Massevaques
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Massevaques
Rousses

Massevaques

Agriculture and livestock farming
Architecture and village
History and culture
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A forest and ridge walk offering beautiful views over the Tapoul gorges, the Causse Méjean, Mont Lozère and Cévennes.

This is an incredibly varied trail – through beech forests, along a ridge with views onto the cliffs of the Causse Méjean, through a hundred-year-old chestnut grove and past unexpectedly handsome isolated hamlets – which ends in riverside meadows.


5 points of interest
Agriculture

Small walls and terraces

"The path, lined in places by a wall, used to lead from Rousses to  Massevaques. Some locals still remember having used it to get back up to Massevaques after a wake in Rousse. At the start of the path, you can see on your left the small walls of two bancels (crop terraces), where rye was grown. Then you enter the beech forest. This slope is exposed to the north and west winds, which suits beech, but it is only in the more protected vales that you will find a few sweet chestnuts interspersed with conifers. This forest is still exploited by the inhabitants of the district, who cut their firewood here.” (P. Grime)

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History

Col des Portes

This col (pass)] used to be pastureland, but has now been abandoned by the local flocks. Oral tradition states that a battle between Camisards and Catholics took place at this pass. The inhabitants of Rousses and Fraissinet-de-Fourque were in fact in conflict over grazing rights. The former were overwhelmingly Protestants, while the latter were Catholics. It is said that the graves are at the col and that a bird, incarnating the soul of the dead, comes to sing there when anyone passes by.

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History

Massevaques

Massevaques has had up to 80 inhabitants. It was after the First World War that desertification intensified. Those who returned from the fighting chose to work in administration: the railways, the police... There are currently two year-round households left in Massevaques.

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Agriculture

The sweet chestnut: the tree of life

This tree used to be a presence throughout the lives of the Cévenols, and was considered the tree of life. Its wood was used for building cradles, one's furniture and roof structures. It was also used for firewood. The fruit was eaten in bajanat, a soup made from dried chestnuts (bajanes), or ground into flour. Chestnuts were dried in clèdes, small schist buildings located in the orchards. The fruit also fed the farm's animals.

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History

Les Ablatats : village of refuge

With their rugged terrain, the Cévennes became a refuge during the Second World War. About 60 Jews were hidden in Vébron and Rousses, a dozen of them in the hamlet of Les Ablats. Whilst they certainly benefited from the locals' silence, they were able to seek refuge here thanks to the mayors of the two villages, the pastors and an assistant to the prefect. Reportedly some of them were even sent directly here by the prefecture.

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Description

From the carpark, head towards Massevaques/Mont Aigoual. After the campsite, take the second track on the right (paved with concrete at first). This is the trail starting-point. At the first intersection, continue straight. Follow signs for the Col des Portes. At the Col (pass), take the left-hand track. At the next crossroads, turn right and walk to Massevaques. There, turn right and go uphill into the hamlet on the small lane, which joins up with the D 11 road. Take the road for a few metres, then fork right onto a footpath towards Le Pré de Thérond. Take the track on the right to the Col de Serre de Combe-Calde. Continue on the ridge. At the Col de Peyrerol, go downhill on the right towards Montcamp. Follow the road for 2 km, then take the first path on the right which leads uphill into the chestnut grove to reach Les Ablatats. In the hamlet, coninue on the small lane, which joins up with the road. Take a path on the left that goes downhill to the river. After the river, follow the meadow to end up on a forestry track, onto which you turn left. At the first intersection, continue straight alongside the river. At the second, go uphill on the right to get back onto your originl outbound track.

Departure : Rousses
Arrival : Rousses
Towns crossed : Rousses, Fraissinet-de-Fourques

Altimetric profile


Recommandations

The Col des Portes can be very windy. Make sure your equipment is appropriate for the day's weather conditions. Remember that the weather changes quickly in the mountains. Take enough water, wear good shoes and put on a hat. Please close all gates and barriers after yourself.

Is in the midst of the park
The national park is an unrestricted natural area but subjected to regulations which must be known by all visitors.

Information desks

Tourism'house and national Parc at Florac

Place de l'ancienne gare, N106, 48400 Florac-trois-rivières

https://www.cevennes-gorges-du-tarn.com

info@cevennes-parcnational.fr

04 66 45 01 14

This office is part of the National Park's associated tourist-information network, whose mission is to provide information on, and raise awareness of, the sites and events as well as the rules that must be observed in the National Park's central zone.

On site:  exhibitions, video projections, events and shop Open year-round

Find out more

Access and parking

From Florac, take the D 907 and in Les Vanels follow signposts for Rousses

Parking :

Above the inn (Auberge)

Source

CC Gorges Causses Cévenneshttps://www.gorgescaussescevennes.fr/
Parc national des Cévenneshttp://www.cevennes-parcnational.fr/

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