Du lac de l'Abbaye aux gorges de la Bienne
Du lac de l'Abbaye aux gorges de la Bienne

Du lac de l'Abbaye aux gorges de la Bienne

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A journey to the heart of water... nourishing for men and their animals in the countryside, driving force for industry in the city. Travel through typical Haut-Jura landscapes: lakes and rivers.

9 points of interest

  • Lakes & Rivers

    Belvedere of Le Chatelet

    Here, the Lemme and its tributaries were subject to major ecological restoration works in 2012 to allow the marsh in Le Chatelet to regain its role as a natural waterway regulator.

    An interpretive sign explains which malfunctions had appeared due to previous developments, presents which restoration works were carried out and their advantages, and lists a few wildlife and plant species that live in this environment.

  • Fauna

    The red kite

    This raptor is easily recognisable due to its long, indented tail. With its impressive size, this bird is a wonderful glider. It looks for its food in-flight. An opportunist, it watches the ground attentively to find rodents, lizards or the carcasses of other dead animals. Small prey (insects, earthworm or reptiles) can be hunted by walking through the meadows. Therefore, you will often see the red kite above freshly-cut meadows.

  • History & Heritage

    View over the old cheese dairy

    As from the 18th century, cheese specialisation and the pooling of milk in cooperative structures - “fruitières” - brought farmers out of a self-subsistence economy. Cheese production, which became more and more organised, also became more profitable thanks to the trade networks promoted by “rollers” (road hauliers) in particular. Traders would deliver cheeses to the main French cities, including Lyon.

  • Flora

    Mont Noir forest

    Spread across 1873 hectares, the Mont Noir massif is one of the largest Jura forests. It is currently made up of dark-leaved trees, such as fir, spruce and beechwood, hence its name. Stags, boar and roe deer live here alongside the lynx and the western capercaillie. Wood exploitation is an important economic activity for our mountains. However, the forest also accommodates hikers wishing to take long works on the waymarked paths, both during summer and winter. Share this area and be careful if you come across forest works.

  • Natural environments

    View over the lac des Rouges Truites peat bog

    Inherited from the icebergs which covered the Jura ten thousand years ago and left behind moraines with water-tight bottoms, a peat bog formed from the accumulation of stagnant water full of cold-resistant plants. The moving soil in peat bogs are made up of a thick carpet of peat moss, on which a few well-adjusted plants are able to grow (cranberry, cottongrass, andromeda, drosera, mountain pine, etc.) These fragile environments are of biological interest and must therefore be preserved.

  • History & Heritage

    Morbier cheese

    While it is now mainly manufactured in dairy workshops, referred to as “fruitières”, Morbier cheese is originally a “farm cheese” requiring very little milk (60 kg). Its creamy texture is marked by a thin black streak through the middle. Some see this streak as an attempt to copy the blue cheese of Septmoncel, which was very popular at the time; others explain that the curd used to be produced twice daily and was protected from insects thanks to this layer of soot with natural protective properties.

  • History & Heritage

    Morbier church

    The church’s clock, dated 1840, is a “clock that rings every fifteen minutes and indicates the lunar phase using a small two-toned ball positioned above the main dial. The equation of time was engraved onto the church’s southern facade in 1842 by Pierre Claude Paget. This system was later abandoned with the advent of railways requiring the use of a universal time.” (M.P. Renaud, 2006).

  • Viewpoint

    The Mill’s Belvedere

    The Mill’s Belvedere, on the edge of the valley, offers an overview of nearly all of the Abbaye lake. From here, visitors can learn about how the landscape around the lake has evolved throughout the centuries (interpretive sign).

  • Natural environments

    Mixed fir, spruce and beech forests

    In the Jura, the montane zone is located at an altitude between 900 and 1700 metres. In this area, forests are mostly comprised of fir trees, spruces and beech trees. Beech, which is still sometimes regionally referred to as “fayard”, is well suited to the mountainous climate. This tree produces beechnuts, which are eaten by game. The hard wood of the beech tree used to be often used by “boisseliers”, wood turners. Today, it is excellent for use as firewood.

    In the High-Jura, these mixed forests are usually managed according to a selection system. Unlike plantations, this method of management allows trees of different species and ages to grow on the same site, thereby ensuring increased biodiversity.


Circuit in between two territories, you will discover the plateau of grandvaux and its lake of the Abbey, as well as Morbier and the Hauts de Bienne along its Gorges. Varied and typically Haut-Jura landscape, this loop will allow a beautiful discovery of our territories on all types of paths.
This Jurassic Bike Tours route has digital guidance only. You will not find any markings on the ground. Let yourself be guided with the Jurassic Vélo Tours app, which can be downloaded for free from Google Play Store and App Store. As you go along, signposts will indicate points of interest to discover.
  • Departure : Saint-Laurent-en-Grandvaux, tourist information center
  • Arrival : Saint-Laurent-en-Grandvaux, tourist information center
  • Towns crossed : Saint-Laurent-En-Grandvaux, Lac-Des-Rouges-Truites, Fort-Du-Plasne, Morbier, Hauts De Bienne, Nanchez, and Grande-Riviere Chateau


Altimetric profile

Sensitive areas

Along your trek, you will go through sensitive areas related to the presence of a specific species or environment. In these areas, an appropriate behaviour allows to contribute to their preservation. For detailed information, specific forms are accessible for each area.

Western capercaillie

Impacted practices:
, Land-based
Sensitivity periods:
Parc naturel régional du Haut-Jura
29 Le Village
39310 Lajoux
03 84 34 12 30

Access and parking

Parking place behind the tourist information center.

Report a problem or an error

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