The corniches de l’Hospitalet
Ash trees, like the ones that border the path, like cool and damp environments. They were planted alongside paths by locals because ash branches, cut towards the end of summer, provided additional fodder for livestock.
Dry grassland is home to a multitude of insects, including bush crickets. At night, they produce a squealing sound by rubbing the stubs of their wings together. The sound has given them the name of “gouzi”. But despite their musical wings, they cannot fly, and hide in vegetation (such as boxwood or juniper bushes) to escape predators.
The evolution of the landscape
140 million years ago, the sea was shrinking, and the Can de l’Hospitalet and Causse Méjean were not yet separated by the Tarnon valley. The landscape was completely different then. In a hot and humid climate, limestone “turrets” overlooked rivers whose routes were different from today's. Successive uplifts, shifts on either side of geological faults and the slow work of erosion have created the relief you see today. You have panoramic views over the valley of the Baumale, a tributary of the Tarnon, and, opposite you, the Causse Méjean. It is difficult to make out the limit between the limestone zone and the schist zone in this heavily wooded landscape.
Schist or dolomite
Schist areas form a rock base on which layers of sediment - limestone and dolomite - have collected. These are covered in chestnut trees and heaths of heather, broom and ferns unless they have been reforested. Underneath this vegetation, the transition between the two bedrocks is not always visible, but it is indicated by the human settlements at mid-slope. Rainwater that has filtered through the rocks emerges again where it hits the impermeable schist, creating springs.
Start from the roadside of the D 9. Take the path lined by ash trees that heads west. Once you are on the heights of the Can de l’Hospitalet, take the path on the right that goes down into the Tarnon valley. NB: The path may be difficult to see. Follow this small steep path to where it crosses the Broussous trail, and turn right towards L’Hospitalet. At the next crossing, continue straight. The path becomes rather steep for a few metres. At the next crossing, turn right to return towards L’Hospitalet.
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. This walk can be extended by adding the Broussous trail.
Tourism'house and national Parc at Florac
Place de l'ancienne gare, N106, 48400 Florac-trois-rivières
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
Access and parking
From Florac, take the D 9 road, direction Saint Jean du Gard
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