3 points of interest
GourdouzeIn the 14th century, this village was a priory of Castagnols parish. In 1906 all its thatched roofs burned down. Parts of the village were bought by a private individual in the 1960s who greatly modified them. It subsequently became the property of the Cévennes National Park, which sold 250 hectares back to a Mont Lozère livestock cooperative: their herds maintain the space. The cooperative manages 1,200 hectares at Mas Camargues and Gourdouze. These uplands receive sheep and cattle herds from 15 May to 15 November.
Slash-and-burnThis technique consists of clearing weeds and shrubs using fire: the fire is utilised to get rid of broom, especially in places that a motorised shredder cannot access. Slash-and burn is carried out every 4 to 5 years in a zone chosen by the farmer. Over larger areas, it is supervised by the fire brigade. In the 19th century, 100,000 sheep migrated to summer pastures here (transhumance) and joined the plateau herds, leaving no room for broom. As soon as the meadows are no longer grazed, they are colonised by broom, then shrubs, then forest. These open spaces are due to human activity (clearing) to allow herds to graze on grass. Grazing prevents the spontaneous growth of shrubs and any generalised invasion of forest.
The formation of Mont LozèreThis ancient massif consists of granite which, as magma, was pushed up from the depths of the Earth to its crust, through the schist. Slow cooling caused fractures, called joints, which allow water to infiltrate deep into the rock and alter it. This crystalline rock, which is composed of mica, quartz and feldspath, erodes slowly under the action of rain and frost, creating the rounded shapes that are characteristic of Mont Lozère.
Climb to “Gourdouze” via “La Gendarmerie”, “Rompidou”. At “Gourdouze” continue straight ahead towards “La Chassalde”. Then take the right to “La Jasse d’Olibou”. At “La Jasse d’Olibou” take the right towards “Les Sources”: you are passing above the rocks of Trenze. At “Les Sources”, make for “Nojaret – Ancienne école” via “Lous Pradous”, “Lou Garadou”, “Nojaret Haut”. Return to “Vialas” via “Prat de la Peyre”, “Le Crépon”, “Fontaine de Foirail”.
This walk is taken from the guidebook Massif de l’Aigoual, published by the communauté de communes Causses Aigoual Cévennes as part of the collection Espaces naturels gardois and the label Gard Pleine Nature.
- Departure : Vialas
- Arrival : Vialas
- Towns crossed : Vialas
Tourism office Des Cévennes au mont-Lozère, Vialas
04 66 45 81 94
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. Open July and August
Access and parking
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