The hamlets, the Col de Mouzoules pass and the river Bavezon

The hamlets, the Col de Mouzoules pass and the river Bavezon

Architecture and village
History and culture
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A very handsome calade (cobblestoned path) takes you to the Col de Mouzoules pass, offering up beautiful views onto the Arre valley and surrounding massifs.
An uphill section in a wild valley with waterfalls, a beautiful panorama around Les Vernèdes, and then a descent through hamlets showcasing traditional architecture as well as Aumessas, a designated “lovely village”.

5 points of interest

  • History

    Aumessas village

    Aumessas was called Ulmensacium in 1248, from Latin ulmus meaning elm.
    In 1769 1,300 inhabitants lived here (240 at the most recent census), the majority of them on the lower lands, below 600m. Their income was derived partly from chestnut growing but mostly from silk farming. On the eve of the French Revolution, 54 silk manufacturers made Aumessas their home. The other inhabitants were shepherds. They lived up in the mountains. The land belonged to the landed gentry, the middle classes or merchants.
  • Architecture

    Le Caladon hamlet

    The path passes pleasantly through treeless areas that let you admire Le Caladon, a village perched on a rocky spur. Caladon was called Calador in 1167, the final “n” being a recent addition that makes the name mean “flagstone for paving” in Occitan. The village stands on a dark and unusual rock: very hard schist (slate) with quartz inclusions, called quartzite. In the 11th century, the hamlet was overlooked by a castle belonging to the House of Roquefeuil. The Roquefeuil family had much power in the region and owned many castles. It is said that a tunnel linked the castle with the Col de Mouzoules pass...
  • History

    The mule tracks (Col de Mouzoules pass)

    Before roads were built, this track saw much traffic between Le Vigan and the Causses (limestone plateaux). Mule tracks were used by merchants going to fairs. They took wheat and products from livestock farms down into the valleys. When they returned, they brought chestnuts onto the plateau.
  • Agriculture

    Fruit growing

    In the early 20th century, as silk farming declined, the mulberry trees were no longer needed, and were replaced by plum trees around Aumessas. The golden age of fruit growing was from 1930 to 1965. On the train, the fruit was rapidly transported into town. M.M. remembers that “We grew lots of plums around Aumessas. In ‘30, we ripped up the mulberries and planted plum trees on the crop terraces. The men took care of the growing and harvesting, the women packed the fruit, that’s delicate work because plums are fragile. They have to be handled with care so you don’t damage the fine white wax that covers them. The women put them in rows in small baskets that nested within one another. The market eventually collapsed because bigger, more competitive farms and the entry of the country into the European Community meant that small family farms could no longer survive.”
  • Architecture

    The Catholic church and its bell-gable

    The church is remarkable for its bell-gable and has been a listed building since 15 February 1995. The bell bears the date of its casting: 1539. Like other bells, it used to ring the hour and summon the faithful to worship. But in the days of steam trains, it also warned locals of any fires started by escarbilles (small bits of coal). At the time, there were no firemen; the inhabitants were responsible for fighting fires. (bell visible in church).


Signposts will guide you all along this route. In the description below, the signposted place names and/or directions are given in bold italics between quotation marks:

Starting from "AUMESSAS", walk towards to "Roques Longues".
  1. Continue on “LES VERNEDES
  2. Then direction “COL DE MOUZOULES” via “Le Travers”.
  3. At the "COL DE MOUZOULES" return to "AUMESSAS" along the river Bavezon, via "Aumessas-La Gare".
This walk is taken from the guidebook Les Vallées Cévenoles - En Pays Viganais, published by the Communauté de communes Pays Viganais-Cévennes as part of the collection Espaces Naturels Gardois and the label Gard Pleine Nature.
  • Departure : Aumessas
  • Arrival : Aumessas
  • Towns crossed : Aumessas


Altimetric profile


Make sure your equipment is appropriate for the day’s weather conditions. Take enough water, wear sturdy shoes and put on a hat. Please close all gates and barriers behind you.
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 office Cévennes and Navacelles, Le Vigan

Maison de pays, place du Marché, BP 21, 30120 Le Vigan 67 81 01 72

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 year-round

Find out more

Access and parking

From Le Vigan, take the D999 towards Alzon. After Pont d'Arre, turn right onto the D232 to Aumessas.

Parking :

Near the information panel.


Parc national des Cévennes

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