Distance: 5,7 km
Duration (average) : 02h
Level: Medium
Elevation: 253 D +
3 reviews

Departure: AURIAC
Yellow PR
All that glitters is not gold! In the shadow of the castle of Auriac la Petite Vadrouille makes you discover the nuggets of its Territory: Ores, fauna, flora ...


Points of interest

Your itinerary


IGN map reference (s): IGN 2347 East Arques


Step 1

From the car park on the D212, head south and take a slightly uphill path to the right, in the scrubland. It runs along old mines.

Step 2

(cairn 1) Three hundred meters from the village on the north-eastern slope of Mont-Marcus in the middle of copses and holm oaks, the medieval mine of Gassotte known as the “Mont-Marcus” mine has been known since the Gallo period. Roman. In activity from the Middle Ages until the beginning of the XNUMXth century, barite, copper and silver were extracted from it. The ore sold at the Salsigne mine was processed there.

Step 3

(cairn 2) According to engineer Vène, the disaffection of this mine (alt. 598 m) and the abandonment of the work would be due more to a lack of technical knowledge of the operator than to an absence of capital. In fact the veins very quickly became unusable.

Step 4

The path follows the contour line in the tranquility of the undergrowth (cairn 3). By listening and observing we can surprise the fauna of the place. Ash and beech, Scots pines, holm oaks: we are here in the favorite biotope of wild boars.

Step 5

Outlet (alt. 603 m) on the small road to Espéout; Take it uphill to the right and take the small path opposite (due east) at the level of the median. Go up to the Peyrièro greenhouse (alt. 695 m). In spring this area is dotted with orchids (protected, not to be picked). (cairn 4) On this site we find barite (natural barium sulphate) which we exploited on the Mieloubret until the 50s. Go down to an intersection.

Step 6

To turn left. Slowly descend to the small road. Turn left down towards the old Lauradieu mine. (cairn 5) “In Laurio, there is Gold. To Lauradieu, the farewell Gold ”. Legends are attached to the supposed precious metal from this mine. But it was copper and silver that were mined there until 1854. A prehistoric gold ring is said to have been found in a nearby cave. Leave the small road and go towards the Lauradieu buildings on the right.

Step 7

Go straight up to the left on the small steep path, on the side of the rock. It overlooks gorges. We can already make out the castle in the distance. Before arriving at the Laurio stream, you cross a wasteland dotted with heather and some wild fruit trees. (cairn 6) Gold has always been the dream of men, but no vein has ever been found in Auriac. It is nevertheless there, in the form of flakes mixed with alluvium from streams, in quartz or in other minerals. The toponymy of watercourses attests: Laurio, Lauriol, Orbieu. Hazel trees, ash trees, dogwoods gently lean over the banks of the Laurio where in spring grows wild lily of the valley. Arrival in the village. On the right, the tarred path climbs towards the castle. (cairn 7) Since the 212th and the beginning of the XNUMXth century, it has guarded the southern entrance to Termenès, between the Orbieu and Verdouble valleys. The towers, main building (XNUMXth century) bear witness to a “castle life” contrasting with the poverty of the town which has never been very populated. This luxury is undoubtedly due to the income of the mines. On the left: you join the D XNUMX.

Be careful, the fire risk is often high, especially in summer, and can lead to flower bed closures. Find out before you go consulting the fire risk map for outdoor activities.
Fires strictly prohibited. Do not smoke and never throw cigarette butts in nature. Fires are numerous and catastrophic in our region. In the event of a fire or accident: give alert 18 or 112 from a cell phone.
Protect yourself from the sun and take enough water with you.
Avoid picking flowers and plants. Take all your trash. Close fences and keep dogs on a leash in pasture areas, villages and protected areas.

Mountain bike routes: the routes are often shared with hikers or other users (cars, tractors, etc.). Be careful and always anticipate that a pedestrian may be present around a bend to have time to brake if necessary. Pedestrians have priority in principle, slow down at crossings or stop if the configuration of the terrain requires you to do so.
Thank you and happy hiking!


Anick 4st June 2022
A superb walk: views, magnificent flora in the month of June, birdsong in the undergrowth... Highly recommended! and to do again
Paul The 11 October 2021

Totally agree with François Alain's comment. Very nice walk.
Francois Alain The 29 July 2021
Remarkable site, very well marked route, with some difficulties noted. Discovery of an environment still preserved and simply magnificent as much as soothing. Beware of the dog at the Chateau refreshment bar, however ... somewhat aggressive, especially towards his fellows.

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