It is a beautiful spring day with summer weather which, as often, made us want to go on a family hike. Today’s exploration take us to the Gorges de la Bouble !
Ready to hike ? shoes, sunglasses and caps, water bottles, backpacks with picnic and snacks, a first aid kit for any minor injuries. Direction the small village of Deneuille-Les-Chantelle (next to Chantelle) to start the PR 24 hike, named “Au fil de la Bouble”.
From the parking of the town hall of Deneuille-les-Chantelle, in front of the departure panel, we go right and at the crow’s feet we take the right path. The path descends quietly in the middle of meadows where Charolais cows watch us pass. The children can run a bit and we enjoy the panorama over the village of Chantelle, the Monts de la Madeleine, the Puy de Montoncel, the Auvergne volcanoes and the Colettes massif.
At the end of the descent, we are on the left bank of the Bouble. There are many fords of large stones that the children will have fun crossing. Be careful not to fall in the water !
Paradise for fishermen and nature lovers, the Bouble and its gorges were once the favored place for millers. There were locks and 13 mills, some ruins of which can be seen today, along 4 km of river.
We follow the river, following the path marked in yellow. We take stairs, a few rough passages and cross forests of moss and majestic trees. The Bouble gorges have remained wild and it almost feels like the Amazon rainforest!
The place is classified as Sensitive Natural Area with protected flora and fauna and there are panels in several places along the route. “Oh look there are plenty of slugs!” Isn’t that a woodpecker you hear? “We marvel at everything, happy with this return to nature.
At the 1st footbridge which allows us to go to Chantelle and at the foot of the abbey,we continue the circuit following the bank.
Several small sandy or pebble beaches line the river and we stop for a well-deserved picnic break. The air is cool by the water. Just the sound of water and birds. Everything is calm, luxury and tranquility. We resume our journey in the middle of this lush nature and arrive at a second footbridge called Font-Corne. Children will have fun crossing it to show their courage!
To finish our loop we do not cross the footbridge but go down towards the bank and leave the river by going up in the wood to the left. We follow a bit of D 282 before crossing to the place called “La Chabanne”. We continue along the fields then again a stretch of road for 350 m then you have to take the path to the left, continue straight ahead and fork left to find the D 282. Then we follow on the left to reach the town hall and our car.
Review of the day : excellent! 8 km covered for about 3 hours walking and a few breaks to allow the children to rest a little. The great feeling of having shared a family adventure in a preserved, almost magical place! An experience to be repeated !
Thank you to all hikers for respecting the current barrier gestures and the place so that the Gorges de la Bouble remain a pretty corner of paradise