time.
You will come across 16 signs retracing the story of this exceptional adventure which, through the wool and leather industry, brought international acclaim to Mazamet and the surrounding valley. They show how the area has benefited from the energy and the purity of the river’s waters since the Middle Ages. After centuries of eventful activity, the Arnette River and surrounding valley have finally become a place of tranquillity where the quality of this natural environment is now respected and preserved. The circuit is the result of a partnership between the town of Mazamet, the Heritage Association, and the mission for local employment.

Download: Over the water 

Mazamet -The path passes the salt road - 11 km - 3h30

Panoramic view over the valley of the Arnette
Starting from the Cathare village of Hautpoul, the historic birthplace and protector of Mazamet throughout the middle ages, this circuit climbs up and down and along the steep Arnette valley that was in the past the economic powerhouse of the region.  It runs beside the small terraced gardens which used to be the pride of the inhabitants of Hautpoul. After the Cayenne factory, it crosses over to the south slopes of the Arnette and leads through meadows to the old Brettes farm and the Prat Cross. Along the route there are a number of viewpoints across the valley and towards the town, opening out onto the plain and towards the Pic de Nore (highest point in the Black Mountains). Just aside from the main circuit, by the houses of the Jamarié, there is a rocky outcrop on which the ruins of Saint Sauveur church can be explored. This was the first parish church and was used until at least the 16th century.

Download : The path passes the salt road

Mazamet - Escaunelles Trail - 7 km - 2h20

Between the Pic de Nore and the Arnette Valley
This relatively short circuit is recommended for families and is a good starting point to enjoy the natural beauty of the environment. This is one of the Black Mountain's most representative routes. It takes you away from Mazamet, and the River Arnette with its steep valley which greatly contributed to the area's industrial success with the wool industry at the end of the 19th century. The circuit then takes you towards the Pic de Nore with impressive panoramic views. As you gradually ascend the incline to the rural village of Roquerlan, forests and meadows line your way. The circuit continues alongside the Ladoux stream, on the sunny side of the Arnette Valley and through the mixed woodlands (spruce and hardwoods) and grassy clearings hedged with hawthorn and holly. Sheep and cattle are raised in this charming traditional pastoral countryside.

Download : Escaunelles trail 

Pont de l'Arn - Artigues Spring - 13km - 3h45

Tall trees line the Banquet
From forest tracks and stony paths, this circuit wends its way through the heights above the Pont de l’Arn where the gentle slopes of the plateau are slashed with steep valleys. The importance of water is everywhere apparent, and has been put to good use. Rain and fog have encouraged the growth of the tall trees that contribute so much to the scenery. Douglas firs, more than 30 metres tall, line the horizon of the plateau. Despite the importance of forestry, raising animal livestock is also still a significant activity in this area: vast pastures flourish in the rainy climate and have been an important source of revenue for beautiful 19th century farms such as Artigues. There are also hydro-electric plants which exploit the energy produced by the strong waters of the Bouyssou and Arn Rivers. Flowing steeply downhill, these rivers have made deep indents in the hard rock plateau. The Banquet gorges, hollowed out by the River Arn in this granitic area, is one of the natural curiosities of the region, both for its rugged landscape as for its varied flora.

Download : Artigues Spring 

 

Pont de l'Arn - the hills of La Môle - 13km - 3h30

On the plateau this watery path will take you back through time
The walk begins with unobstructed views over the Pont de l'Arn. The stone paved path leads you first to the pretty Castagné mill in an area planted with chestnut trees. Its waterfall splashes joyfully at the end of the feeder channel from the Issalès creek. For centuries the mountain waters have turned the cogs of mills such as this one, driving not only millstones but also saws, tilt hammers and fulling machines.
Higher up, the lake «Pas des Bêtes» hides in the aromatic forest. The road continues until it reaches the wetlands where the Doul stream begins. These peaty meadows (sagnes) are real natural archives: the pollens preserved in the peat enable scientists to understand the climate that existed thousands of years ago. This journey into the past ends with a moving encounter: two imposing Menhir standing stones keep watch on the edge of the path, silent witnesses to the end of the Neolithic era over 5000 years ago.

Download : The high ground of La Môle
 

Pont de l'Arn - The high ground of Saint-Baudille - 7,5km - 2h30

Extensive pastures and secret valleys...

This circuit begins on the foothills of the Lacaune Mountains above the Pont de l’Arn. These gentle south-facing slopes overlooking the Thore Valley offer incomparable views of the Black Mountains. From here you can see the huge wooded slopes which form dark shadows on the horizon. Mazamet nestles at the foot of these mountains and owes its former prosperity to the sheep skin and wool industry.
At the heart of this varied landscape of endless meadows and conifer woods, you will find stony roads leading to traditional stone built farm buildings (borio). Their slate-lined walls are a reminder of the predominant West wind, which drives the strong rains irrigating the tall pine and Douglas fir trees. The vast plateau is crisscrossed with secret valleys like that of the Doul, whose clear waters and rock pools are home to crayfish and trout.

