4 points of interest
The Path of the DeadIn the Middle Ages and until 1870, the Catholic village of Camprieu had neither church nor cemetery. “Its inhabitants therefore went to the hamlet of Saint-Sauveur de Pourcils. To transport their dead to the remote cemetery, they had to take the ‘Path of the Dead’. They carried the coffins on their backs and, at every rest stop, recited the prayer De Profundis. Funeral processions stopped using the path in summer 1872. That year, the village of Camprieu finally obtained its own cemetery. But the name has stuck: “the Path of the Dead”.
La Boissière farmLa Boissière farm was abandoned by its inhabitants when Mont Aigoual was reforested. A salary from the French National Water and Forestry Commission was so much more secure than the meagre revenues from a farmer’s endless work. You pass through the farm’s porch and walk on its threshing floor – but there are no chickens or cereals on the threshing floor, and no herds ambling to the meadow. Today the forest has won.
The Bonheur riverThe Bramabiau site is an example of a karst spring. Here, slightly east of Camprieu, the Bonheur River has dug into the Causse (limestone plateau) and disappears in a natural tunnel. It re-emerges into the open at the bottom of the Aven de Balset, but it twists to the south to disappear again below ground. The river meanders through more than 10 km of tunnels. Then, 700 horizontal meters from its sinkhole, it reappears as a spring! The rock walls of the narrow canyon magnify the sound of its waters and add to its rumbling some acoustic vibrations that are close to a gigantic roaring. This is no longer the tranquil Bonheur, it is the tumultuous Bramabiau.
CamprieuIn the 19th century, the village streets were bustling year-round with a throng of artisans, labourers and shopkeepers, who lived in these modest mountain houses that were also suitable for livestock rearing. Camprieu had: two cobblers, six clog makers, two basket makers, one carpenter, two wheelwrights, two farriers, one miller, two stonemasons, one glassworks, one sawmill, one dairy, two grocer’s shops, a haberdashery and ironmonger’s and one shop for ladies’ “fashion and dresses”. There was also a cheese cellar that produced Roquefort until 1932, a hotel and an inn.
Starting at "Camprieu – parking", make for "ferme de La Boissière" via "La Croix Basse", then "La Croix Haute", "La Clédette", "St Sauveur", "Ferme de la Boissière". At "ferme de La Boissière" take on the left a small path towards "La Fonderie", "Arboretum 0.1 km", "Les Plots". At "Les Plots", head towards "St-Sauveur-Eglise", "St-Sauveur-Carrefour". Take the track on the right towards "Croix de St-Sauveur", "St-Sauveur-Parking", "Valat de la Fonderie", "Ferme de la Boissière". At the farm, turn left towards "Camprieu" via "Rouveyrolle", "Abîme de Bamabiau", turn right towards "Camprieu-Perte du Bonheur", (there and back to the sinkhole), then "Camprieu – Mairie" and return to the football pitch.
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 : Camprieu football stadium
- Arrival : Camprieu football stadium
- Towns crossed : Saint-Sauveur-Camprieu
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
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