In Antiquity, the village square was a cemetery. The name Trèves is believed to derive from the Gaulish trebo – meaning 'village' according to some sources or the Celtic water goddess according to others – or perhaps from trivium, crossroads... The track going over the Roman bridge at Le Trévezel, restored in the 18th century, was in fact an important road in Antiquity. There is another hypothesis if you consult Boissier de Sauvages' 1820 dictionary, in whose opinion Treva or Trebo are Occitan words referring to phantoms or spirits. You might well be tempted by this version once you know the history of the Pas de Joulié cave described below! (B. Mathieu)
Boxwood and humans: a long relationship! When livestock farming increased, the primeval oak forest opened up and box – which is too hard for sheep's teeth – took hold everywhere. Humans discovered one of its major qualities: broken up and scattered over the ground as a litter, it protects vegetable seedlings from drought and frost. Its leaves can make up for a lack of straw for fertilising arable land. In 1818, a decree issued by the prefect of the Gard department worried about the excessive clearing of box groves and the messy manner in which they were being uprooted, without adequate tools. Until about 1910, you might see mules laden with enormous bundles of box; then chemistry took over. (B. Mathieu)
A former farm turned forester's house in 1880. In the early days of the Mont Aiguoal reforestation, forestry officers lived here year-round during their missions. Forestry workers working on the replanting were allowed to use the outbuildings. Later, only one official resided here. Since 1967, no official has permanently lived here. (B. Mathieu)
In March 1952, Jolly, a forestry official, showed his friend Frayssignes this cave. Deposited in it they discovered the remains of 300 humans from the Neolithic, who had been carefully laid out side by side. The cave was rapidly declared a historical monument. In the depths of the cave, a great number of bear bones was also found. This cave bear, the ancestor of our brown bear (Ursus spelaeus), had a skull 50 cm long! In the winter, groups of these bears would have huddled together in clay wallows at the rear of the caves. Ursus artos succeeded the cave bear and was succeeded in turn by the brown bear, which was hunted to extinction in the 15th century. (B. Mathieu)
From the carpark, cross the river Trévezel. Turn left onto a tarred lane, cross a second small bridge, walk for 150 m, and turn right onto a path (signpost for Canayère). By the statue, turn left onto a steep path that leads you among box trees and then through a pine forest to reach a forestry track (turn left towards Canayère). Take this track to get to the forester's house at Canayère. Go past the front of the house, cross the meadow and take the path downhill to reach St-Firmin cave. Continue on this path to get to the intersection with the ONF path way-marked in green (short detour to a viewpoint indicator). Go down to Le Villaret (at the foot of the cliffs is Joulié cave, closed to the public). In Le Villaret, turn right and take the road downhill to return to Trèves.
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.
Tourism & national parc'house
Col de la Serreyrède, 30570 Val d'Aigoual
04 67 82 64 67
The Maison de l'Aigoual houses the tourism office Mont Aigoual Causses Cévennes and the Maison du Parc national. This visitor centre provides information on and raises awareness of the Cévennes National Park, its sites and events as well as the rules that must be observed in the National Park's central zone.
On site: changing exhibitions, video projections, Festival Nature events and shop Open year-round
Access and parking
From Camprieu, take the D 157 to Trèves
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