Crêtes et buissières du plateau de Mascourbe
Crêtes et buissières du plateau de Mascourbe

Crêtes et buissières du plateau de Mascourbe

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Following drailles (pathways used for the seasonal transhumance) and making your way through buissières (narrow passages between two rows of box trees) will allow you to experience the traditional routes of pastoralism. A hiking circuit providing you with the opportunity to discover an unusual small heritage building: la quille du berger.

As you approach the Mascourbe plateau, a landscape that has been shaped by centuries of agro-pastoralism tradition  unfolds before your eyes. During this family hike, explore some splendid buissières and enjoy sweeping views over the Nonenque abbey, the Sorgues valley and the Guillaumard plateau.


1 point of interest

Shepherd’s Tower

This is a dry-stone construction called Quille or Tour de berger (Shepherd's Tower), on which shepherds used to stand to watch over their flocks. These towers are also a form of artistic expression of the shepherds, in which the shape of a cone, is superimposed on the piles of stones resulting from destoning.  Some of them are built in gneiss or schist and can be seen on the Lévezou plateau.
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  1. Take the path that goes on the left towards N.E. and carry on about 1.5 km along a beautiful “bouissière” (a narrow passage defined by two rows of box trees) an ancient path which was used to connect Mascourbe to Nonenque.
  2. The view of the plateau emerges and the path turns to the right, going S.E. alongside a fence. Walk to the edge of the plateau.
  3. Head towards the southwest among box trees and oaks. The path runs slightly uphill and provides very nice views over the Annou vale and the Nonenque abbey. The trail leads you out of the woodland.
  4. Keep on strolling along the edge of the plateau and enjoy the scenic view over the Sorgue valley and the surrounding hills and plateaus (Guilhaumard, Escandorgue, Espinouse, monts de Lacaune). Reach “the Shepherds Tower”, which is a very unusual stone building. Keep on walking along the edge of the plateau for about 700 m.
  5. Do not take left the path that runs downhill towards the Nonenque vale, but instead walk away from the plateau to take a track on your right that runs along to a path, that turns into a “bouissière” which leads to the hamlet of Mascourbe
Departure : Hamlet of Mascourbe
Arrival : Hamlet of Mascourbe
Towns crossed : Saint-Félix-de-Sorgues, Marnhagues-et-Latour

Altimetric profile


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
Is in the midst of the park
This itinerary is located in the World Heritage zone Causses and Cévennes, mediterranean agropastoral cultural landscape.

Information desks

Saint-Affrique Tourist Office

Boulevard Aristide Briand, 12400 Saint-Affrique



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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Access and parking


From Saint-Affrique or from Cornus, take the D7 up to Saint-Félix de Sorgues, then head for Saint-Jean d'Alcas. Mascourbe is situated 3.5 km from Saint-Félix de Sorgues.


Parking :

Road over the Borie on the edge of the track

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