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©Hautes-Chaumes du Forez|© David FROBERT

The 10 hiking trails

Discover a selection of hikes carefully chosen, tested and approved by Antoine, our hiking expert from the Maison du Tourisme du Livradois-Forez.

A passionate hiker, Antoine has traversed these trails to ensure that they offer not only exceptional panoramas but also a safe and rewarding hiking experience.

1. Panoramic views 

Discover the high plateaus and wooded massifs of the Haut-Livradois on this challenging hike. From the hamlet of Deux Frères in Échandelys, enjoy a breathtaking view of the Puy mountain range, the Sancy massif and the Cézallier plateau.

The “Panoramas” hike at Échandelys, a demanding 12.9 km loop, perfect for hikers seeking total immersion. Starting and finishing in Échandelys, this 4-hour hike traverses a variety of landscapes and offers breathtaking views of the Sancy volcanoes and Livradois mountains.

With a positive gradient of 318 meters, the route begins with the discovery of an ancient Roman road, then leads to the Deux Frères belvedere. Here you can take a break and admire the panorama. Along the way, you’ll pass charming little villages like Fiosson, where the steep paths offer new challenges before reaching yet more breathtaking vantage points.

Hiking highlights :

  • Crossing high plateaus and wooded massifs.
  • Breathtaking views of the Puy range and the Sancy massif.
  • Discovery of an ancient Roman road.
  • Charming villages along the way.

2. Le Creux-de-l'Oulette 

Discover the Ance valley, a landscape shaped by the Ance river. This relatively strenuous hike will take you to the Creux de l’Oulette waterfall and past the spectacular Montpeloux site, located in a former basalt quarry.

The Creux-de-l’Oulette hike in Saillant is a great getaway for those who want to combine hiking with the discovery of geological heritage. The route is 12.1 km long and takes around 3 hours (and 15 minutes) to complete. This moderately-difficult loop promises a 354-meter ascent and descent. The trail begins and ends in Saillant, passing through the communes ofÉglisolles, Saint-Romain and La Chaulme, and marks an ideal route for those seeking to combine physical activity with cultural exploration.

One of the highlights of this hike is undoubtedly the passage through the Volcan de Montpeloux, where visitors can admire basalt organs in the former quarry, now transformed into a natural amphitheater that hosts cultural events during the summer.

Highlights of the hike :

  • Discover the Ance valley.
  • Spectacular view of the Creux de l’Oulette waterfall.
  • Admire the basalt organs of Montpeloux.
  • Presence of mammals (marten, weasel and badger).

3. Chemin des Papetiers  

Follow the Chemin des Papetiers in theAmbert area, where you’ll pass several old paper mills, including the Richard de Bas mill, still in operation. This hike is accessible to all, making it the perfect family outing.

The “Chemin des Papetiers” in Ambert is an unmissable 7 km loop, lasting 2 hours and 30 minutes. It takes you along a historic route where thepaper industry has left its mark since the late 15th century. With an altitude difference of +267m and -267m, this medium-level hike is ideal for a morning or afternoon of discovery.

Yellow signposts guide hikers through historic mills, witnesses to the region’s former paper-making glory. Among the highlights, the Moulin de Valeyre and Petit-Vimal offer a glimpse into the transformation of rag paper.

The path, lined with streams, is dotted with views of the Livradois-Forez mountains. The hike culminates in breathtaking views over the Ambert plain. A must for hikers interested in Frenchindustrial history and rural landscapes.

Highlights of the tour :

  • Discover the paper industry
  • Stream-lined route
  • Passing by historic mills
  • Breathtaking views over the Ambert plain

4. Courcourt tower 

The Tour de Courcourt offers a pleasant hike for all levels. It offers spectacular views of the Chaîne des Puys and the Limagne plain, making it an ideal place to watch the sun set. However, it should be noted that the site can be very hot in summer and lacks shade.

The “La Tour de Courcourt” hike in Seychalles offers a 7.3 km route, which will delight you with its exceptional panorama from the top of the Courcourt hill, culminating at 463 meters. Accessible in 2 hours 15 minutes, this loop is of medium difficulty, with an altitude difference of +141m and -141m.

The path winds through gardens, orchards and vineyards. The ascent reveals a vast panorama over the Limagne plain, punctuated by notable landmarks such as Pierre-sur-Haute, Thiers and Bois Noirs, as well as the Mauzun and Ravel castles.

Orientation tables at the top of the Tour de Courcourt enhance the experience, offering details of the various viewpoints visible.

Hiking highlights :

  • Passage through gardens, orchards and vineyards
  • Panoramic views of the surrounding mountains
  • Presence of castles
  • Orientation table at the top of the Tour de Courcourt

5. From Hell to spinning wheels 

Hike through the steep gorges of Thiers to the Durolle River, a source of energy for the old cutlerywheels. This challenging hike winds its way up the factory valley, past the Creux de l’Enfer, a center for contemporary art.

The “De l’Enfer aux rouets” hike in Thiers is an 11.4 km adventure lasting 4 hours and 15 minutes. It is classified as a difficult hike, with a vertical drop of over 500 meters. It offers a deep immersion into the “valley of the factories”.

