Causse de Nissac N°5 VTT
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Causse de Nissac N°5 VTT
Saint-Affrique

Causse de Nissac N°5 VTT

Agropastoralism
History and heritage
Panorama
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A  ride on the avant-causses with splendid 360° views.

 

The agropastoral heritage displayed along this circuit is rich and well preserved: jasses, lavogne, buissières and caussenard buildings.This circuit will allow you to explore the trees and plants typical of the area: box trees, oaks, blackthorns and thistles, together with the local terrain, which is sometimes stony, and at others sandy. The little difference in elevation makes it accessible to all.


2 points of interest
Agropastoralism

The Camp Biel jasse

A jasse is a large sheepfold built in stone, as a very simple architecture stripped of all unnecessary features to act as a shelter from the northern icy winds. The building comprises a few south-facing openings.

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Agropastoralism

Hermilix lavogne

How a lavogne works is very easy to understand, just imagine a gigantic upturned umbrella that collects rainwater!

At the beginning there was a natural pond with an impervious clay soil. This small pond was a real boon for people who quickly set these watering sources up as they were so critical on the causses where water seeps into the cracked limestone. To start with, they tiled the inside of the pond and finished off the work by laying paving stones around the edge of the pond to preserve the water quality and prevent gullying due to the large flocks trampling the soil when the sheep come to drink.

The pond tiling was made either with lauzes, flat stones or with paving stones laid one after the other.

Once completed, this gigantic upturned umbrella would provide a great variety of animals with a welcoming habitat, just look down over a lavogne and see how it swarms and buzzes with life, what a frenzy of activity!

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Description

As you cycle around the bend on entering the hamlet of Saint Etienne de Naucoules, take the path to your left that runs to the North down into the valley. Take a right turn at the first three forks in the path.

  1. Then turn left towards the East. You will pass along a deserted farm called “Camp Biel”, which has a splendid vaulted U shaped building open towards the South. This circuit will allow you to explore the trees and plants typical of the area: box trees, oaks, blackthorns and thistles, together with the local terrain, which is sometimes stony, and at others sandy.
  2. At the Eastern end of the plateau, you need to take a right hand turn to join circuit n° 4. Here, the two circuits share the same path up to Hermélix where you can enjoy the view over the Verzolet valley. Carry on this path towards a place called Sayssou
  3. You can pause here to look at some dolmens that are partly hidden among the box tree hedges. Coming on to the road leading to the hamlet of “Causse de Nissac”, you will see the impressive château de Montalègre beyond the Sorgues valley.
  4. On entering the hamlet, take the first right and follow this path until you reach a disused power transformer.
  5. It conceals the entrance to the bouissière (a path lined with box trees) which will lead you to the dolmen and the lavogne (a man made pond where sheep drink) of Hermélix. From here you can cycle back on the road to your starting point, Saint Etienne de Naucoules and enjoy the beautiful 360 degree views.
Departure : the bend at the entrance of St-Etienne de Naucoules
Arrival : St-Etienne de Nature
Towns crossed : Saint-Affrique, Saint-Jean-d'Alcapiès, Saint-Jean-et-Saint-Paul, Versols-et-Lapeyre

Altimetric profile


Recommandations

Box tree moths are active from May to October. During the caterpillar phase, they feed on the leaves of box trees. They crawl down trees and move on long silken threads, although these threads are annoying when hiking they do not pose any health risk

Information desks

Saint-Affrique Tourist Office

Boulevard Aristide Briand, 12400 Saint-Affrique

http://www.roquefort-tourisme.fr/

contact@roquefort-tourisme.fr

0565585600

OPENING TIMES:


The Tourism Office is open all year round, the opening hours are:

·July and august:

From Monday to Saturday: 9h – 13h & 15h – 19h

Sunday: 9h – 13h

·From September to June:

From Tuesday to Saturday: 9h – 13h & 14h – 17h

Closed: Sundays, Mondays and bank holidays

From November to April, the office is also closed on Saturday afternoon.

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