Randonnée le long de la Creuse de la Forteresse de Crozant à Fougères
In southern central France, about a 3.5 hour drive from to the south of Paris and a similar distance to the north of Bordeaux is Forteresse de Crozant, the ruins of an ancient castle on the Creuse river.
Get an up & close view of the ruins, then head to the other side of the river and walk along it following a hiking trail to Fougères on an easy and enjoyable 7 km or so walk (each way) beneath the shade of the dense forest.
This is an in-and-out trail, as opposed to circuit, unless you’re able to park a car at either end of the track.
Start (or finish) at the Forteresse de Crozant, there’s a car park a short distance to the south of the ruins.
Once you’ve had a good look around, you’ll then need to get to the other side of the river. Do this by following the main road beside Forteresse de Crozant car park, Le Goutatin, to the east, crossing the bridge, Pont de Crozant, then a short distance after crossing the bridge, you’ll notice a dirt track on your left that goes up the hill, take this and keep on walking. If you reach Hôtel du Lac, you’ve gone too far. Walk back towards the bridge and look for the dirt track next to the road, on the opposite side of the road from the river.
The dirt track starts around 700-800 metres from Forteresse de Crozant and this will take you all of the way to Fougères.
Around 400-500 metres after leaving the road and following the dirt track up the hill, you’ll get your second view of Forteresse de Crozant, this time from across the river. It’s an impressive sight and good place to have a quick rest while sitting on the rocks and taking in the view.
Keep on following this trail and a bit less than 6 kms later, you’ll reach Fougères.
The track weaves and winds along the river bank. At some points, you’ll be walking right beside the water and then you head up to the cliff top, sometimes a couple of dozen metres above the river, looking down at it.
Once you see the camping park, you’re close. You can either turn right, about 200 metres before the camping park and follow a short track up hill to the town (this way can be a bit confusing if you don’t know the area and don’t have access to a GPS), otherwise keep walking straight and you’ll reach the same road, just near the camping park.
It’s a good hike to do on a hot day as there’s little exposure to the sun due to the masses of trees for most of trail.
This is a relatively easy hike, but a lot of time you’ll be making your way from the water level up to the top of some hills and cliffs, which can eventually become tiring. Otherwise, it’s a steady dirt track most of the way, flat for a lot of the walk, then some short steep sections, some much steeper than others, but nothing drastic.
The entire walk is a bit over 7 kms each way, but this depends on exactly where you start, finish and if you explore the ruins of Forteresse de Crozant or head straight on the trail to Creuse River to Fougères.
In total, there’s about 200 metres of elevation gained, which is mainly due to all of the times that you go from walking along the river bank to the cliff tops above, back down, then up again.
Dogs are allowed on a lead.