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Route Napoléon- Séranon

​Following in the footsteps of Napoleon

Once more the brilliant strategist took his enemies by surprise and speed. Neglecting the route the easiest and most comfortable: the way of the Valley of the Rhone, Napoleon, returning from Elba Island (1st March 1815) chooses, with the handful of faithful accompanying the hardest path, the more discreet, but also the less hostile: the route des Alpes.
Golf-Juan - Escragnolles - Séranon - Castellane - Barrême - Digne: four days, walk, done this hike by bad Mule rallying started the old grognards it finds. Three days later, he was acclaimed in Grenoble and strengthens considerably its small army with the goings forces him blocking the way who join him. On March 20, "the Eagle, flying steeple Bell Tower, comes to land on the towers of Notre-Dame..." It is on a few stretches remain of this road, hikes in this book will lead you...

Start at Séranon

Séranon is located at the limit of three Provencal departments: the Var and the Alpes de Haute Provence-Alpes Maritimes. Napoleon spent the night of 2 to 3 March 1815. A pretty plain planted with the Romanesque chapel of Gratemoine stretches between Lachens mountains and the Bauroux. Then proposed hikes take place in the Haut Var, unfortunately too often unrecognized and ignored by hikers. Only the GR 49 honoured it its passage. The old town of Séranon paints its walls collapsed in the alignment of the torn ridges of the Bauroux and proves the hiker when he gets there.

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The Bauroux

(Pronounced Baou Rou). In Provençal Baou or Bau means a spur, or a very prominent rocky peak with at least one vertical face very high and steep. The Baurouz emerges 600 metres above the plains of Séranon South, quail in the East and Valderoure North. If the climb to the Summit from the West is very progressive and very easy, the descent that follows, by the East (listing 3), sometimes requires the help of hands although it is safe. From the Summit, it is always possible to turn back if there is concern too steep slope of the face is. This route passes through the ruins of the old Seranon, the size of the ruined Church gives an idea about the size of the population who lived in this village.
Difficulty: medium. Departure altitude: 1100 m. top Point: 1644 Mr. total elevation gain: 550 m. the journey: 3 h 45.
•    Commit to height of the cross on the Northwest-oriented paved road.Behind the Church and follow the white red of GR 51 a.
•    In a hairpin turn, off the track with a left onto a road of crossed land, a string. Fork, go left, avoiding right one way private. A small spring flows to the right of the trail. Chapelle Ste-Brigitte. Do not take the path that climbs to the right but the left.
•    Ruins of the old Seranon village, pole tag No. 193. Take the direction: Bauroux-Valderoure.
•    Primitive Church of Séranon. Inside lies a remarkable monolithic baptistery.
•    Crossing the col, down 50 steps on the North to get to the directional post No. 194 side.
•    Turn right towards Bauroux, full, yellow tags abandoning the GR 51 A.
•    The path rises in regular slope a few metres below the line of crete, on the north side, in a beautiful forest of Scots pine. A tree bears the number 7 on white background in forest parcel limit. Separation of 2 marked parcels 6 and 7 to the left and right of a bleeding in the vegetation, up to the ridge line.
Keep children close to you and keep your dogs on a leash, some indentations bars plunging 500 meters along the trail in places.
•    The trail connects with the line of Ridge. Avoid left which descends to stay direction is, after a glance (be careful) on the precipice. Tag forest no. 5. Pretty rough steep, yellow marks mingle orange tags.
•    Crossroads of trails. Take the left, yellow milestones.
•    Pass on the edge of a steep fault above Seranon, prudence. Cross a small doline and walk along the Ridge direction is.
•    New sinkhole, Summit Ridge. Bauroux 1644 meters. Beautiful panorama. From here, two opportunities to return: the same route as the go or by face is.Caution steep descent, in the middle of (difficult) lapiaz, described below. At outlaw wet snow or sleet and fog. From is.
•    Cross a sinkhole, the trail goes to the hotter and plunges through the rocks. Tags yellow, and direction is to keep up a replat. The path becomes wider. Go left at the junction following. Exceed a tank and by the forest road, join the départementale.
•    (D) 79, won a little below the col bottom. Proceed on this road right to quail.
•    A quail, avoid the village left, take direction Grasse-Castellane. Cross Mission erected in 1827. Post tag No. 197. Abandon the departmental direction West to Seranon, a passable dirt road. Fork. Starting on the right, slightly uphill. Avoid the road to the right, a little further. Go to a power line on metal pylons and turn left.
Failing departure right, serving private properties. Cross the village from East to West.

