Europeans seeking "green vacations" come to Ariege in summer to enjoy walking in unspoiled surroundings. This is the busiest time of the year, but it never feels crowded.
For many people, September and October are the best months: warm and sunny, and you have the forest trails to yourself. In winter the ski stations are busy, and you can rent snowshoes to explore the mountains. May and early June are the best times to see wildflowers and orchids in bloom.
Walks starting from the house
Around the house walks abound. There are many small tracks of various difficulties. To each according to his possibilities. Our house is located in a meadow on the edge of a great forest of oaks. Higher in the mountain pastures with less vegetation and blueberries with rhododendrons.
Here are 4 places to go:
- Les granges de Montgallas (2 to 3 hours)
- Le Corral (2 to 3 hours)
- Le mont Béas (7 to 8 hours)
- Le Tuc de la Coume (5 to 6 hours)
You can see photos at: http://a402.idata.over-blog.com/0/48/18/23/Tuc-de-la-Coume/20-Vallee-du-Garbet-copie-1.JPG. View from the top is magnificent. In winter it is a perfect place for a walk starting from the house with snow shoes.
Walks starting within a 15 km range
Un espace naturel préservé, des lacs d'altitudes, des cascades, des balades familiales, des escapades en Espagne, des marches à la journée: c'est ce que vous réserve le Haut-Couserans.
Most interesting places and best information can be found at the AULUS CITY TOURIST OFFICE WEBSITE. It is a long and hard work done by Mr Herve Rieu.
Information / security
In order not to lose your way, here is a short reminder of the signs posted on your way.
Some rule to respect
- Mountain people are very friendly especially in the Ariege area. There life is not like in the city and if you meet someone, greet them with a few word even if it is only good day.
- Reclose all gates; beware of electric fences.
- In order to enjoy your walk it is best to wear appropriate walking shoes.
- Of course keep the mountain clean! Bring back picnic rubbish in a plastic bag so that the area remain pleasant for other walkers.
- Leave your dogs at home, because even on leash, they disturb wild life and can frighten herds.
- Fires: no matter what season it is, do not light fires.
- Leave flowers were there are, a photograph last a lot longer.
Precautions- In the case of a viper bite, never tie a chemist tourniquet, do not panic because it is not fatal and go to the closest chemist.
- Take your mobile phone with you. It can be use to call emergency (N° 112).
- The weather change quickly in the montains. When a storm threatens, go downhill quickly, avoid the ridges or cols (very exposed), do not take refuge under a tree or rock and look for a shelter in a hut or a forest.