Hiking the Etang de Naguille in Haute-Ariège

Orlu
Hiking the Etang de N ...

If you are a rather seasoned sportsman, lover of nature and the great outdoors, the Naguille pond is your next hiking destination. Naguille or Naguilhes pond located in Haute-Ariège in the heart of the Orlu national reserve, it promises you an excursion with incredible landscapes. Follow the guide, you are presented with a magnificent pond.

Photo of the article: Toulouse Pyrenees Guide

Naguille pond


The history of the Naguille pond

Originally, it was a natural pond which underwent numerous dam constructions from the 20th century onwards, to become today the 3rd water reservoir in the French Pyrenees and the largest of the Ariège lakes with 43 million cubic meters of water. I might as well tell you that it is impressive! We feel very small in front of this blue expanse that spreads out before our eyes, surrounded by greenery and mountains.

A breathtaking hike in Haute-Ariège

Breath, you will need it to climb the 1000 meters of altitude difference through the forest. And yes, the Naguille pond is perched at an altitude of 1890 meters, enough to make you dizzy if you are not warned. Bring good shoes, the path can be rocky in some places, and a vest to withstand the coolness of the undergrowth. Don't worry, fitness walking heats up quite quickly and you'll be delighted to arrive after the climb. The course is a round trip of about ten kilometers. Depending on your level, it takes on average 6 hours to complete it , but nothing prevents you from taking a picnic break in front of the magnificent lake which is the purpose of your visit.

Do you like walking? Here is an article on the 10 best hikes to do in Ariège

Naguille Pond
Naguille Pond


The landscapes and panoramas of the Etang de Naguille hike

Nature is breathtaking in Ariège, between the mountainous settings which rub shoulders with the warm atmosphere of forests and wide open spaces. Listen to the sound of the water that accompanies you on the hike, watch the butterflies take flight, the colorful flowers and the rhododendrons that line the trail. The road may seem long when you cross the woods, but the arrival promises you a magnificent spectacle when the Naguille pond finally appears. A limpid blue water of the mountains with a contrast of color, here is a decoration worthy of a postcard. Put down your poles and your backpack, breathe the pure air of nature and enjoy a moment suspended in front of such beauty.


Fauna and flora during the hike

There is nothing more beautiful than observing nature flourishing in a natural environment. On the hiking trail, each step has a surprise in store for you: the small animals of the forest that disappear when you arrive, the song of the birds that enlivens your climbing and the sound of the leaves that sway in the wind. The Naguille pond is a natural wealth where chamois, marmots and birds of prey flourish with the rhythm of the seasons. In the reservoir, numerous fish such as brown trout, rainbow trout and cristivomers splash around, while vultures fly away and observe the tiny life wriggling under their keen eyes. Look up, you might see a bearded vulture.

Read our article on Pyrenees trout fishing

Naguille Pond
Naguille Pond


Étang de Naguille, accommodation nearby

The hike can be done in a day, but you can also enjoy the region and stay a few days around the Naguille pond. To escape into the great outdoors and wake up in the heart of the nature reserve, the Refuge d'en Beys and the Refuge des Camporells are perfect. Spacious, comfortable and friendly, they offer a much-appreciated break where you can meet other experienced hikers. A little further away, you will find mountain lodges, campsites, lodges and inns which welcome you during your excursion according to your budget. Extend your stay, the Naguille pond is worth the detour.

Here is a selection of accommodation, refuges, stopover lodges and stays in Ariège and the Pyrenees

Domain Barané

Domain Barané
Domain Barané

At the foot of the Pyrenees in Ariège, in the middle of peaceful nature, you will find a beautiful group ...

Gabre

Nature Cathare

Nature Cathare
Nature Cathare

Whether you're a couple, a family, friends or colleagues, our guest house can accommodate up to 22 people and is ...

Léran

Gîtes de France Hautes Pyrénées

Gîtes de France Hautes Pyrénées
Gîtes de France Hautes Pyrénées

Adapted to accommodate couples, families or groups of friends, these accommodations always offer the same guarantees ...

Tarbes


What to plan for the Naguille pond hike

The walk presents a certain difficulty with slopes and stony paths, make sure you have the necessary level before committing. Above all, don't forget to wear good shoes, bring a bottle of water, a cap if the sun is intense, and hiking poles to help you move forward. The mountain is a natural environment which can be capricious and the weather uncertain. Despite the beautiful season, find out the weather forecast for the day to be sure not to be surprised by a storm or heavy rain. For the rest, we let you enjoy the magnificent spot of the Naguille pond.

Naguille Pond
Naguille Pond

When and how to get there

The Naguille pond is a natural space open to everyone all year round, so it's up to you to choose the period for your excursion and the best time to admire it. To optimize your chances of hiking in perfect conditions, we advise you to leave between the month of June and the month of October, when the season is most often sunny. Departure is from the Forges d'Orlu car park, then continues on the GR des Montagnes d'Ax. All you have to do is follow the “Etang de Naguille” signs indicated by the red and yellow markers and off you go for the day.

Good to know: Be careful, dogs are not accepted on the hiking trails.

Orlu

Étang de Naguille, other sites not to be missed

Once you arrive at the Naguille pond, you can turn back or continue your excursion. The Deroun pond and the Tort pond are joined by off-trail but accessible paths, a walk which adds a few hours to your walking meter. On your way back, go to the Maison des Loups, about ten minutes by car from the car park (or almost an hour on foot), a 4-hectare natural environment in the heart of the forest. Wolf from Europe, Poland, Canada and Antarctica, discover a magnificent animal, and take part in the many activities offered by the animal park.

The day goes by too quickly, you are already there! And if you haven't done the hike yet, we hope this article makes you want to go for a walk. Don't hesitate to capture nature with numerous photos and above all, observe what surrounds you so as not to miss anything.

Did you like this article ? Find others on the Toulouse Pyrénées Guide Blog. We are on social networks, find the Facebook page of the Guide Toulouse Pyrénées and the Instagram account @guidetoulousepyrenees



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