The forests of Mons

In addition to this hike, Mons offers a certain attraction. Its history, its double stand Ligure tells du syndicat d'initiative prospectus; its Church of the 13th and the altarpieces that it contains; the belvedere from where the view stretches Toulon to the Italy; make this perched village of Haut-Var centre to visit. Esclapon forest, then that of Bliauge, objects of attentive care of the Forestry Office, constitute one of the interests of this golf course, because you can meet beautiful specimens of the original forest of this region, as well as tests of acclimatization of alien species (such as the pinsapo or Cedar). The visit of the dolmen of St-Pierre and the Gauls Tomb ends this journey up quick var area, crossed by the GR 49.
Easy. Altitude departure: 810 Mr. Point top: 1311 Mr. total elevation gain: 590 Mr. duration: 5 h 30. Parking: Mons, at the foot of the ruined tower north of the village entrance.
•    Out of Mons by the D 563 northbound.
•    At height of the old wash House, engage in the trail amount immediately after, right, white red, GR 49.Partir left on the logging road. Also at the next junction. Turn right onto the paved road that climbs towards the telecommunications antenna. Bypass it by Eastern and continue North on the old road.Along a power line 3 wire on pylons. The restanques range right. Pass under the H.T. line and the thread down on D 563 in the locality.
•    Follow the road for about 500 metres, and 15 to 20 before hectometres Terminal 4, descend into the bed of the watercourse. Ford and mounted the forest track in regular slope North-North-West. Abandon the GR, which leaves to the left, to his former track wide runway.
•    Two pillars surround the path. The restanques remain on each side, witnesses of farming past.
•    Ruins on the left. Fork, go left.
•    After a fairly stiff lace, neglecting the left lane mount always Northwest in the direction of the mountain of Lachens which dominates the horizon with its dishes. Almost ' arrived on the Ridge, the trail branches off, take the right branch, to penetrate the Esclapon forest, in the middle of oak trees, on a beautiful plateau.
•    Lead to a broad gone Cavalier, right from northbound, at the next crossroads, go left. (At each branch, adopt the way which seems the busiest, following the GR tags which reappear, enough spaced). Fork 200 meters after, go right.
•    Then 100 meters further, on the left. Do the same at the next fork. New crossing, go right.
•    Pass right between two pillars, northbound, and the Causeway Road heading right towards the castle of Esclapon (domain MAUREL). The closing from left limit plan of Canjuers military field. Leave the GR. Castle of Esclapon. Continue towards general Northeast on the road. After the Chapel, the beautiful park down to Mabile, admired in passing the good acclimatization of the "pinsapo", (FIR of Spain) and their majestic port (touched their spiky needles characteristics, planted in all senses).
•    Right leave the private road which descends down Esclapon, to stay on the road. Side 1084, bridge over the wire, followed by la ferme du Colombier.Left hand path that goes to the farm of the Lubi.
•    (D) 563. Mount left by the tarmac road.
Separating the departments Terminal: Var and Alpes Maritimes.
•    Turn right onto the arrow road: "Bliauge" to follow direction is, after Michel are houses.
•    This road it takes steps leave up to described a wide S in the forest of Bliauge.
•    A power line on wooden poles along the a moment. Building renovated and the end of the line. Right, Terminal edge of forest. After a climb the track turned South-South-West overlook the track amount left. The trees bear the letter "d" white or yellow on a white background in treeline. A ruin rises right at the edge of a sinkhole after a tree numbered 17 in yellow. Trees are in white, edge of plot. A cairn marks a departure from forest trail to neglect, while the road comes to the South-South-West. Do not go up to the sheepfold located on the right, in the clearing, but continue South by initiating the descent, on a narrow trail.
•    Down South in turning South-South-East in a sparse pine wood. Arrived on a small bare plateau continue South, down a steep slope, scarf then on a dry adret. Go under the guise of Oaks to cross the Roque redhead bar then through the terraces along the foot of the bar while returning South-South-West.The trail widens in logging road, which it cuts a loop to achieve on the stony road of things, to the last House.
•    Right from South, then Southwest on this track which paved 200 metres away.
•    Follow this road until the moment where a crossing of Earth the joins in from left.
•    Turn back on the road to the second power pole, dig into the maquis, by a small path on the right, one hundred to two hundred metres to discover the dolmen de ST-Pierre. Quite well preserved, it stands in the middle of the Oaks, having only lost its table.
Return to Earth rail. Take left and find an another paved road to follow to the right. There, ruins of the St-Pierre Chapel next to which is the "Gauls tomb".

