The ascent to the north of the Réseau Vert ® is sometimes winding, on a rather physical route at the beginning. The route skirts the summits of the Monts d'Orb, largely covered by the national forest of the same name. Thanks to the gaps in the vegetation, a few viewpoints appear on the Larzac and the Languedoc plain before the arrival in the high meadows of the Col de Serviès.
THE MONTS D'ORB BALCONIES
The hiking area of the Monts d'Orb balconies is made up of a network of 200km of forest paths, tracks and trails, 120km of which are located on balconies, offering a unique panoramic view. On a clear day, the Mediterranean and the Languedoc-Roussillon plain from the Camargue to the Pyrenees can be seen from the south, while to the north, the Aigoual and Mont Lozère massifs invite you to go further afield.
The English would have occupied Serviès for several years, at the time of the Hundred Years' War (12th century). They would have left with only one regret: not having exploited all the gold in the mountain! The specialities of Serviès are to be tasted on the spot: the "croustade" with walnuts, the boudin with wild herbs, and the "âne farci" (stuffed donkey) which, contrary to what one might think, is stuffed pig's stomach.
THE FOREST OF THE MONTS D'ORB
The forest, subject to a dual Mediterranean and oceanic influence, contains a remarkable botanical diversity. It is made up of very contrasting environments depending on the altitude and exposure. In the lowlands, holm oaks abound, forming a dense maquis. Higher up, the pubescent oaks are punctuated by chestnut groves. Then beech becomes the majority at higher altitudes, taking advantage of the generous humidity levels. Reforestation with conifers has partially modified the face of this forest, which is home to the most beautiful deer population in the department, introduced in 1965.