La Barlatte watermill
The Barlatte mill
The cogs and water wheels at Monsieur Jusbert’s mill have been silent since 1942. Until this date, the peasants from the surrounding villages and hamlets would go down to the mill with their mule. The sieved flour would be used for bread and to feed the animals.When the population of the area was at its highest, the miller worked for a thousand people. Since 1993, the National Park, along with the “Gardaren Casteù-Nou” association, has renovated the mill, saving a bat colony by providing an adapted area for them to reproduce in peacefully.
The Saucha Negra gorges
The gorges are the manifestation of a typical limestone landscape. These steep walls are the result of the action of rainwater which, charged with carbonic gas, dissolve the limestone and penetrate into the rocks, creating underground drainage networks which grow gradually bigger.
Then the upper part collapses and the river flows in the open air, trapped between two vertical walls.
The return journey to pick up the itinerary takes place along the same track.
The Roumegier woods
History of a landscape
Above the Tourrès track, opened in 1910, the limestone cliffs, protected by a prefectorial Biotope decree, are the reproduction ground for several birds of prey: golden eagle, peregrine falcon, Eurasian eagle owl… The whole area appears natural and wild but the remains of old crop beds or hay meadows, ruined farms or barns and even an entire ruined hamlet, Barels (located within the boundaries of the commune of Guillaumes), provide an insight into how life was long ago.
Each plot of land was cultivated using a mule or a mare, the indispensable assistants for humans at the time.In 1828, Châteauneuf has 298 inhabitants living entirely self-sufficiently thanks to their agricultural activities.
From the village, take the stony path for Les Tourrès, overlooking the Barlatte valley. At marker 198, head right into the Roumegier woods; the path descends rapidly in zigzags in the shade of the Scotch pines.
At marker 197, the path cuts across the channel which formerly supplied the village of Châteauneuf with water. Continue through a wood of deciduous trees and reach marker 196, above the mill.
The latter is nestled in the heart of a clearing, a calme and restful place to take a short break. Rejoin the path and follow directions for “Châteauneuf”. The path includes shady zones and areas of marlstone which are fitted with a handrail.
The itinerary ends with a visit of the village of Châteauneuf.A short variation is possible at marker 197: it allows you, by following the former canal path, to reach the remarkable Saucha Negra gorges where the Barlatte flows, providing water for the irrigation channel for the village and for the watermill.
Access and parking
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