The Pelenc forest from Moissac Bellevue
The circuit around the state-owned Pelenc forest is done on wide and relatively flat paths. Once on your way, you will go back up the history of this forest and discover the trails left by mankind and his activities; the traces of coal, the members of the French Resistance, farmers, or officers of Water and Forestry
The Château de Moissac
Located in the lower village, the castle dates from the 17th century. It has belonged to different families: Baron d’Hesmivy, Mr Antoine Emerigon, a rich merchant from Marseille who was appointed controller at the chancellery of the court of Provence in the reign of Louis XVI, and then Mr Laurent Edouard de Coriolis. Abandoned for several decades, the heirs sold it to the current owner in 1992. The castle was remarkably restored so that its authenticity was safeguarded.
Nice view of Moissac
Moissac Bellevue has its origins in Roman times. Then the land belonged successively to the Blacas family of Aups and the Coriolis family. The village was a stronghold in the 11th century and was then renamed in 1939 by the prefect of the Var department to avoid confusion with another Moissac situated in the southwest. This baptism was the occasion to emphasize the exceptional view that the village offers over the plain, the surrounding hills of the Maures Massif as well as Sainte Baume
View of the hills of Aups
If travelling across the plains in spring, you will have the opportunity to see the yellow color of the meadows before arriving at Moissac.
Emergency WaterEmergency water
The ponds are real havens of peace and places where wildlife comes to drink especially during the hot summers. If you are discreet, it is not uncommon to see animals that quench their thirst.
Go to coal
This is a profession forgotten today: charcoal burner. In Provence, we say "carbounié". Its origin dates back to the mid-19th century when energy needs transformed the industry and domestic life. The artisanal technique of producing charcoal is long and requires expertise. It is necessary, needless to say, to cut wood. On communal properties, this activity was subject to authorization and, in order to allow the forest to regenerate, cutting and rest are alternated.
The Maquisards’ Tank
In Pelenc, tanks were used as water reserves at the beginning of last century. One of them is called: the "Maquisards’ Tank". This name refers to a forest site located in the woods during the Second World War. The little troop consisting of forty men were not a kind of "maquis", active and armed people, as it often existed in the Haut-Var at the same time. Most charcoal burners exercised this ancient and traditional activity here.
A forest for a fountain
The forest of Pélenc hods a special place in the history of Moissac. This forest of over 600ha mainly composed of green and white oaks has constituted one of the main resources of the village for a long time. The town decided to buy a second source because of the lack of water, and the municipal finances began to suffer from this operation. To pay off the debts, they finally decided however to sell the forest to the Water and Forest department of the State at the end of the century.
The bell tower
Bell tower of the parish church of the transfiguration dedicated to Saint-Sauveur Octagonal bell tower of the mid-19th century. A bull of Pope Gregory IX mentions that it would have been the church of the Templars.
From the fountain, engage in the Rue de l'eglise and go down the first staircase on the left. Continue on the path to the Reynouard house (shaded path between walls), then cross the D30. Continue straight to the next intersection and turn left. Then after 200m, reach the "Chemin du Plan" to the right. Continue on this small road lined with clearings and pass a countryside basketry workshop. Continue for 1.7km to the field of the Gros Bec domain.
1- Continue straight on the dirt road entering the forest of Pélenc. Leave behind the different fires track to the sides and continue straight for 2km.
2- Commit to the right on the "Chemin du Vallon de Bolle". Follow it for 1km and head back through the green oak forest, the valley until the crossroads of Chemin de Moissac and Chemin de Régusse.
3- Follow the direction of Moissac (not shown) to the right. Proceed on the second track. Follow the path, under the oaks in front of the old coal and the tank of the Maquisards then go down for 500m until the track "Baquis". Follow it to a tank. Continue straight in the middle of the pines. At the next intersection (800m), leave to the right the "Piste de l'Auviduery" and take the second path to the left. The path goes back up the plateau and to reach at a barrier a junction of routes to Moissac and Régusse.
4- Descend by the right track towards the village. Reaching out of the woods, go up the path to the main road. Follow it to the right for 50m and then turn left into the "Chemin de la Croix Vieille". It goes directly to the village of Moissac- Bellevue.
Avoid high summer temperatures, leave early. Remember to pack at least 2L of water per person, a hat and proper walking shoes. In summer time, find out whether the forests are open to the public (fire risk) by calling 04 89 96 43 43 (answering machine of the Direction Départementale des Territoires et de la Mer) or by visiting the website of the Prefecture by clicking the tab "For more information".
Access and parking
At 6.5km West of Aups, through the D9.
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