The route begins by winding its way up the valley to reach Le Creux de l’Enfer, a former cutlery factory transformed into a contemporary art center. Continuing through shady gorges populated by oak trees, the trail leads hikers to discover the historic spinning wheels that bear witness to Thiers’ industrial era. The trail offers panoramic views of Thiers and the Sancy mountains, as well as views of the Chaîne des Puys.

Highlights of the hike :

  • A good climb to build up your thighs
  • Discover the valley of the factories
  • Possibility of visiting the Creux de l’enfer contemporary art center
  • Numerous panoramic views over Thiers

6. Le Petit Turluron 

Discover the Billom area on a hike offering 360° panoramic views, including the famous Chapelle de la Salette. Pass through Billom’s picturesque historic center on a physically challenging, yet accessible route.

The Petit Turluron hike in Billom is a 9.5 km exploration lasting around 2h30. Classed as medium-difficulty, it has a vertical drop of 267m.

The route takes you past orchards and vineyards, before quickly reaching the summit of Petit Turluron at an altitude of 542 meters. This highest point offers a 360° panorama of Clermont-Ferrand, the Limagne plain, the Chaîne des Puys, the Sancy massif and much more.

You’ll alternate between woodland and field walks, passing medieval ruins and small villages like Petit Turluron.

Highlights of the tour :

  • Discover the town’s cultural heritage
  • Beautiful view of Ravel castle
  • View of the Forez Massif
  • Passage through the medieval town of Billom

7. The Fossat Valley 

It’s a favorite of Antoine, our hiking specialist! Explore the Vallée du Fossat, an ancient glacial valley classified as a Sensitive Natural Area. This route takes you through a preserved beech-fir forest, bordered by streams and torrents, offering a cool haven in summer. This hike is classified as relatively difficult.

The Vallée du Fossat hike immerses you in one of Forez’s emblematic sensitive natural areas (ENS). This ancient glacial valley, once carved by glaciers that have now disappeared, reveals mountainous landscapes and steep slopes. From the moment you climb through a dense beech-fir forest, you’re in for a complete change of scenery until you reach the Fossat cross, where the path to the Hautes-Chaumes opens up.

The route continues through the first Jasseries du Fossat and skirts the Monthiallier mountain. The most impressive viewpoint is undoubtedly the Rochers de la Pause.

Hiking highlights :

  • Route through a classified glacial valley.
  • Magnificent views from the Rochers de la Pause.
  • Ecological richness, including peat bogs and moors.
  • Diverse mountain vistas.

8. Le Colporteur des Jasseries  

Follow in the footsteps of the ancient peddlers in the Hautes-Chaumes area, from the Col des Supeyres. Discover the open landscapes of the Hautes-Chaumes and visit traditional Jasseries, including the Jasserie du Coq Noir. This hike is accessible to all, combining cultural richness with simplicity.

The “Le colporteur des Jasseries” hike in Valcivières is a magnificent 9.5 km excursion lasting around 3 hours. The loop begins and ends at the Col des Supeyres, and is marked by the“Petit Lapin” sign, guiding hikers through the vast Hautes-Chaumes. Following in the ancient footsteps of the peddlers, you’ll discover traditional Jasseries scattered along the route. These historic buildings offer a glimpse of rural life in days gone by, when animals and people lived together under the same roof during the summer months.

The route also takes you through beech forests and open moorland.

Highlights of the hike :

  • Exploration of the Hautes-Chaumes pastoral heritage
  • Discover thetraditional Jasseries.
  • Spectacular views of the surrounding mountains.
  • Rich local flora and fauna.

9. Le Grün de Chignore  

Try your hand at climbing Grün de Chignore, a wooded mountain crowned by a rocky peak offering breathtaking panoramic views. Close to Pierre Pamole, this challenging hike is an invitation to discover the natural beauty of Vollore-Ville.

Le Grün de Chignore” in Vollore-Ville is a demanding 15.8 km hike, ideal for hikers looking for a challenge. With a vertical drop of over 660 metres, this 5.5-hour loop follows an ancient Roman road through a forest that was recently created in the 20th century.

The ascent to Grün de Chignore is punctuated by viewpoints over the Limagne plain, with panoramic vistas of the Sancy massif and surrounding area. The return journey takes you along little-traveled paths winding through moorland and forest landscapes.

Hiking highlights :

  • Challenging route with 664m of ascent.
  • Follows an ancient Roman road.
  • Offers panoramic views of the Auvergne.
  • Includes secluded, peaceful trails.

10. Tour du Mont Bar 

Discover Mont Bar, an ancient strombolian volcano with a unique peat bog at its center. Although short, this hike is physical and rewards you with breathtaking views and a glimpse of local history near the village of Allègre and its ruined castle.

This peak, culminating at 1,175 metres, is famous for its crater, home to a peat bog unique in Europe.

The trail begins with an ascent through lush forest, reaching the Mont Bar crater, where an interpretive trail leads around the entire peat bog. The hike also includes a visit to the ruins of Allègre castle, dominating the village with its remains and its“Potence”, a remarkable architectural feature. The walk combines nature, history and culture in a spectacular volcanic setting.

Hiking highlights :

  • Europe’s only strombolian volcano with peat bog.
  • Interpretation trail around the crater.
  • Historic ruins of the Château d’Allègre.
  • Well-marked trail, accessible to all.