Discovery trail of the moors and peat bogs of Mazure: Large Loop
Peat bogs, a thousand-year-old treasure
The peat bog is located in a kind of very wet bowl (alveolus) fed by runoff and a stream. The ubiquitous water prevents the decomposition of organic matter (plant/animal), which explains the formation of peat.
Peat bogs provide many ecological services:
- they store large quantities of water which they purify and gradually release.
- they store carbon (in the peat).
- they are home to a specific fauna and flora that guarantee biodiversity.
Rare aquatic plants
Heath, pasture and traditions
A specific fauna
The river, a whole ecosystem
An exceptional ecological site
Originally, a partnership
Peat bogs and man
La Mazure peat bog
Covering an area of 280 hectares, this site, located in the communes of Monteil au Vicomte, Royère de Vassivière and St-Pierre-Bellevue is one of the most remarkable in the region in terms of well-preserved habitats but also in terms of rare and protected species.
It abounds in a mosaic of environments (streams, peat bogs, moors and forest) and many rare animal and plant species worthy of preservation.
The plank bridges
From plants to medicine
Water and the mill
The Limousin forest: economy and ecology
- From the car park, head towards the footbridge over the stream, pass the barrier and follow the wide track to the next intersection.
- Turn right, go through the woods up to a viewpoint with a bench. Continue a little in the woods, then go down towards the river to the ruins of a mill.
- Follow the old headrace to the footbridges that allow the stream to be crossed.
- Take the duckboards and continue straight on the path for a good distance.
- At the intersection, take the left-hand path, which then branches off to the left at a footbridge and passes over the dike of an old pond.
- Cross the river again and remember to close the gate. Climb the steep path that goes off to the right to reach a panoramic view.
- Descend onto the heath to a turtle-shaped rocky outcrop.
- Just past this rock, there are two options. The one presented here is the option of the large loop (another sheet presents a smaller loop: "Discovery trail of the moors and peat bogs of Mazure n°22: Small loop"). Take the path that goes straight down and then goes up towards the rocky outcrop that offers a beautiful view.
- Go down to the bottom of the valley. Once you reach the peat bog, the path branches off to the right. The landscaping allows you to cross the wettest areas and reach a stone bridge (known as a "plank bridge").
- Cross the river, turn left to reach a coniferous forest.
- Continue straight through this forest for a long distance until you reach the intersection of four paths.
- Turn left, go through the woods and then continue alongside the peat bog on a path lined with old low walls.
- At the intersection with another trail, continue straight ahead until you reach some duckboards, then a small stone bridge that allows you to cross the river again.
- Just after a small round trip to the right you can explore the remains of mills. Turn left, continue straight on a path that runs along the edge of the peat bog near the heather moors.
- A large duckboard allows you to cross a very wet area (caution). The path continues straight ahead on the edge and then branches off to the right into a shrubby area and climbs up into a fenced meadow.
- A fenced corridor makes it possible to cross this meadow in complete safety (beware, however, of apiary). At the end of the meadow, take the path opposite (slightly to the left) in a coniferous forest.
- The path then continues through a leafy forest, branching off to the right to an old fishery.
- Continue on the right, following the watercourse, until the next intersection with a wide path.
- Take this path on the left, go on alongside the fenced pasture and continue straight on the path (taken on the outward journey) to return to the car park.
- Departure : Devil's Rock
- Arrival : Devil's Rock
- Towns crossed : Le Monteil-au-Vicomte, Royère-de-Vassivière, Saint-Pierre-Bellevue
Access and parking
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