In the Prénovel forest, surrounded by greenery and flowery clearings, is the open combe of Nanchez. This combe is dominated by agricultural activities and features wetlands and peat bogs along the winding Nanchez river.
Wood and peat
Whilst the forest has always been exploited in the region, fluctuations in the economic and social situation throughout history have shaped the landscape, alternating between thick forests and vast cultivated expanses.
As from the 17th century and up until the 20th century, an increase in forest exploitation (with wood serving as fuel for economic activities such as blacksmiths) led peasants to use peat as fuel for their domestic use.
The crown of the low walls
The capping on the low dry-stone walls, or crown, maintains and stabilises the sides (visible parts) of the wall. Without it, the stones, and particularly those at the top, would end up falling. Here, you can observe a technique in which large and relatively flat stones, called lauzes, are laid vertically and often stabilised by spacers in between.
More than a place of work or a rudimentary shelter for craftsmen, for those who occupied it, the workshop is a setting that is both intimate and public.
Between the tools used, on the worktops where sawdust is pushed away with the palm of a hand, is where craftsmen build their know-how, by the light shed by the large dusty windows.
The Nanchez peat bog
Peat bogs are characterised by a surface that is constantly water-logged, where peat forms and accumulates: it is a type of bedding made-up of dead vegetation which has badly decomposed due to the absence of oxygen. Life conditions are demanding in these environments and this means that the species that live here must adapt to the omnipresence of water, to a relatively cold climate and to the chemical composition of the soil.
The evolution of life and buildings
The rural house was first the one belonging to the farmer and livestock breed, where men and animals lived together. As from the 18th century, cheese specialisation and the pooling of milk in cooperative structures - “fruitières” - brought farmers out of a self-subsistence economy. In terms of buildings, the farm became bigger: a storey is added to include bedrooms, a second stable is sometimes built to accommodate more animals.
From the parking lot in front of the Prénovel Church (), head a few hundred metres up the D308E1 until you reach the PRÉNOVEL signpost at the hike departure point.
Head to Les Rochats (Green MTB waymarking no. 83) along a grassy trail, before taking the forest road to your right and quickly arriving at La Vie des Geais.
Head up the path to the right along the grassy combe, through Les Auges Vuillomets, LA VIE DES TOURS, to reach La Corne au boeuf.
Take the little path to the right, exiting onto Les Cuinets.
Branch off to the right onto a forest path towards the Chalet du Bief Plotet.
Continue along this forest path towards PRÉNOVEL DE BISE for around ten metres and turn left onto an agricultural path.
When you come to PRÉNOVEL DE BISE, carefully cross the D28 and continue straight towards La Passerelle.
Take the little road down to the hamlet of Les Belbenoits, and then the muddy path that branches off to the left. This path then turns grassy, heading through a field to La Passerelle.
Cross the wooden walkway towards the Croisée des Biefs.
If you would like to continue on the Nanchez peat bog trail, please dismount your bike and take the boardwalk (an easy out-and-back in around 30 minutes).
On your return, take the white path towards LA TOURBIERE (the peat bog), and continue on to Cotat Bossu.
Take the white path down to Pont des Janiers.
Turn left and enter the village of PRÉNOVEL through La Vigne.
The Nanchez peat bog must be visited on foot.
For an MTB outing, wear a helmet and bring enough water.
Paths are shared with pedestrians and horse riders, who have priority, therefore, please adapt and control your speed.
To use MTB paths, do not hesitate to get down from your bike.
This trail passes through pastures and forest paths. To respect the owners and farmers granting you passage, and for the security of livestock and wild fauna, we ask that you remain on the waymarked paths and close gates behind you where there are no MTB paths.
Wild flowers are beautiful, they may be rare and protected and often wilt quickly. Do not pick them! They will delight the next admirers.
In case of forest works (felling, skidding, etc.), for your safety, know when to stop and turn around.
Access and parking
12 km south-west of Saint-Laurent-en-Grandvaux, via the D 678, and on exiting Saint-Laurent take the D 437, the D 146 via Les Guillons and at Aux Faivres take the D 28 and finally the D 232.
Report a problem or an error
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