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Les Tourbières du Plateau de la Verrerie

Mountain, Viewpoint, Natural wonder, Moors, heathland, Bog, Uplands in Saint-Rirand
  • A veritable paradise for numerous species, some of which date back to the Ice Age, this wild plateau, surrounded by mountain moors, offers magnificent views over the Roannais, the Alps and the Auvergne. Natura 2000 site and ENS

  • The path winds its way through mountain moorland, where grazing has been restored, to the heart of the peat bog. Signs and an orientation table help you decipher the landscape and this rich yet fragile environment.

    To the east of the village of Saint-Nicolas-des-Biefs, the Verrerie plateau boasts rare plant species, some of which date back to the Ice Age. This rich, unspoilt natural environment is an exceptional habitat for many species.

    The plateau is characterized by typical mountain...
    The path winds its way through mountain moorland, where grazing has been restored, to the heart of the peat bog. Signs and an orientation table help you decipher the landscape and this rich yet fragile environment.

    To the east of the village of Saint-Nicolas-des-Biefs, the Verrerie plateau boasts rare plant species, some of which date back to the Ice Age. This rich, unspoilt natural environment is an exceptional habitat for many species.

    The plateau is characterized by typical mountain heaths, iridescent with pink hues in late summer, but also by the presence of a peat bog (an area where organic matter accumulates), home to the rare viviparous lizard, and a small carnivorous plant, the round-leaved drosera.

    Since 2011, a summer pasture has been set up on this protected natural site, with herds grazing from May to October. The site remains accessible to all non-motorized hikers, but a few rules must be observed, such as adapting one's behavior to the animals present (cattle, sheep, goats, etc.), respecting their tranquillity, or closing the gates of the pens.

    Interpretation signs will help you understand why this plateau is such a unique and well-preserved natural heritage.

    The wooden footbridge on the plateau will enable all visitors to discover the peat bog and its astonishing landscapes. From the orientation table, near the Roc du Vacher, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Roanne plain, the Alps and the Chaîne des Puys, as well as the Loire Valley, the Forez plain and the Monts du Lyonnais. If the weather is fine, you may even catch a glimpse of the Mont Blanc massif.

    The plateau is named Verrerie after the glassmakers who came to settle in Saint-Nicolas-des-Biefs in the 17th century, as the region had everything they needed: silica to make glass and forests to feed the furnaces. Glassmaking flourished until the French Revolution.

    The site is protected at European level (part of the Natura 2000 network of sites) and has been awarded the "Espace Naturel Sensible départemental" (ENS) label by the Loire department.
  • Spoken languages
    • French
Services
  • Accessibility
    • Not accessible in a wheelchair
  • Equipment
    • Car park
    • Free car park
    • Coach parking
    • Themed path
  • Services
    • Pets welcome
    • Unguided group tours
    • Themed tour
    • Unguided individual tours
Openings
Openings
  • All year 2024
    Open Everyday
  • * Subject to snow conditions
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