The Cevennes National Park is located in southern France, in the mountainous area of Cévennes. Created in 1970, the park has its administrative seat in Florac at Florac Castle. It is located mainly in the départements of Lozère and Gard, and covers some parts of Ardèche and Aveyron. The Aven Armand cave is located in the park.
The Cévennes National Park is the only wooded large National Park in mainland France. Over 1,500 sq km of forest (half deciduous, half coniferous) cover its central zones. Two-thirds of the trees are species native to the region and one-third are introduced species.The huge variety of flora in the Park (2,300 species identified since 1820) is encouraged by its climactic diversity (oceanic, continental and Mediterranean); the chemical composition of its soils; and by the altitude range – from 378m to 1,699m.
More than a mountain chain, the Cevennes are an assembly of many-sided open spaces. The summits are made up of a succession of slightly undulating plateaux, sometimes green like the Mont Aigoual or markedly flat as on the Mont Lozere between Le Bleymard and Le Pont de Montvert. This is the centre of the National Park. The western part of these high grounds slope gently downwards on either side of a dividing line of water originating at the extreme end of the Mont Lozere, on the crests of Jalcreste and Minier.
The countryside opens out over the vast limestone spaces that are called the Causses. Below these bare surfaces, the Mediterranean side is hollowed out by deep and narrow valleys (les valats), dominated by crests and swept by the force of the torrents of the Cevennes. Before re-joining the Languedoc plain, the southern valleys widen and transform under the influence of the Mediterranean.
The fauna is hugely diverse, with over 2,400 species. Mediterranean, Continental and Alpine species are all found here, as are species from forest, steppe and rock habitats, and those linked to humid environments. The fauna consists of 70 species of mammals (more than 50% of the total in France), 195 species of bird (including 135 breeding species), 16 species of amphibians, 15 species of reptiles, 23 species of fish and over 2,000 species of invertebrates (including 1,824 of insects).
In 2011, the Causses–Cevennes was added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the category of cultural and living landscapes.
The Eco-Museums (a networks of sites) enable you to discover
the natural and cultural heritage of the Park, by providing a coherent set of
visitor sites and discovery trails.The Mont Lozère Eco-Museum hosts a permanent
exhibition at Le Pont-de-Montvert that retraces the natural and human history
of the mountain. This is an excellent introduction to discovering the
vernacular hamlets, historical monuments and trails of the area.
The National Park is crossed by several linear
long-distance hiking trails and local circular routes (Aigoual, Cévenol
valleys, Causse Méjean and Mont Lozère). There are nearly 300 short walking
paths, signposted by local authorities in partnership with the Park. 28
discovery trails, and horse-riding, cross-country skiing and mountain bike
tracks complete the picture.
Parc national des
6 bis place du Palais, 48400 Florac.
Tel: 04 66 49 53 01