The Paillon National Forest

A bucolic and informative stroll in the back country of Nice.

Technical sheet
No. 4098824
A L'Escarène walk posted on 13/04/16 by djhoward. Update : 17/06/16
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h40[?]
Distance Distance : 12.42km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 729m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 730m
Highest point Highest point : 769m
Lowest point Lowest point : 374m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Areas Areas : Alps, Préalpes de Nice
Location Location : L'Escarène (06440)
Starting point Starting point : N 43.839726° / E 7.347911°
Download : -


The start point is on the Route de la Pighièra, when you get to the fork. Park here by the waste bins (not much space) or by the cemetery.

(D/A) Take the concrete road that rises parallel with the road and that turns into a track a little higher up. About 350m further up, join the trail to the left that descends the hill and on which you'll return.

(1) Continue for 250 meters and then take the track downward to the right. At the bottom, leave the trail and take the marked track that descends to the left through the stream where you need to cross a ford.
Climb the slope (note the information displays dotted along walk) and gradually climb along the small valley. Pass a small path that descends to the right and then pass several streams. Ignore a path coming from left and then you get to great track.

(2) Turn right for 50 meters, and then leave the track to descend left on the stream bed.
Follow the trail, climbing through the scrub, passing a beautiful ruin and reaching a track.

(3) Fork right then immediately left, descending. Walk along the RU and then come out on the track. Follow it to the left for about 50 meters then turn onto the trail that climbs left along the track. Get to some wasteland that you have to walk past to your left to reach an information display.

(4) Turn left. The climb continues as you pass several gullies, and leads to the Baisse de la Croix.

(5) Take the first path on the left and continue to climb through spectacular rocks and the chestnut grove. Enjoy the view, but children need to pay attention on the rocks!
Ignore the path from the left (not marked on the map) and come out further on, on a track, opposite a large building near a fountain.

(6) Turn left down the track (you can get to a viewing point on the right after going down about 100m). Anyone who wants to cut out the hairpin bends, find the descending path to the left, otherwise continue on the track and take a seat on the picnic table for lunch or enjoy the view, next to the reservoir above the track on a turn.

(7) Continue to descend on the track and after the third bend, find the marked path on the right.

(8) Descend straight down to the right.
Keep to the yellow markers and stay on the main trail. You'll alternate between small climbs and descents, pass a few streams in the chestnut grove and then join the Ruisseau du Brusc.

(9) Climb a series of fairly wide hairpin bends and arrive at a Col a few steps from the Berre-les-Alpes.

(10) Turn left for the descent on an old cobblestone path. Follow the yellow markers, pass two hairpin bends and you'll soon get to the grey marl.

(11) The is the trickiest part of the circuit, because the descent is very steep and not very reassuring in the marl, despite a few rare iron handrails. Come out on a beautiful track (spot height 468) and take the Piste du Collet opposite for 200m.

(12) Exit the track and turn right to follow the trail along the flank of the hill which takes you back to the track you took on the outward leg.

(1) Turn right and go down this track to return to the car.

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 380m
1 : km 0.35 - alt. 413m - Intersection, opposite (outward leg) and right (re
2 : km 2.3 - alt. 465m - Track, right then left
3 : km 3.02 - alt. 532m - Track, right then continue to the left
4 : km 3.47 - alt. 550m - Information display, turn left
5 : km 4.47 - alt. 651m - Baisse de la Croix, first path on the left
6 : km 6.26 - alt. 757m - Fountain, turn left
7 : km 6.61 - alt. 722m - Picnic table
8 : km 7.51 - alt. 653m - Exit the track, descend to the right
9 : km 9.54 - alt. 540m - Ruisseau du Brusc stream
10 : km 10.03 - alt. 622m - Col, turn left
11 : km 10.62 - alt. 557m - Gray marl, danger
12 : km 11.19 - alt. 466m - Leave the track, take the trail to the right
D/A : km 12.42 - alt. 380m

Useful Information

No water-filling points.
Do not use this itinerary if you suffer from vertigo, when it's raining, or with children not used to hiking.
Good walking shoes.
Yellow markers are obvious to follow.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Look at the information boards on the flora, enjoy the view, study the rocks, the old house, dry-stone ruins and walls in the chestnut grove.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.