Some paths offer pleasant walks:
• le Tour des remparts (Tour of ramparts) allows to discover the outside of the fortifications registered on the Unesco world heritage list. This yellow marked path (PR10 or PR3) makes the tour of Mont-Louis in 1h
• le Sentier des oiseaux (Birds path) on the PR10 yellow marked, will introduce you to the observation and to the birdsongs on a short walk of around 30 minutes. This path recognized by the Fondation Nicolas Hulot has been realized by the students of the Mont-Louis primary school.
At 800m down the city you will find the train station. Count 20 minutes walking from the village. From there leave yellow marked paths (PR) connecting the villages of Saint-Pierre-dels Forcats, Planès and Saint-Thomas-les-Bains for 2 to 4 hours walking. These family paths are well described into the hikies topo "Capcir et Haut-Conflent" (on sale at 5€).
The Tour of Mills
At La Cabanasse, between the village and Mont-Louis, is the hamlet of Mills in reference to mills for flour from the beginning of the 18th century.
The first mill was in the oldest farm. It is yet quoted in an inventory from 1540, under the name of "Moli de dalt" or mill from above. It is property of Barthélémy Blanquer, but it is Jean de Foix, probabely a brother of the Lord of Foix, who gets back its production for a half. Thos mill will disappear at the middle of the 19th century. It remains only two canals for water evacuation.
in 1686, the first governor of Mont-Louis François de Fortia, Marquis de Durban, wished to build a specific mill for Mont-Louis. In 1691, Louis XIV the King of France, granted to his devoted governor a privilege. The text wearing royal seal allowed him to build and exploit the "Moli del Rey" (Mill of the king). In compensation, the governor should to the king pay each four years a haunch of hind, the current nominal sum!
In 1700, the governor ordoned to everyone to use his mill to grind the wheat. This abuse of power will bring bad luck him because he died the same year and his descendants should sell the mill very quickly to a notable from Mont-Louis, Sieur Burgat, a doctor. Over the centuries, the mill will return to the farmers, the Blanquer then the Blanc (same family) which live close by.
In 1946, the SNCF (French national railway company) requisitions the water from the river Têt to furnish it to the hydroelectric statios which feed the Train Jaune (yellow train). For lack of sufficient water, the mill stopped to work. The last miller tried an electrification by a 40cv engine but unsuccessfully he stopped his activity. Once closed, the mill is fast going to deteriorate. 30 years ago the roof collapsed. Two possibilities then: to let it collapse completly or to empty the building in order to convert it into house. An intermediate solution is taken: the high part of the building is converted in apartment whereas the bottom keeps the mill.
Some hiking ideas surrounding
For a half-day:
• Lacs de Pradeilles : easily accessible, this buckle doesn't present a big made uneven and offers a pleasant and family tour. Sentier d'Emilie, yellow marked.
• Col del Pam - Les Bouillouses : magnificient itinerary in undergrowth to discover the discreet charm of the Lac de Pradeilles, final stop with the dam of Bouillouses. Yellow marked.
• Tour du Lac des Bouillouses : in a frame reminding Canadian landscapes, the Lac des Bouillouses is one of the highest in Europe, dominated by peaks Péric. Yellow marked.
For a day:
• Les étangs du Carlit : loop arround the 12 lakes in a picturesque and charming landscape. Yellow marked.
• Pic Carlit : highest summit of the Pyrénées-Orientales, it peaks the Lacs du Lanoux and Bouillouses into a 360° panorama which deserves well a good effort. Yellow marked to Lac Soubiran then red marked.
• Pic Péric : less busy than Carlit, peaks Péric, the high and the low, are worth seeing and offer a view over the chain of Pyrénées. Yellow marked to Refuge de la Balmette then cairns.
• Cambre d'Aze : sportive hike, more than 1000m of made uneven for a masterful point of view over Cerdagne. No marking, to follow ski runs.
• Vallée d'Eyne : world wide recognized natural reserve for its flora wealth and diversity, studied from the 17th century. Yellow marked untill the Orri de Baix then cairns.
• Les Gorges de la Carança : ledge cut into the rock, then footbridges to cross the river. Several possible itineraries from 1h30 to 2 days with a stop at the refuge Ras de Carança.
Safety and mountain rescue
It is recommended to know how to be rescue and how to alert. Caution, the rescue service is not systematically free in all the countries. If you are hiking outside of France territory, or in a border area, verify that you are covered by your insurance for search expenses and mountain rescue. Plan an insurance repatriating.
Mountain rescue - PGHM : +33 (0)4 68 04 51 03 ou 112
1. Study your route! Inquire about accessibility conditions. To envisage a trip it supposes that your are able to read a map and to estimate the potential risks.
2. Choose a route at your level. Be able to measure your physical and technical abilities.
3. Have the adequat equipment. Leave with first aid kit (sterile compresses, bétadine, elastic bandages, round-ended pair of scissors, adhesive cutaneous sutures, latex gloves). Take a good knife, a lamp, a foil blanket and a during winter a tag ARVA, a shovel and a probe.
4. Check the weather forcast! In mountain the weather could change quickly, leave informed.
5. Prevent a friend about your route and the planned hour of return.
6. Do not hesitate to ask to a professional guide to advise you and guide you.
7. Count with the existing marking. Be carefull, the marking can be erased or destroyed or too numerous. A marking is not a guarantee. You should know how to read and interpretate a map. It is more efficient.
8. Be able to turn back, in case of difficulty or of change of conditions.
9. Assistance : Witness of an accident, react to protect, alert, and help. Caution, you are not a doctor. You should put the wounded person in safety, know how to give the alert (where? when? how?) and help. While waiting the mountain rescue, you can pack the wound, warm, rassure and establish an index card of alert to help the first medical-aid workers. Keep calm, an accident can sometimes cause an other one.