The mountain of Lachens

Crowned by the parabolic antennas of the air surveillance of the territory, the Summit of Lachens is prohibited. But the approach is authorized until the barbed wire surrounding the military device, besides very limited surface. The mountain has 2 peaks: Lachens itself northeast (1714 m) and Var snow (1685 m) to the remote southwest among themselves to barely 1 km. The location of a former ski resort, now abandoned, on the Northwest Summit reflects a sizeable snow snowy years, especially on the side of ubac. The rumblings that we hear often come from the plan of Canjuers, artillery fire schools are hardly far. Each of the vertices a very wide horizon extends to the North, East and South.
Easy. Altitude departure: 1095 Mr. top Point: 1714 Mr total elevation gain: 700 m. duration: 5 h 35. Parking: N 85 branch of Rouaine.
•    Starting on the road to Rouaine dir Southwest. Hamlet of Rouaine. Across it from East to West, and take .the grassy path that continues the road. Leave two small buildings on the left and continue due west through the terraces. Two rocks white bar trail, from their left on the horizontal Board. The trail enters a pine wood. Meeting of an old way to go uphill to the left.
•    Do not worry about the Red tags that appear on the ground. Down, side 1284. Turn left on the road which descends South to then Veer West, plunging towards the hamlet of the Lubi. Exit the hamlet and proceed West-South-West, uphill in the direction of the antennas of the Summit of Lachens, by a beautiful forest road.
•    Exceed a water catchment and climbing left bank of the Valley of the wire. Fork, stay in the right lane. Branch is oriented towards the Pas de Lubi side 1370. Ignore footpaths that connect to the wider need to keep up the steps. 2 or 3 metres before reaching the step, go left onto a narrow path snaking South into the wood. Passage flat rather short in a beautiful stand of Scots pine and silver fir. At the fork, go right. Down the Adrech of Esclapon side 1500. Down the dirt road and take this amount to the right direction West.
•    Out of cover, beautiful breakaway on the village of Roque of Esclapon. The route is a northeast hook and emerges coast 1624, between the two peaks.To the North the old buildings of Var snow stand their dilapidated facades.
•    From right along the line of the watershed to the antennas, following on poles and ground yellow tags. Return by the same route that outward until the pas de Lubi, after doing a hook atop 1685 Southwest. Side 1624 (the time to ascend and descend from 1685 is not counted here). Take the forest road down. Side 1500. Down the Adrech of Esclapon. Now down north face of the mountain on a wide forest track. Fork, go right. Same operation.
•    Beautiful stand of silver fir in the hollow of the Valley. Descent with laces. Barrier O.N.F. runway. Without crossing the Rieufort Creek, go right along the river left bank. In the North, opposite the houses of the Aco de Cailles; and above, the ruins of old Séranon.
•    Abandon the way agricultural leaves left in the meadows, to engage on the small trail to the right direction is in wood, height of a big pine tree bearing two tags orange. Start on the left then. Left stands on its small mound beyond the meadows, the beautiful Romanesque chapel of Gratemoine. In the distance, Seranon, at the foot of the Bauroux.
•    On the right take the forest trail, following the orange marks. New forest route, start on the left to arrive before 2 barriers O.N.F. and post No. 201. Take right direction is, "Pas de la Clue". Another barrier. Start on the left following the orange tags, on the edge of a forest plot bounded by red and white markings.
Advance left bank of the Brook standing a few yards from it. Get on the road behind an old House. Post No. 207, continue s.s.0 on the N 85, at 300 m.

