A few weeks ago, RB and I drove to France for a few days. Despite the over 35 degree Celsius days (and no AC) we had a fabulous time. I haven’t spent much time in France before, and this trip wet my appetite to see more.
Our first stop was Le Frasnois, where we stayed with two friends who had rented a cottage for two weeks at the Gites des lacs et des cascades. We arrived later in the afternoon, and our first order of business was to go across the way for a swim in one of the lakes. It was refreshing – just what we needed after spending 10 hours in the car.
The next day, we hiked in Les Cascades du Hérisson (The Herrison Falls). Along the way we stopped at a lookout for a quick glimpse Lac du Val.
I thought it would be fun to bring my Garmin watch to record the walk. In total we went 6.59 km and walked for about 3 hours, with many stops for photos, lunch and swimming.
RB’s friend had been there before and suggested we bring two cars and park one at the bottom and hike down, rather than hiking both down and up. On most days I’d like the challenge of the hike up hill, but it was 32°C that day, and I didn’t want to be a hot mess in front of new friends!
The first fall we came to was Saut Girard. Because it had been so hot and dry, the falls weren’t particularly full, but they were still beautiful. There was a statue of an animal at Saut Girard, however there was no indication at the site nor have my searches on the internet yielded any story behind the statue.
The next falls we came upon were by the ruins of the Moulin Jeunet. This mill was originally constructed in the 15th century for the villagers of Frasnois to use. It was ruined in the war between 1635 and 1639, and was ceded to Guillaume Grappe in 1663, since the villagers didn’t have the funds to rebuild it. The mill thrived under his direction until it was again destroyed in 1875. A year later, the mill was sold to a wine merchant from Lons-le-Saunier, and then to Seraphin-Francois Jeunet in 1882. It became the Moulin Jeunet until 1902.
Next, we came to le Saut de la Forge, where we took some time to take some photos. As an aside – who chooses to wear white shorts on a hike through the woods?! Not my smartest move, though thankfully it didn’t end up being a big problem.
After the Saut de la Forge, it became possible to walk in the water, so RB and I took off our socks, and P put his water shoes on, and we made our way through the water where it was possible.
My NB Minimus runners were a great choice for this hike! When we got back to the cottage I put them in the late afternoon sun, and they were completely dry by the time we went to bed.
Some of us (i.e. not me) got adventurous and jumped into the pools below the falls.
We stopped for a lunch of baguette with cheese and ham (how French!) at Le Gour Bleu.
Not long after we set off again, we came to the top of Le Grand Saut (the big jump), which afforded a beautiful view of the valley below.
It was a bit of a treacherous hike to get to the bottom of Le Grand Saut, though I never unsure that we shouldn’t be going where we were. In looking at the trail maps after the fact, I realized it’s not part of the main trail at all!
P&V had been there before, and V built a beautiful tower that was still standing! What a beautiful structure!
Another short hike brought us to the top of L’Entretrail (the fan). At this point we had to come out of the water and back onto the trail, which were quite busy on this part, likely because it is the closest falls to the visitor’s centre and main entrance.
At this point we came to the visitor’s centre, where we all went to the bathroom and got in our car to go get the car at the other end of the trail.
Along the way we stopped and caught some trout for dinner that night. I struggle with feeling disconnected from where my food is coming from, and this was an excellent opportunity for me to come to terms with it a little bit.
That evening we put our shoes out to dry, and got to work bbq’ing the trout, which was delicious!
The next day we headed off to what would be my first Dutch wedding, but that’s another post.