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The Grande Cariçaie and orchards in bloom

A visit to the Grande Cariçaie nature reserve
Estavayer-le-Lac – Cheyres – Châbles – Estavayer-le-Lac

Setting off from Estavayer-le-Lac railway station, we cross the town and head for the lake. We pass near the cemetery and Tour de la Trahison (Traitors’ Tower). Once outside the ramparts, we follow the path to the shoreline. We continue our walk, taking the asphalted road along the edge of the wood for a further 1.5 km or so. At Font, we enter the Cheyres nature reserve. From now on, only walkers and cyclists are permitted. It’s worth taking time to consult the interpretation panels explaining the Grande Cariçaie, listen to the joyful croaking of the frogs, discover the little hidden bays, and observe the ever-watchful fauna.

On leaving the reserve and arriving at the railway level crossing, we turn left and join the main route on our right as far as the hiking panel. We now fork left and head for the villa zone, which we skirt as far as the top. A path featuring Stations of the Cross in the wood leads us to the Oratoire de Bonne Fontaine (Bonne Fontaine Oratory), but not before taking us past a charming little chapel. We continue on our way and cross the village of Châbles, heading for Estavayer-le-Lac. At altitude point 591, a picnic spot beckons. Be sure not to miss the fabulous views of the Grande Cariçaie and Jura. Following access tracks we then come to Châtillon followed by Estavayer-le-Lac.

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