THE HAY TRAIL

Breathe in the scent of the wild flowers in the vast meadows above Le Châtelard. Start: La Rosière Tourist Office (Centre). Easy.

HAYMAKING

Make hay while the sun shines! Haymaking has always been an opportunity to catch up with friends and family under the warm summer sun. The haymaking period from mid-June to mid-July is crucial, as it serves to provide food for the herd throughout the long winter months. The start of haymaking is entirely dependent on the weather - after three days of sunny dry weather, the hard work begins. First thing in the morning, the grass is cut using a mowing machine or a tractor if the fields are not too steep. In the evening, the hay is turned until night falls. The following day, when the grass starts to dry, the hay is arranged into lines to be baled. The slope of the fields makes mountain haymaking both difficult and dangerous. Because of this, steeper fields or areas close to cliffs are still worked manually with a scythe and rake, as opposed to machines. Once the bales of hay have been made they need to be moved to the village. Many people are needed for this job to transport the bales and store them in the barns. Finally, after a long few days labouring, the workers come together to eat a hearty dinner and celebrate a job well done.
ITINERARY

From the Tourist Office in the centre of La Rosière, go up the road for around 100m. At the first crossroads, take the road down to the left. At the second crossroads, turn left again and head towards the Vieux Village. At the roundabout, go straight on for 100m then turn left down the steps heading off from the road. Walk through the narrow alleyway between the houses in the Vieux Village. Follow the track down until you reach the hairpin bend on the main road. Go down the road to the right for 100m then turn right down the forest trail. Cross the road at Beau Crêt. Further along the path you will reach a crossroads: turn left and head back up the hill. You will come out onto the hay fields at Corny. Head towards Le Châtelard, which you will be able to see further down the hill. At the sign for “Chamousse”, turn off the track to the left and take the path around the edge of the field. When you reach Le Châtelard, go left up the path leading back to La Rosière. As you go back uphill, take care not to confuse the marked pathways with the farm tracks crossing the fields. Head towards Le Devanchaz via Les Charmettes. When you get to Les Eucherts, turn left towards the chairlift. Cross the Place des Eucherts square and follow the road up until you reach the forest pathway, which will lead you back to the centre of La Rosière.

From 07/01 to 10/31 : open daily.

Free of charge

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