The tour of the mountain de Brouis

For once, this will not be a Summit, but the tour of the mountain which will be a hike, in the foothills of the Alps. Incidentally, the castle in ruins of Bargème lists his haughty silhouette. Further, descending on the Artuby, the remains of le Castellas, above the Bastide Neuve, and the remains of the Château de Ste-Magdeleine dominant the village of la Bastide remind, that formerly, all lands fallow crossed during the journey, were an important source of agricultural production that needed protecting. The climb to the Grand Brouis presents little interest. However one of small Brouis, whose Summit is reached, offer of further views on this part of the Haut Var. described in D5, the rise of the small Summit, may secure from here and give 275 metres of ascent, with AR, to add to the figures below.
Easy. Altitude departure: 973 Mr. top Point: 1150 m. total elevation: 350 m. duration: 4 h 40. Parking: La Bastide, the village square, after the hotel of Lachens.
•    Exit of the village by the bridge, in front of the hotel, at the foot of the oratory, following the GR 49 red white tags. Leave a path left, climb along the paved, lined with a power line. The coating of the road stops at the entrance of a villa. Continue West on the road to Earth who succeeded him. Mount by a shoelace to a small pass, which is to be right. The silhouette of the ruins of the castle of Bargème is cut out West on the top of a hill, in the general direction of market.
•    Longer a restanque through a meadow. Below the hamlet of the Estang. Find the cart path to turn right, always westward.
•    Far and away, plates looks of water buried under the path line are exposed soil. Leave on the left the hamlet of the Grau (Provençal name of figs dryers, from the latin "craticius" = mesh) is pronounced "gjorgjevska". Passage above the hamlet of Besson.
•    Side 1092 and water tank. If you want to visit the ruins of the castle of the Pontevès and the village of Bargème, go Southeast the Romanesque church contains a beautiful altarpiece of St-Sébastien (key to City Hall). Time of visit not counted here. Coast 1092 go Northwest on the road parallel to the paved road.
•    Junction turn right. Go under the power line 3 wire. New fork, mount right, North, abandoning the GR which continues West, left, to the St-Laurent Chapel.
•    Leave a small farm on the left. Col Pra Guillem, cote 1159. To mount small Brouis, take D 5. Neglecting the left hand path, down North-North-East by a good well traced path. To the North, at the bottom, the Bastide Neuve, followed by le Castellas whose ruins range on the Hill. Side 1007, leave left the entrance to la Bastide and dive right in steep descent. After the slope, the route turns northeast in the forest. Closes mills. Fork, go left. The Artuby bar the way.
•    Avoid the cross, along its course left bank westward without depart.
•    Bridge of the greenhouse. Cross it and turn left onto Causeway Road. Fifty meters before the macadam, take on the right the said Earth path "path of lime kilns" which turns towards the East, almost straight. Passage in a drop side 1039. (D) 52. Follow this road Southeast, right. The Passadoires bridge.Continue on the 52 D. Failing a first forest track right. As well as which hand left. Steps further, engage right on the path, in wood, to the post of a power line 3-wire South direction.
•    To the Southeast, the parabolic antennas of Lachens stand in the sky.
•    In the Meadow towards the isolated House and veer to the left, just before it, to find the missing track. Passage in the House that is left to right.
•    D 52, go south until it meets the D 21.
•    Follow it starting right to the col de Clavel. Take the road to right prohibited to vehicular traffic.
Down all right. The ruins of the Castle and the chapel Ste-Magdeleine, road, invisible lie to the East, in wood 200 metres above the road level and are accessible by the former village, after water.

