Puech espinous
Puech espinous

Puech espinous

History and heritage
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From the Cernon Valley to the Larzac plateau, between boxwood and forests, a family hike that begins with the "precious stones path”, fossil deposit and gem of geology.

Grey marls on the north side of the valley, limestone on the south side: this contrast is typical of the precious stone path, a geological site whose formation dated back 200 million years. The trail, rich in small pyriteous fossils, will delight the youngest. A fun start for an amazing hike!

3 points of interest

The "gems" path

The marls and limestone benches along this path are very rich in fossils. These sedimentary lands were formed about 200 million years ago.

Gray marls are lands unsuitable for cultivation but contain treasures of natural heritage: Jurassic marine fossils (belemnites).

Marls are sedimentary rocks, composed of calcite and clay in roughly equivalent proportions (35% to 65%).

On this path, we can also find pyrite (comes from Greek: fire-stone), a mineral composed of iron disulfide.

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The Jacky's "pargue"

A « pargue » (word of Occitan origin) is a stone enclosure intended to park flocks of sheep.

The animals were locked during the hottest hours of the day when the ewes are grouped in the shade of the boxwood while ruminating.

The dung was picked up to manure the cereals and hemp fields, the gardens or sold in the south for the vines.

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The viaduct of Lapanouse

On this small circuit, the viaduct of Lapanouse is a great work with its 11 arches and 218m long.
The railway Tournemire - Le Vigan is in a few numbers :
- 60 kilometers long, 32 tunnels, 12 viaducts
- built since 1883 and commissioned in 1896
- closed in 1935 for travelers and 1955 for goods
- the removal of the rails in 1960 and the rest in 1979 for the extension project of the Larzac.
It is used today by the Vélorail and tourist train of Larzac departing from the station of Sainte-Eulalie de Cernon.
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From the parking of La Jasse, go across the footbridge over the Cernon River, cross the road and go towards the wooden signs indicating the circuits.

  1. Take the path called “le chemin des pierres précieuses” (the gems path), then a wide stoned path, cross the road and continue straight. Pass under the railway bridge and turn right on the path of La Devèze.
  2. At the first turn, take left and follow N°2 Puech Espinous, pass by the spring gate, cross a woody area following a ditch on the left. At the end, take on the left a shaded path then pass a gate.
  3. At the end of the path, go straight. Pass next to a Canadian way by a gate, and continue on a path above the old train station. Turn right, the 50 m further turn left and enter in the Jacky’s wood (sign bois de Jacky) that you cross. Pass under the viaduct of the railway in a slope.
  4. At the bottom, at the crossroads, turn right, follow this path until you cross an uphill track, then take the path on left and pass in front of a wooden hut. You cross black bushes.
  5. Take the downhill trail on the right until you reach the next junction, then turn left at the sign “ARRIVEE” (arrival) going down a path in a meadow. Then follow to the right the path lined with boxwood from which you can see the houses of the village.
Departure : Lapanouse de Cernon
Arrival : Lapanouse de Cernon
Towns crossed : Lapanouse-de-Cernon

Altimetric profile


You cross sometimes classified areas, presenting protected species. Close the gate in the grazing area, don’t near the sheep, keep the animals on a leash. Stay on marked trails, respect private property and nature. Don’t pick flowers. Bring back your waste, take care of the risk of fires. Put on good shoes and take enough water. Check the weather forecast before leaving.
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

Tourist Office Larzac et Vallées

Place du Claux, 12230 NANT




Located on the ground floor of the Town Hall (mansion of the 18th century), The Tourist Office welcomes you all year and offers tourist information on the Larzac and its valleys, the department of Aveyron, and also on neighboring counties. Free Wifi access.

Opening hours :

From Novembre to February: Tuesday morning 9:00-12:30
March and October :  Tuesday to Friday 9:00-12:30
April : Tuesday to Friday 10:00-12:30 and 14:00-17:30
May, June : Tuesday to Saturday 10:00-12:30 and 14:00-17:30
July and August : every day 10:00-12:30 and 14:30-18:00
September : Tuesday to Saturday 10:00-12:30 and 14:00-17:30

Find out more


Think about carpooling and hitchhiking: Rezopouce ; Aires de covoiturage

Access and parking

25km south of Millau.

From Millau by the D809, the D999 direction St-Affrique and the D562E.

From the A75 motorway, exit n°47 - La Cavalerie, follow the D999 direction of St-Affrique and then the D562E

Parking :

Parking de la Jasse


C.C. Larzac et Vallées

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