The Loue Spring (tributary of the Doubs) is a resurgence of the Doubs. After journeying underground, it comes out into the open air at the bottom of a 'reculée' (steephead valley), at the foot of the rock face. It has cut deep into the limestone of the Jura massif, creating an enclosed valley, which I invite you to gaze at and contemplate from the many lookout points. You will also go down to the bottom of the gorge to discover this impressive resurgence.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D) From the Mouthier Haute-Pierre church car park, head towards the south in the direction of the river which you cross a few minutes later. Let yourself be guided by the waymarkers for the GR590 which climbs the side of the valley in a south-west direction. After 1 km, turn left (direction south-south-east) (the places area called "Sausset" and "la Craie").
(1) 1.8 km after the turning, you will arrive on the plateau. Leave the GR590, keep going straight on and then take the good path on the left which you then leave almost straight away in order to take the path called the "liaison" ('link path'). This heads off to the left and then follows along the edge of the plateau.
You will then arrive at the 'Belvédère de Rénédale' (Rénédale Lookout Point) (2), situated not far from the village.
After the lookout point, continue on by following the edge of the valley for about 2.3 km. At the place where it joins a small road, which goes downhill towards the village of Ouhans, the path suddenly turns to the left (3) and goes down the side of the valley. When you get to the bottom of the steephead valley, it turns to the left, goes past the car park and takes you directly to the Source de la Loue (Loue Spring) (4).
Once you have admired this site steeped in mystery, retrace your steps (for about 600 m) and a bit before the car park, turn left onto a path climbing upwards (5). Follow this path for 200 m before turning left. The path continues to climb the side of the valley (for about 650 m) and ends up on a good path (at the place called "Le Chanois"). This 800 m path (going through the place called "Pré Rouge") then ends up on the D67 road (6). Turn left onto the latter.
Follow this road for 200 m before you find a path on the left (7) which enables you to cut out a large bend. You will re-join the road at a small car park. Join the road again (to the left for 120 m only), and then quickly leave it and take the path heading off on the right which takes you to the lookout point located at the far end of the "Côte Verse" (8). From this viewpoint, you will discover the valley from another angle.
You then head to the north-east, following a quite linear path. After a good kilometre, turn left (leaving the waymarking path) (9). The path which you now follow goes downhill towards the bottom of a small valley. It goes past the 'Vierge des Vouilles'. A few metres lower down (150 m), at an intersection, you turn 90° to the left (towards the west). You will soon find a waymarked path (GR595) (10). Turn right onto this path. It climbs back up towards the north and if you follow it properly it will take you to Hautepierre-le-Châtelet (2.6 km to the church).
This route goes through the forest (at the place called "Sur la Baume"), a pretty valley, the forest again, and then follows along the edge before ending up in the Châtelet meadow.
You absolutely must go to the Haute-Pierre Rock where you will have an absolutely superb view of the region. Allow for 700 m of climbing (from the cemetery) to get there (11).
Retrace your steps back to the D244 road. Follow this road to the right for around 200 m and then turn left onto a path going downhill (12), more or less parallel to the road. It goes under a high voltage electricity line and then, shortly after, cuts across the next small road.
A bit lower down, at "Combe d'Éteing", you will reach a crossroads in the paths. Take the path on the left, heading due south (13) and follow it for 800 m until you re-join the country road. Cross over this road again and continue going downhill on the path which carries on. This path will take you back to the departure point (just under 1 kilometre from the road) (A).
D/A : km 0 - alt. 434m
1 : km 3.59 - alt. 758m - You arrive on the plateau.
2 : km 5 - alt. 727m - Belvédère de Rénédale (lookout point).
3 : km 7.31 - alt. 692m - The path turns suddenly to the left.
4 : km 8.59 - alt. 562m - Loue Spring.
5 : km 9.27 - alt. 600m - Turn left onto a path climbing up.
6 : km 11.02 - alt. 650m - Take the D67 to the left.
7 : km 11.41 - alt. 633m - Path enabling you to cut out the large bend.
8 : km 13.06 - alt. 646m - Belvédère Côte Verse (lookout point).
9 : km 14.2 - alt. 731m - After a good kilometre, turn left.
10 : km 15.24 - alt. 621m - Waymarked path (FR595).
11 : km 18.88 - alt. 820m - Hautepierre Rock.
12 : km 19.89 - alt. 793m - Turn left onto the path going downhill.
13 : km 21.48 - alt. 605m - Take the path heading to the left, due south.
D/A : km 23.2 - alt. 433m
Walking shoes are recommended, as well as a supply of water.
We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 3424OT.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
From the old village of Mouthier, you will climb up to the tourism hotspot Franche-Comté , one of the major natural sites of Doubs: the Source of the Loue and up the Nouailles Gorges. You will overlook its emerald green waters interspersed with rapids and waterfalls, climbing and a scenic, physically demanding trail, perhaps surprising along the way some old forgers printing counterfeit money in the shade of caves and returning by the crest of cliffs and lookout points overlooking the valley.
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This trail is littered with signs to better understand your environment.
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