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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 in the Balck Mountain

Discover the Black Mountain on foot through 32 hiking trails.
The cards are available for sale (0.50 €) in the Tourist Offices of Castres, Labruguière and Mazamet. You can also download them for free in the descriptive list of each hike a little further down.


SURICATE Tous sentinelle des sports de natureAll sentinel of the sports of naturearticipez with the preservation of the trails by signaling the deteriorations or anomalies observed on the ground on the network SURICATE: all sentinel of the sports of nature.

1/ Saint Hilaire hiking - Labruguière - 4 km - 1h

A small circuit of Piedmont in limestone ...
The tour offers a visit in the nice countryside next to Labruguière. The small church of St Hilaire with its lovely sculptures reminds us of other pilgrims who walked before joining the St Jacques de Compostelle path nearby.
From North to South, the limestone plateau shows harmonious lines above hedged farmlands. Waters appear and disappear in streams proof of a slow work underground.
Then, the little hamlet of Le Réclot at the bottom of the hill, is charmfull: a beautiful wrought iron cross, a well or an ancient barn with small holes for the air. Walking down towards the church on the path full of pebbles is peaceful.


Download the file: Saint Hilaire Trail

 

2/ The spring path - Mazamet - 4 km - 1h

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

2/ The Parulle loop - Castres - 7,5 km - 2h20

On the "Chemin des Fontaines" ...
From La Barque, the “chemin des fontaines goes up along the river Agout to the Sidobre. In the schists, always covered with lichens, mosses and brackens, you walk in a fresh atmosphere. Next to Burlats, you leave the Agout to go up a path bordered with oaks and maples. Higher, you can see the pine-trees of The Carla and that the end of the climbing. Meadows, some views on the valley and quickly the path enters a small valley under oaks, you walk on pebbles coming from red clay, typical above Castres. Again a hill, La Parulle fields from which you can see the Pyrenées, splendid hedges of old oaks. On the hillside, the path goes down to Tournemire and joins the Chemin des Fontaines.

Download the file: The Parulle loop

 

6/ Gaux hiking - Labruguière - 7 km - 2h20

Discovery with wing pull ...
This discovery of the Black Mountain in a rural decor will show you the fauna and floraand the typical stone architecture of hamlets. From the plain, the mountain is a green background. You will have nice overviews from different points like in La Roque.
From August, thousands of migratory birds fly over the mountain on their way to the winter places. The large beechwoods of Montaud welcome the biggest woodpeckers of Europe: the black woodpecker. Among the different species, the birds of prey are visible. But you can also see the very active tits or the blackcaps.

Download the sheet: Gaux Trail

 

7/ Escaunelles Trail - Mazamet - 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 

8/ The high ground of Saint-Baudille - Pont de Larn - 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

 

9/ Loop Jean-Petit - Castres - 8,5 km - 2h30

Around the greenway ...
At the entrance of Castres, the hills towards Lautrec offer an ideal country .escapade: round landscapes with small valleys in the middle of fields.
On the path, lovely hamlets with “Occitan”names: Cantegrel, Magrepeyre, le Bouyssou, BorieBlanque, l’Entraye…with some modern houses, but also ancient stones cut in sandstone:wash-houses, ancient kilns for bread, dovecotes full of charm and the small chapel of St Nazaire is an interesting place. Further, you are in the middle of nature with birds, pardridges or turtle-doves, next to a stream…

Download : Loop Jean-Petit

 

10/ Over the water - Mazamet - 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 

12/ Lacalm grotto - Aiguefonde - 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

14/ The path passes the salt road - Mazamet -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

15/ The hills of La Môle - Pont de Larn - 13 km - 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
 

16/ Artigues Spring - Pont de Larn - 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 

 

21/ Loop of the Malous Forests - Noailhac - 13,5 km - 4h

Malous Forests
Clay paths, lined with large oaks, reach the heights of Galinié, playing with hilly reliefs to the Suc de la Borie ... There, he opts for a dive on Boissezon, coiled, at the bottom, on a rocky peak besieged by the white waters of Durenque and Durencuse. Beyond, the path runs in explorer, in one of these deep valleys which incise the beginning of the plate of Angles. Then, the field of streams of the forest is imposed. In the hollow of the ravines, in a profusion of songs of birds of the woods, the track climbs under the foliage of chestnuts, ash trees and beeches, near the broad branches of the firs, weaves in the thick shade of the spruces. On the heights of the Puech du Fau, the route tumbled again towards the plain, running on the back of an open spur of moors which advances in belvedere above the nascent plain.

