Circuit of the two summits
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Circuit of the two summits

Circuit of the two summits

Landscape
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There are two summits on the menu but no real climbs.
Head for the Puy des Chaires, the highest point in the Creuse, then the Puy du Vareyron, going through two of the iconic forest massifs in the Millevaches Natural Park in Limousin: the Châteauvert forest and the Massif des Agriers. With an exceptional view of the Monts d'Auvergne.

6 points of interest
Small patrimony

La Croix de Barbe

The presence of the typical hunters' hut at the start of this hike (the testimonies in the visitors' book inside prove that it is also used as a shelter for hikers, soldiers on manoeuvres...) reminds us of the richness of the woodland undergrowth of the Plateau de Millevaches: game, blueberries, mushrooms, so many gourmet treasures that can be found on our restaurant owners’ menus.
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Forestry

The Châteauvert forest

The forest of Châteauvert is a vast massif composed mainly of deciduous trees and, more particularly, beeches. At over 900 metres, this forest has one of the highest beech forests in the region. It is defined as an old growth forest, which has been continuously wooded for at least 150 years: naturalists, therefore, consider that its ecosystem corresponds to an optimum close to environments where man has never intervened.
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Source

The highest point of the Creuse

On your right in the undergrowth, under the moss, try to locate a high point marked with a small cement marker: this is the highest point in the Creuse at 932 metres. We are also at a watershed: the springs that run north-west join the river Creuse, a tributary of the Vienne and then the Loire, while the others run towards the Dordogne.
Note that the low point of the Creuse is at the edge of the Creuse at Crozant, altitude 197 m.
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Flora

Les Agriers

This massif which culminates at 915 m at the Puy du Vareyron, is the property of a forestry syndicate, managed by the Office National des Forêts. It covers 600 hectares, most of which is used for forestry production. This afforestation was carried out from the 1970s onwards, on heather moors with juniper bushes, which were used for grazing sheep. An arboretum, a fire pond and a sports trail also make this forest a place of welcome.
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Panorama

The Cantal Mountains

Separated from the Sancy by the Cézallier Plateau, the Monts du Cantal lie to the west. This massif is, in fact, the remnant of a stratovolcano born 13 million years ago, the largest in Europe, eroded by collapse and glacial erosion.
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Panorama

The Puy de Dôme

The Puy de Dôme is an ancient volcano that gave its name to the eponymous department. At the height of 1,465 metres above sea level, it is the highest volcano in Chaine des Puys, a volcanic complex of 80 volcanoes.
A TDF antenna has become the symbol of the site and makes it very easy to identify. Also, at its summit is a Gallo-Roman temple dedicated to Mercury. While the bravest can make the ascent on foot, a rack and pinion train gives access to the summit.
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Description

Park at the Croix de Barbe crossroads. Take an earth path opposite the hut. Continue always straight ahead.
  1. At the high point sign, walk back to the small cement marker that marks this point. Continue straight ahead. At the junction with variant 1, take a 200 m round trip. For the panorama over the Auvergne mountains. The path becomes a track; turn left at the next crossroads to reach Chez Bouchet.
  2. Take the road to the left and then, at the end of the meadow, take the track to the right. At the next crossroads, a path to the right leads up into the woods. Ignore a trail on the left. Go around the meadow to the right to reach the road. Turn left onto it and go up to the four trees crossroads, Croix des Quatre Arbres.
  3. Follow the track to the right; pass by two paths on your left and reach the Puy du Vareyron
  4. Take the grassy path behind the orientation table. Turn right onto the track. Follow it for 400 metres, then turn left onto a path. Cross the track to return to the path. Follow it straight ahead to a tarmac track. Turn left onto it. At the next crossroads, follow the road to the right, which returns to the starting point.
Departure : La Croix de Barbe clearing, St-Oradoux de Chirouze
Arrival : La Croix de Barbe clearing, St-Oradoux de Chirouze
Towns crossed : Saint-Martial-le-Vieux, Saint-Oradoux-de-Chirouze, Lamazière-Haute, Eygurande, Couffy-sur-Sarsonne

Altimetric profile


Recommandations

There are two shortcuts on this route, which are described in a specific description. Shooting takes place regularly close to the military camp at La Courtine. Don't worry; it only happens inside the military compound.

Information desks

Place Voltaire, 19200 Ussel

05 19 60 00 30

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Access and parking

From La Courtine, follow the D996 towards St-Oradoux. For 6 km. Then follow the Route Forestière for 2 km. The circuit starts at the Croix de Barbe clearing.

Parking :

La Croix de Barbe clearing, St-Oradoux de Chirouze

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