While this is not my favorite trail in the area I thought I would document it nonetheless for anyone who might be looking for more information about regional trails. The climb up the pass and back down the other side is mostly through dense forest with few views. The stretch along the ridge at the top, however, offers panoramic views across the Pyrenees into Spain and France.
It’s a long, pretty drive from Ceret along the D115 down the Tech valley to la Preste les Bains (D115A). The paved road ends at a parking lot just past the town.
From here follow the dirt road past the chèvrerie (goat cheese farm) Plana Nera to where the trail (#20) to col de Siern breaks off to the left. Continue climbing on this trail which crosses several forest roads.
Does anyone know what kind of snake this is?
At the fourth crossroad jog 10 meters to your right along the fire road to pick up the trail again to your left. Continue to follow the signs to “col de Siern“.
At the col (pass) you’ll find border marker 514 and 360 views of the surrounding valleys.
Turn left and continue across the rolling ridge.
The trail at this point is through pasture land and at times not well marked but if you keep to your left along the ridge you’ll eventually reach a fence on your left which will lead you to border marker 515, with views of the Massif du Canigó.
Turn left, passing through the fence, and follow the red and yellow blazes back down the valley to the village of La Forge. Once in town follow the yellow blazes, turning right on the main road and left over a bridge that leads to a trail to the left that goes up the hill and hits the main road (left) back into La Preste les Bains and back to the parking lot.
Back at the start of the trail just before the rain.
From Les Pyrénées-Orientales – balade et randonnée à pied, #10 Le Col de Siern. 11 kilometers with a 650 meter ascent.
June 2, 2012
For links to all the posts in this series see the French Pyrenees page.