The hike runs through the Grande Cariçaie and its orchards in bloom and offers many viewpoints on the largest lake nature reserve in Switzerland.
Setting off from Estavayer-le-Lac railway station, we cross the town and head for the lake. We pass near the cemetery and Tour de la Trahison (Traitors’ Tower). Once outside the ramparts, we follow the path to the shoreline. We continue our walk, taking the asphalted road along the edge of the wood for a further 1.5 km or so. At Font, we enter the Cheyres nature reserve. From now on, only walkers and cyclists are permitted. It’s worth taking time to consult the interpretation panels explaining the Grande Cariçaie, listen to the joyful croaking of the frogs, discover the little hidden bays, and observe the ever-watchful fauna.
On leaving the reserve and arriving at the railway level crossing, we turn left and join the main route on our right as far as the hiking panel. We now fork left and head for the villa zone, which we skirt as far as the top. A path featuring Stations of the Cross in the wood leads us to the Oratoire de Bonne Fontaine (Bonne Fontaine Oratory), but not before taking us past a charming little chapel.
We continue our journey and cross the village of Châbles in the direction of Châtillon following the signs. From the start of the descent to Châtillon, a sign invites us to admire the breath-taking view of the Grande Cariçaie and the Jura from the panoramic lookout. We decide to make a detour. We then retrace our steps and begin our descent into the Châtillon forest and finally Estavayer-le-Lac by the agricultural road.
Tip: Drink a cocktail or eat fish at the Restaurant des Lacustres or the adjacent bar Le Ripper
Accessible by public transport: yes
Accessible by car: yes
Difference in height: +/- 232m