One of the most beautiful valleys in the Cantal... a recognised source of ecological wealth...
The road from the Col de Néronne to Salers is one of the most beautiful in the Cantal. From the pass, you can see Le roc des Ombres (1633 metres), at the foot of which the Maronne river springs forth.
This 64km-long river flows through St-Paul-de-Salers and St-Martin-Valmeroux. It is a tributary of the Dordogne and is highly varied, forming a small torrent in its upstream section with cascades, then widening (15 to 25m) and deepening further down.
The head of the valley is particularly interesting, enough to have been classified by the département as a "Sensitive Natural Area" in 2008. The ecological wealth of the Récusset site is preserved and promoted to the general public via 2 interpretation trails.
This glacial valley offers a variety of landscapes: forests on the north-facing slopes are matched by meadows or broom-filled mountain moorland on the south-facing slopes.
Downstream, the valley narrows and flows into the Enchanet dam.
There's no shortage of hiking trails to enjoy the valley's diverse landscapes. In addition to the 2 interpretation trails of the Récusset cirque at the head of the valley, there are 2 more starting from the village of St-Martin-Valmeroux: “En suivant la Maronne" (13km-3h) and "Sur la route de Salers" (14km-4h30). Further downstream in the gorges, at Loupiac, "Le château de Branzac" (7km-2h) and from St-Martin-Cantalès, "Notre-Dame du château" (9km-2h). Then it's on to the Enchanet dam and the Longairoux promenade.
Fishing is relatively easy, but the gorges are a little more challenging (2 selective courses: on the Maronne and the Aspre at Fontanges and on the Maronne at St-Martin-Valmeroux).