Download : Loop of the Malous Forests

 

24/ Aiguefonde farm building - Aiguefonde - 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

 

26/ Puech d'En Blanc - Aussillon - 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

27/ Ganoubre loop - Noailhac - 15 km - 4h30

Ganoubre loop ...
Well anchored at the feet of the Sidobre buttress, the village of Noailhac exposes, full south, its buildings and its gardens a few steps from the meanders of the Durenque. Climbing to the doors of Sidobre, the path caracole on the reliefs which frame the valley of Ganoubre. At the beginning of the slopes or on the back of promontories shaped in clays, he plays the landscape sequences where alternate spaces of crops, forest cover and clear country. Lovers of vegetal flows in the depths of the ravines; it also opens beautiful viewpoints on southern Tarn and Black Mountain. Granite rocks on the side of the road near the Sidobre, old stone barns ... Each step can awaken the curiosity of the walker to these picturesque names of farms and hamlets with Occitan sounds: Galinié, Prades, Brugayroux, Bois del Pio.

Download : Ganoubre loop

 

29/ The Carbonéral - Labruguière - 21 km - 5h15

Walk in Haut-Languedoc
At the foot of the Montagne Noire, the nature base of the En Laure estate covers 32 hectares in the Regional Park of Haut-Languedoc. Around the chalets it is an ideal place for an outdoor walk, fishing on the water and relaxation with a playground for children and a barbecue area for gourmands.
Secret and mysterious, the Montagne Noire dominates the valley of Thoré and the plain of Lauragais; she naturally draws the contours of the Park and guides visitors to the heart of Haut-Languedoc.
This path will allow you to cross the forest of Montaud wooded chestnut, beech, oak and conifers.

Download the sheet: The Carbonal

 

31/ The path of the Gentlemen Glassblowers - St Amans Soult -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

32/ The Rampaillou - Boissezon - 23 km - 6h15

From the artists' village ...
This hike will allow you to appreciate in the sector of the Pas des Bêtes Dam a picturesque site inventoried natural heritage "Natural Area of Ecological Fauna Floristic Interest". In addition to the characteristic flora of grasslands and peat moorlands, the presence of rare orchids located in the Tarn, as well as the two-colored phalanx, there is also a great diversity of mushrooms (with more than 70 species).
The lake Pas des Bêtes is a nesting site for several waterfowl like the waterfowl, the grebe. It is a migratory stopover and wintering site for many species of Knight Ducks, as well as for the Great Snipe. The gray heron is present all year round. The waters of the lake are home to many fish, as well as webbed and marbled newts.

Download the sheet: The Rampaillou

 

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.

3. Sentier des Cayrans - Labastide Rouairoux - 6 km - 1h45
4. Ruisseau de Candesoubre - Albine - 7 km - 2h
11. Les Clairiéres de Sales - Lacabarède - 8,5 km - 2h30
13. Sentier de Wibault - Albine - 10,5 km - 3h
17. Sentier des Hautes Futaies - Rouairoux - 12 km - 4h
18. Fontaine des 3 évêques - Lacabarède - 12,5 km - 4h
19. Le Roc de Peyremaux - Albine - 13 km - 4h
20. De la vallée à l'orée du bois - Saint Amans Valtoret - 13 km - 4h

22. La ronda dels peyraïres  - Saint Salvy de la Balme - 17 km - 4h15
23. Les Maîtres Verriers - Labastide Rouairoux - 14 km - 4h30 
25. Lou Camin de la Planette - Saint Amans Valtoret - 14,5 km - 4h30
28. Sentier des 3 cols - Labastide Rouairoux - 12,5 km - 5h
30. Forêt de Beson - Labastide Rouairoux - 14 km - 5h30


Download : À la découverte du Pays d'Autan 

 

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