Hike to Tête Noire, Tête Ronde & Tête de l’Arpettaz

Last Autumn, I went on a hike to the so-called “3 Têtes” of the Bornes mountains: Tête Noire, Tête Ronde and Tête de l’Arpettaz. I partly followed the instructions here, to find the start of the trail on Plateau des Glières, although I actually walked the trail shown below (KML):

In the morning, I took a LIHSA bus from Annecy and got off at Pont de Morette in Thônes (world capital of Reblochon). While there, I made a detour through Grotte Notre-Dame de Lourdes, but was soon on my way to Plateau des Glières. The path is a forest trail at first but soon becomes an access road starting from Alpage du Nant Debout. After a while, I reached the Notre-Dame des Neiges chapel on Plateau des Glières. The trail to the 3 Têtes starts nearby: The trailhead is actually only marked by a cairn, without any direction signs. There are only paint marks along the way after that. On the path to Tête Noire, I crossed fields of limestone, similar to the Parmelan. There was a great view from the summit, with all the Bornes mountains visible, as well as the Mont Blanc. I continued to the highest peak of the day, Tête Ronde, located not very far away. I ate lunch there then went on to Tête de l’Arpettaz, which had a great view on La Tournette and the Thônes valley. After that, I walked down towards the Gorges d’Ablon then climbed up again on the limestone plateau of Parmelan-Tassonnière until I reached Col du Pertuis. My original plan was to continue until Tête du Parmelan, but I had been too slow and night was falling, so instead I ended the hike by getting down the mountain from the Col until La Blonnière in Dingy-Saint-Clair. I then followed the road down until the Fier river. Finally, in order to get home, I had to walk all the way to Annecy-le-Vieux in the dark, which was pretty tedious…

Above, in front of the bus stop in Thônes.

Above, German bunkers.

Above, Tête à Turpin on Parmelan-Tassonnière.

Above, Grotte Notre-Dame de Lourdes.

Above, La Balme-de-Thuy.

Above, Dent du Cruet.

Above, Alpage du Nant Debout.

Above, chalet at Alpage de la Rosière.

Above, nice autumn colors.

Above, Notre-Dame des Neiges in view.

Above, the chapel.

Above, Plaine de Dran on Plateau des Glières, with Montagne des Frêtes in the background.

Above, cairn marking the beginning of the trail to the 3 Têtes.

Above, Montagne de Sous-Dine.

Above, limestone pavement.

Above, summit of Tête Noire.

Above, Mont Blanc, with the Aravis mountains and Lachat de Thônes in front.

Above, Parmelan.

Above, Pointe Percée.

Above, Tête Ronde.

Above, La Tournette.

Above, Lake Geneva in the distance.

Above, Col du Pertuis.

Above, Parmelan-Tassonière, on the way to Tête Ronde.

Above, hands are needed to cross that part.

Above, Pointe de la Québlette and Pointe de Dran.

Above, Thônes valley.

Above, summit of Tête Ronde.

Above, Tête Noire.

Above, Pic de Jallouvre in the background.

Above, Tête de l’Arpettaz.

Above, Montagne de Cotagne and La Tournette.

Above, Mont Charvin.

Above, cross at the summit of Tête de l’Arpettaz.

Above, cliffs of Parmelan-Tassonière, with some view of Lake Annecy.

Above, Tête Ronde.

Above, Dent du Cruet and Pointe de Talamarche.

Above, on the way to Gorge d’Ablon.

Above, Gorge d’Ablon.

Above, on the way to Col du Pertuis.

Above, the 3 Têtes.

Above, Croix du Bénitier.

Above, at Col du Pertuis.

Above, Dingy-Saint-Clair.

Above, cliffs of Parmelan.

Above, at La Blonnière.

Above, red sunset on Parmelan.

Above, Col de Bluffy, with the Bauges in the background.


Hike to Montagne d’Âge

After the Vallon du Fier, I continued walking and, after a detour through a trail along the Nant de Calvi, I reached Poisy, a village northwest of Annecy. My goal was to cross the Montagne d’Âge, a small mountain that is part of the Jura mountains, from the north to the south on the way to Château de Montrottier and the Gorges du Fier in Lovagny.

Above, view of the Montagne d’Âge from the trail around Mont Rampignon, near Mont Veyrier.

Above, roses in Poisy.

Above, Montagne de la Mandallaz nearby.

Above, in the Marais de Poisy (Poisy swamp), on the way to Montagne d’Âge.

Above, Parmelan.

Above, start of the trail, on the north side of Montagne d’Âge.

Above, Epagny.

Above, fallen chestnuts.

Above, summit. No view though.

Above, view to the west at the Croix de Nonglard.

Above, the cross.

Above, exiting the forest.

Above, view on the Albanais.

Above, Semnoz covered by clouds. The Château de Montrottier can be seen in the foreground.


Above, La Tournette.

Above, field in Lovagny.

Above, Château de Montrottier.

Above, path to Gorges du Fier.

Above, Fier river near the Gorges.

Vallon du Fier

The Vallon du Fier is a large park and nature reserve in Annecy, located between the Fier and Viéran rivers. It has many paths suitable for walking or biking.

Below, the park in autumn.

Above, Fier river seen from the bridge to the hospital. The park is on the right.

Above, the path on the left goes to the Pont de Brogny. However, I haven’t visited that part yet.

Above, bridge from below.

Above, footbridge on the Fier.

Above, crossing the Viéran river at the exit of the park towards the Zone industrielle du Pont de Tasset.

Above, a bit further away, the jonction between the Thiou and Fier river, seen from the Pont de Tasset.

Below, in winter.

Above, Fier river.

Above, industrial zone next to the park.

Above, some ice.

Above, footbridge on the Fier.

Above, snow on the Salève in the background.

Above, angry little dog at the exit of the park towards the Parc des Sports d’Annecy.

Parc du Taillefer (Cran-Gévrier)

The Parc du Taillefer is a park in Cran-Gévrier (Annecy). Its elevated position offers a good view on Annecy and the surrounding mountains. The entrance is next to Lycée Charles Baudelaire, not far from the exit of Parcours Nature Fier et Erbe.

Above, Semnoz.

Above, picnic tables.

Above, Parmelan.

Above, Mont Veyrier and Lake Annecy.

Above, La Tournette.

Above, entrance.

Below, the park with snow.

Above, from below.

Above, Castle and Mont Veyrier.

Above, Basilique de la Visitation.

Above, Semnoz.

Parcours Nature Fier et Erbe

After I reached the Passerelles neighbourhood in Cran-Gévrier and the end of the path along the Thiou river, I kept walking on the road until the start of the Parcours Nature Fier et Erbe (Fier & Erbe Nature Trail). It is a path in the forest that follows the course of the Fier river at first, then the Erbe, a brook that flows into the Fier. Here is a map.

Above, A41 highway, next to the start of the trail.

Above, Parmelan.

Above, on the trail.

Above, mountain bike trials course under the bridge.

Above, fallen leaves.

Above, there is a part next to the road.

Above, bridge on the river Erbe.

Above, power transmission tower, right after exiting the forest.

Above, the A41 highway again, on the other side of the trail.