Hike near the Rhône, to the north of Ardèche. You will be surprised to find areas that are this "wild" so close to the Rhône Valley (Ardennes). At the end, the view of the Rhône and the Arras tower is a definite plus.
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.
Park at the the car park next to roundabout D86/D800 south of the village.
(S/F) Cross the national road and head into the village ahead. Cross it until you reach the other side, going back up to the north. Follow the main road, cross the bridge and continue to reach the Rue du Mas.
(1) Turn left and go up the street. At the end, against the hill, turn left again and go over the cemetery. Asphalt road becomes a path. Follow this easy and regular track that makes a hairpin right turn to head north and cross the Bachasse stream (2). Continue on to the paved road (Yellow PR markings).
(3) Then take the paved road to the left and follow it to the Cance Douc water tank (and coach stop). Same markings...
(4) Take a left to l’Impasse de Julia and immediately after, before the “Sans Issu” no entry sign with a yellow cross on it, take the track right through fields, in the direction of Ardennes (yellow and white PR markings and sign). Reach the Peyrard Cross.
(5) Return to the paved road few metres, turn right and continue slightly to the left, along a long trail which starts south-west, slightly downhill, across a huge glade (Yellow PR markings). The track has just been renewed (2016) by bulldozer. The route descends into the "lost" valley of the Ardennes.
(6) A house in the background. Then some interesting portraits... (try and find all 8...) Moving on past it, continue straight ahead. Cross the stream (2 to 5 m wide and 10 to 30 cm deep depending on the conditions). It may be necessary to take off shoes and go barefoot. There is a ford over rocks. Head upwards ahead through the woods, following the track. Head out of the wood and return to the tarmac at the intersection of Chemin de Pierre Blanche in Solignac (alt. 405 m).
(7) Continue down the road ahead as far as the houses of Pierre Blanche.
(8) Off the road, 50 m before its end in Solignac, head to the left on a trail. Cross the Serlan woods. At the Y-junction, turn left and head down to a small stream. Then walk through the vineyard horizontally. 150 m after the stream, take the small path on the left, with White and Yellow markings (do not continue down into the vines). Then look out for a cluster of cottages (old man-made terraces for crops).
(9) Cut across the asphalt road heading uphill. The path continues opposite. At the first intersection, continue down to the right on the White and Yellow marked path
(10) At the crossroads, take the path up to the left (follow the white and yellow markings). Small ascent. Continue along the balcony overlooking the Rhône (a nice view of the river and the dam of Arras) and, after one last descent, reach the Tower of Arras (ruins, no entry, explanatory signs in front at the terrace).
(11) From the tower there are two paths to reach the village: either path of hairpins passing behind the tower , or directly below (the one that is marked). Head down, arrive at La Montée de la Tour then turn right to lead the main street. Turn right again through the village and back to the car park (S/F).
D/A : km 0 - alt. 132m - Rhône (le)
1 : km 0.83 - alt. 138m - Rue du Mas
2 : km 2.76 - alt. 282m - Crossing the Bachasse stream
3 : km 3.58 - alt. 326m - Turn left towards Les Robins
4 : km 5.51 - alt. 384m - Julia Impasse/Water reservoir
5 : km 5.84 - alt. 377m - Turn left on asphalt road
6 : km 7.11 - alt. 275m - Ardennes
7 : km 9 - alt. 403m - Path through Pierre Blanche to Solignac
8 : km 9.74 - alt. 358m - Before Solignac
9 : km 10.89 - alt. 284m - Road alt. 280 m
10 : km 11.4 - alt. 227m - Crossroads at alt. 230 m
11 : km 11.96 - alt. 197m - The tower of Arras sur Rhône
D/A : km 12.73 - alt. 132m
Two rocky descents. Good shoes are recommended.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
- The portraits in the Ardennes.
- Arras tower.
- The Rhône and the dam of Arras.
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