Promenade des Pertes de la Valserine

The Promenade des Pertes de la Valserine in Bellegarde-sur-Valserine is a short and easy walk that follows the Valserine, a river that takes its source in the Jura mountains and empties into the Rhône. Starting near the train station in the city, the path goes upstream to the Pertes (French for “losses”), where the river disappears in natural canyons dug into limestone rocks.

This page has proposals for additional exploration of the area (beyond simply walking there).

Above, start of the walk.

Above, Valserine.

Above, Pont du Moulin Convert.

Above, Métral dam (Barrage de Métral).

Above, machines for electricity production.

Above, fish ladder.

Above, waterfall.

Above, at the Pertes.

Above, Pont des Oulles.

Above, canyon.

Above, the rock has been shaped by past floods.


Hike to Taillefer (Spring 2018)

Last spring, I went on a hike to Taillefer, a small mountain in the Bauges next to Lake Annecy. Here is the trail I walked (download KML):

I had already been to Taillefer a few times: Like Roc de Chère, its low elevation and proximity to Annecy make it ideal for an early season hike. I went to Duingt by bike on the Voie Verte bike road and parked near the tunnel. It would also have been possible to take a LIHSA bus (line 51). Once in Duingt, I spent some time in the village and near the lake to take a few pictures but I was soon on my way up. I passed the Grotte Notre-Dame du Lac then the stone quarries, keeping on the Taillefer ridge all the way to l’Oratoire, where I had already been a few years ago, coming from the other direction. There, I ate lunch then started on the way down, towards Lake Annecy. I walked past the Nanceau waterfall then took a path that got me underneath the main stone quarry. I arrived at the Voie Verte and followed it through the tunnel to get back to the starting point in Duingt.

Above, on the Voie Verte to Duingt.

Above, school of fish in Lake Annecy.

Above, Dents de Lanfon, Lanfonnet and La Tournette.

Above, Montagne d’Entrevernes.

Above, tunnel in Duingt.

Above, village of Duingt.

Above, tower of Château de Duingt.

Above, Lake Annecy.

Above, Château Ruphy.

Above, Semnoz.

Above, trailhead of the hike to Taillefer.

Above, at the beginning, on the way to Grotte de Notre-Dame du Lac, the path is bordered with stations showing the life of Jesus.

Above, at the Grotte de Notre-Dame du Lac.

Above, the Grotte.

Above, Roc de Chère.

Above, Eglise Saint-Germain.

Above, path to the ridge.

Above, La Tournette.

Above, Col de la Forclaz.

Above, Château de Dhéré.

Above, Roc de Chère, Mont Baret and Mont Veyrier.

Above, Dent de Lanfon, Pointe de Talamarche and Lanfonnet.

Above, Petit Lac.

Above, smaller stone quarry.

Above, the main stone quarry.

Above, Dent de Cons.

Above, Pointe de la Sambuy and Pointe de Vélan.

Above, l’Oratoire.

Above, Petit Lac seen from the viewpoint of l’Oratoire.

Above, Doussard.

Above, on the way down.

Above, looking towards Faverges.

Above, Nanceau waterfall (cascade du ruisseau de Nanceau).

Above, Montagne du Charbon.

Above, Abondance cattle.

Above, below the main stone quarry.

Above, at the Voie Verte.

Above, Lanfonnet.

Above, Talloires and Dents de Lanfon.

Above, in the tunnel to Duingt.

Above, sunset on the Semnoz.

Above, Grotte de Notre-Dame du Lac from below.

Above, climbing wall near the tunnel.

Above, Montagne d’Entrevernes, on the way back to Annecy.

Promenade de Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Chambéry)

The Promenade de Jean-Jacques Rousseau is a short and easy walk in Chambéry that follows the footsteps of Rousseau. It starts in the Old Town of Chambéry at Parc de la Calamine and goes up to Les Charmettes, a house where Rousseau lived with Madame de Warens between 1736 and 1742. It then loops back by passing through the Parc de Buisson-Rond and the Château de Boigne. I didn’t actually walk the whole loop: It was getting late and dark so I went down to the city directly once I reached Les Charmettes.

Here is a map of the path I walked (download KML):

Above, in Parc de la Calamine.

Above, I made a detour through the Montée de la Fontaine Saint-Martin, where there is a good view on Chambéry. I had to walk on the side of a paved road for a few minutes.

Above, Carré Curial.

Above, Dent du Nivolet.

Above, the Montée.

Above, Fontaine Saint-Martin.

Above, at Parc de l’Etincelle.

Above, Dent du Nivolet in the Bauges mountains, with its large summit cross.

Above, Dent du Chat.

Above, Mont Granier, in the Chartreuse mountains.

Above, getting dark.

Above, Les Charmettes.

Parc du Bois Vidal (Aix-les-Bains)

Parc du Bois Vidal is a large park in Aix-les-Bains. It has multiple forest paths, lawns and a viewpoint (belvédère) with a good view on Lac du Bourget and the surrounding mountains.

Above, Dent du Chat hidden by clouds.

Above, the main path on the way to the viewpoint.

Above, belvédère.

Above, Lac du Bourget.

Above, Mont de Corsuet.

Above, Dent du Chat still in the clouds.

Above, Mont de la Charvaz.

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.