Download : The high ground of Saint-Baudille

 

Rouairoux - The tall trees path - 12km - 4h

The hidden treasures of a quiet village 
This diversified and pleasant path allows to understand the village of Rouairoux identity : a hilly landscape , fields , conifer woods bordered with , chestnut-trees , nice rows of beeches , kitchen-gardens surroundedwith stone walls , small orchards with apple-trees , many streamlets along the slopes , lovely rural hamlets , farm-buildings lost for agriculture but having a new life with city-dwellers . And above all , far from the busy road , in the valley , calm and peaceful.

Download : The tall threes path

St Amans Soult -The path of the Gentlemen Glassblowers - 18 km - 5h30

Nature and Heritage...
The path begins in the C18th bastide of Saint Amans with its listed bell tower and climbs towards the Montagne Noire whose elegant and generous form protects the secret of these master glassblowers.  Passing near the Chateau of Soult-Berg and its magnificent tree-studded grounds the path joins the forest track and climbs pleasantly through beech and chestnut.  The babble of the streams accompanies you until you come across the forest glassworks of Peyremoutou.  Between the gentle Rieuvergnet stream and the warm colours of the trees and forest tracks you will find the Croix de la Roque and its magnificent views towards the Herault and the Castres plains. The pleasant shady descent brings you back to the start.  


Download: The path of the Gentlemen Glassbowers

St Amans Valtoret - From the valley to the fringes of the forest - 10,5 km - 4h

Vista from the heights of Saint Amans Valtoret… 
As soon as you leave the village the path rises and reveals the long rolling slopes of the Montagne Noire, then, on climbing out of the sunken lane the open plateau of the Banquet appears.  A brief incursion into the common woods may surprise a shy roe deer or offer wild mushrooms.  This is a man-sized landscape, a tamed mountain, domesticated and still inhabited as proven by the existence of its traditional Tarn mountain irrigation systems of “pesquiers” and “béals,” its “lavoirs” and dry stone-walled terraces and woodland hamlets.  A stream runs along a series of flat stretches and takes you back down to the valley and the Thoré. 


Download: From the valley to the fringes of the forest
 

St Amans Valtoret - Path to la Planette - 14,5 km - 4h30

A poetic landscape of water and trees
No mountain’s flat !  The splendid Saints Peyres’ lake walk is worth every muscle- wrenching step; each one a revelation.  Here the sun dancing in the undergrowth, there a gurgling stream, and there again an enchanting birdsong.  The panorama invites you to stop and contemplate in a feeling of plenitude. 
The common-land woods are many facetted: a sanctuary abandoned to itself in some inaccessible places, exploited in others, and mending for future generations in yet others. Old ruined farms are overgrown with conifers, an echo of man’s presence and labours here in the countryside that the attentive hiker will heed. 


Download: Path to La Planette

Pays d'Autan others hikings

Discover the delights of the towns and the fresh air of the country on the "culture and nature" paths of Le Pays d'Autan.

1. Sentier de Saint Hilaire (1 449 Ko) - Labruguière - 4 km - 1h
5. Boucle de la Parulle (1 571 Ko) - Castres - 7,5 km - 2h20
6. Sentier des Gaux (1 454 Ko) - Labruguière - 7 km - 2h20
9. Boucle Jean Petit (1 515 Ko) - Castres - 8,5 km - 2h30
21. Boucle des forêts du malous (12 974 Ko) Noailhac - 13,5 km - 4h
22. La ronda dels peyraïres (1 622 Ko) - Saint Salvy de la Balme - 17 km - 4h15
27. Boucle du Ganoubre (10 293 Ko) - Noailhac - 15 km - 4h30
29. Le Carbonéral (1 590 Ko) - Labruguière - 21 km - 5h15

32. Le Rampaillou (1 597 Ko) - Boissezon - 23 km - 6h15

Download : À la découverte du Pays d'Autan (1 360 Ko)

La voie verte - Passa païs - 80 km

The Green Way - la voie verte - Passa païs - 80 km
This path runs for 80 km from Mazamet to Bedarieux, mostly along the old railway track. Whether you walk for miles, run a marathon, or just want a break and a breath of fresh air, you can do so safely here away from motorised traffic.  You will travel through vineyards, woods, and pastureland, alongside streams, through tunnels and across Eiffel bridges.
Download : la voie verte (5,23 Mo) :  
Passa Païs

 

Sud Tarn - La grande boucle de Montaud - 47 km - 12h30

This three-day loop circuit in Black Mountain, is a real journey : passing a plain environment to a mountain environment, while enjoying on the course the beautiful lake Les Montagnès. Alternating landscapes, tranquil hamlets, forest roads with unforgettable scents.
Sites witness history, perspectives opening on a horizon made of plains and forested mountains.
Fresh streams in the shade of beech and oak forests to the dark color of coniferous forests, all combine to enchantment. The beauties of nature succession meters after meters and can be seen here and there, traces of forest animals, sometimes a deer, sometimes spotted salamander and raptors flying majestically over the forest.

Download technical rando : Boucle de Montaud