Hiking has become one of the world’s most popular outdoor activities and makes for a great day out as part of your holiday at the Wyndham Halcyon Retreat Golf and Spa resort. Although enjoyable any time of year, we have a particular fondness for hiking during May and October because of the dramatic seasonal colours we find here at the retreat. Our arboretum and surroundings light up a brilliant fiery orange in autumn and you’ll find in the springtime all the shades of green dotted with vibrant blossoms.
There are hundreds of hiking trails to discover all over the Creuse region. Now more than ever, they are easier to find due to the ever-growing number of helpful websites and apps providing routes via GPS, information and even free audio guides that will teach you the history and some interesting facts about places of interest as you walk.
Here are just a few of our local favourites to get you started. We have included links so that you have access to the fantastic route maps online.
La Faille des 3 Provinces
Distance: 8.3 km
The Town Hall (Mairie) of Saint-Agnant-de-Versillat
This 8 Kilometre loop will take you on a journey along the banks of the Sedelle river and through woodland, along the rocky formations of the Marche Fault (which during the 100 years war with England became a battle frontier). You’ll meander through the tiny village of L’Aumône. Continue on to discover the Font Saint Martin, the fountain believed even until very recently to hold magical healing powers. Next, pass the cemetery where you will find one of the Limousin region’s famous “Lanterns of the Dead” until you finally reach back around to the tiny and charming Bourg (town).
For some alternative smaller routes, perfect for young families, there are lovely trails with gorgeous printable maps specifically designed with children in mind from the Saint-Agnant Information Website.
De l’Eau et des Hommes
Distance: 8.64 km
The school car park across the road from the Cazinoth Restaurant. You’ll find the dedicated signpost with information for two trail options entitled “Etangs de la Cazine”.
This trail will take you on a route that eventually passes by our resort and the majestic three lakes. You’ll pass by what used to be an old farming estate, Puy Merlin. During medieval times, the estate would have covered vast swathes of the countryside, including several natural springs. A little further on, you will come by an ancient washhouse and old granite curb, which was most probably once used as a hand grindstone. One of the most beautiful sights of this trail is the Grande Cazine Pond; hardly a “pond”, it is the second-largest lake in the Creuse area and spans over 50 hectares. You’ll take a stroll through the tiny but pretty hamlet of Serriers whose name originates from Cherry Tree.
You’ll be almost back at the resort a little further on, but don’t hurry on too quickly before you take in the fantastic views from The Barde, where you’ll see the entire Cazine Estate and its two Chateaux, standing proudly with a backdrop of the Grande Cazine Lake. If you decide to continue the loop back to where you started, you’ll enjoy walking along the Petite Cazine, the smallest of the three lakes teeming with wildlife. We recommend bringing some binoculars with you because the area is perfect for birdwatching!
Étang du Cheix et château de Bridiers
Distance: 3 km
The car park of Étang du Cheix
This well-marked and peaceful 1-hour loop is ideal for a leisurely stroll. It will take you alongside the Étang du Cheix, through some woodland and passes by the historic site of Bridiers Castle. Keep a look out for the ancient fountain where Caesar supposedly once watered his horse! Back at the lake, you’ll come by The Brasserie, a waterside restaurant that is a perfect spot to end the trail, rest your legs and sip a coffee.
If you would prefer a longer trail, there is a 9.4Km route available on the Visorando app; (scan this QR code).
…And something special for little hikers!
Check out the geocaching site Terra Aventura where you can download the mobile app which will give you access to trail instructions, fun and quirky quizzes and treasure hunts for little adventurers. There is even a cool treasure hunt to discover right in our very own arboretum!