The Roof of the Cévennes (by mountain-bike)
The Tarnon valley is shaded by the old beech groves of Le Marquairès state forest. At the Col de Salidès, views open up onto the characteristic landscapes of the National Park. In the distance, flocks of sheep still graze on the limestone plateau of the Can de l'Hospitalet sitting on its schist platform.
The Tarnon has its spring in the Aigoual massif (1,565 m) in the Bassurels district. 38.9 km later, it flows into the Tarn downstream of Florac, having already flown together with the Mimente. It separates the Causse Méjean from the Cévennes. Upstream of Rousses, the Trépalous flows into the Tarnon. That river has carved out the Gorges du Tapoul, which are famous for canyoning. The Tarnon is a Cévenol river: very strong and sudden floods can occur during intense weather events.
The Draille de la Margeride
The draille follows the ridge and crosses the Can de l'Hospitalet. This drovers' road enables the flocks of the plains (from the southern Cévennes and the Crau) to get up to the northern Gévaudan (Aubrac, Margeride, Mont Lozère). This draille is only a branch of a bigger network on which livestock still migrates today.
A beautiful view onto Mont Aigoual (1,567 m) – a mountain of winds, fog, snow and rain. Banks of clouds coming from the Mediterranean rub against its slopes and can cause violent precipitation (also called Cévenol episodes). This temperamental mountain is home to the last mountain weather-station in France.
Mountain-bike route #14. From the village, take the D 907 for 4 km towards the Tunnel du Marquairès. Before the tunnel, fork right towards Le Marquairès forester's house and continue on the forestry track to Gaseiral. Take the road uphill to the Col de Salidès and there take the ridge track on your left to L'Hospitalet (GR 7). After about 3 km, take the track on the left that leads back to Rousses.
No cycling off-track. You are strongly advised to wear a helmet. Do not forget your repair kit and a small set of tools. Please shut all gates and barriers after yourself. Slow down in farms and hamlets.
Access and parking
From Florac or Meyrueis, take the D 996 to Vébron. In Vébron, take the D 907 to get to Rousses
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