The small Brouis

The Summit of the Grand Brouis buried under the forest offers that clearance to view restricted. Instead, largely cleared the tops of small Brouis to contemplate fully on 3 sides (South, West and North) a very beautiful panorama. If we add the Bargème visit, with its medieval walls, his Church and the ruins of its castle of the family of the Pontevès, there is what furnish a good vacation day.
Average. Departure altitude: 1050 m. top Point 1432 Mr. total elevation gain: 400 m. the journey: 2 h 15. Parking: Bargème.
Parking (circulation in the village is regulated), climb to the village by road and then through the streets, go to the ruined castle, passing under a dated enclosure door 15th. The time of visits is not counted here.
•    Behind the Castle, to the Northwest, embark on the road of land parallel to a paved road, in front of the Chapel St-Pierre and, after the fire hydrant, turn right North-oriented road.
•    A few steps from the junction following the Terminal, left, ride on a trail, by abandoning the cart path. Take a left onto the fork. Cross a small drop and continue uphill slope. Entering a pine wood where the trail is slightly visible from the replat. Keep the same cap, turning slightly North.
•    Small collar. Part 1159, Pra Guillem. Is starting amount by a cart path. In a cluster of scattered blocks at the bottom of a rabbit Hutch, mount on the left edge of it, off the trail, leaving the dirt track. At the top of the scree, veer North-North-East, climb in a sling by more or less apparent moutonnes sentes, toward the large indentation of the Rocky Ridge bars. Lead on a sloping plateau, to the tune of a cairn.
•    Follow the edge of the bars to 2 or 3 metres of their edge, northward to reach the Terminal 1432, Petit Brouis Summit. Attention, the rocks are very slippery in rain or freezing weather and the sheer bars of several hundred metres.
•    Back South to reach the southern boundary of the plateau, where extensive views South and West.
Join the cairn on the western edge, because the descent cannot be carried out by the same route as that of the rise.

Top of La Clare

From the top of the Hill of La Clare, and despite its relatively low height (1266 m), the view extends far to the North, up the mountain in a beautiful perspective on the Tang to the North-North-East the Bauroux to the East and Destourbes who bar the horizon stands its very recognizable peak. On the other side, on the left we can guess Mourre Chanier North-West and closer, Robion on the North mountain.
Easy. Departure altitude: 917 m. Point at the top: 1266 m. total elevation gain: 450 m. journey: 3 h. Parking: Brenon (Henry).
•    The Henry, a hamlet right down northeast to the Aubrans by the tarmac road. Bridge over the Beautar stream. Farm of the Aubrans (private property) ask the occupants permission to cross the property to go to the ruins of I'Iscle. Pass homes turning slightly West-North-West along the meadow and onto the forest path that climbs gently sloping. Lead to the ruins of the Iscle, bypass it and head right to the power line on wooden poles.
•    Then to the left, down a few metres, to reach a path operation.
•    Go left on this road, Southwest. Cross fording the stream of Beautar and leave a little farther a concrete tower with a transformer. Fork, go left. Junction with the D 52. Borrow this amount left. On the right, after a loop of road side 861, take the forest road of the forest of Maurin-Clare. Follow without deviating up to height of the tank of D.F.C.I. where you turn left. The track ends. Return a hundred step backwards. Rocks are green on the South side of the road.
•    Enter the wood in this place and be guided by the same color marks made on trunks of trees, southbound first, indicating a poorly drawn path which orients progressive towards the East at the same time it is punctuated by small cairns. It becomes more apparent in amount slightly. Turning due East, it reaches the Summit reported by a large cairn. Particularly spread panoramic view. Take a trail that plunges to the right of the cairn is. Very steep and very steep.
•    Through the foot of the bar which stands to the East, it becomes more workable, less steep, past in a rabbit Hutch then, at the bottom of the bar. It takes the northbound downhill light along a line of the watershed. On the right opens an aven closed by twigs to prevent an accident. It's the aven of Clots.
•    The ridge is barred by a rocky outcrop. Veer right onto the flank North of the Hill tumbling in a sling to achieve a forest track. Go to right Northeast over a hundred steps, then abandon this road turning left, to retake another, somewhat lower in one area water catchment.
Go past the tanks and continue down. First houses on the left. Out D 52, turn left. The HENRY.

Saint-Pancrace - Digne
Bléone Valley - Digne

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