Easy hikes in the Jura with the family

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You dream of going green in the Jura with the family? You would like to walk and test easy family walks in the Jura, I suggest you 9 ideas for walks from 1 to 4 hours walking for little backpackers!

The Jura is a real playground for hiking with children, and the peaks are more accessible than those of the Alps for little legs. Many lakes and waterfalls will give a playful goal to the ride, but be careful in summer, some waterfalls are almost dry!

1- Quick walk to the source of the Lison

It is on the occasion of April holidays that we took advantage of the joys of the Jura as a family !After the unmissable Hérisson waterfalls, we were looking for a little walk to do with our elves including the 3 year old who doesn’t like to walk too much. We took the lead of Nans-sous-Sainte-Anne to take the little walk to the source of the Lison. I say walk and not hike because it’s really very short to do ! However, this does not take away the wow side of these natural sites and you absolutely have to go and discover them!

We park on the parking lot closest to the source. And we can’t get any closer since it’s not located only 200 meters ! We walk along the river, cross a pretty forest, the trail is very pleasant and a bit magical! We quickly arrive in front of the source which consists of a wall of rocks through which flows a super instagrammable waterfall ! Retracing his steps, he has a path leading to the Saracen cave. The passage on the footbridge which crosses the Lison and the small ascent brings us to an impressive cavity in the cliff. It’s a little slippery and you have to be careful to put your feet on but once you enter the cave it’s impressive and looking up makes you dizzy!After a few photos, we go back down to the parking lot. It was quick but very cool!We later saw thatthere was also the chasm of Creux Billard just a stone’s throw away but I don’t know why we missed it! This chasm with rumbling waterfalls looked splendid in the photos after the fact. We will have to come back …

For those who would like to walk a little longer, there is a hiking route starting from the center of the village of Nans of about 5km round trip.

  • Distance : 1.2 km
  • Time : Less than an hour with a little boy who collects all the stones on the way!
  • Difficulty: easy

Aurelie from the blog Un amour de Lutins, traveling mom addicted to home exchange

Family walk Jura source of the lison

2- Easy Jura hike with the family: the Eagle Peak and the 4 lakes belvedere

It’s our best family walk in the Jura! It was with Anne-France, loyal blog reader and her family, that we discovered this superb site!

The hike is very busy in the summer, but doing the larger circuit will give you peace of mind in many areas. By parking at Lake Illay on the lakes route, the ascent begins with Eagle’s Peak. It’s a fairly steep climb, about 90m, with stairs to finish. The view from this summit, at 993m, is incredible 360 ​​° over the Hérisson valleys, from Grandvaux! Then on the 4 lakes from the Belvédère des 4 Lacs

The family hike continues towards the Belvedere of the 4 lakes, by housing the cliff overlooking Lake Illay. In this sense, we are almost always downhill, the hardest part was done at the start!

The belvedere offers a spectacular view of the lakes of Illay, Narlay, Petit and Grand Maclu. But it’s overcrowded! Indeed, it is possible to come here by car, a car park located 5 minutes on foot, by a large path, from the belvedere (perfect with infants).

To escape the crowds, it is best to continue the path down to Maclu Lake.

Be careful, the descent is tricky, it is better to have good shoes that do not slip! The trail is really eroded! Below, we took the path that runs along Lake Illay at the foot of the cliff. Very pleasant, it can be used in a stroller, for a nice walk with the little ones!

Our children aged 8 to 15 climbed carefree. Provide a hiking baby carrier for the little ones.

Info Topo Walk around Eagle Peak and 4 Lakes Belvedere, descending to Ilay and Maclu lakes:

  • 9 k m forming a loop.
  • 3h
  • Difficulty: medium to difficult (especially on the descent to Maclu)

Sandrine from Voyages et Enfants – see all our trips here

3- The Hérisson waterfalls: a classic family hike in the Jura

It really is a return trip to cool off ! We follow the Hérisson torrent which “jumps” 7 times, creating magnificent waterfalls! But, again, in the summer it’s very busy! To access this hike with the family, 2 accesses are possible,

  • from the paid car park: you will climb on the outward journey and downhill on the return
  • from the Girard jump car park: descent on the outward and return uphill. this is the road less traveled, so you will be against the tide of walkers

We initially thought to make a loop to avoid this AR, but having found cousins ​​less good walkers than us, we opted for the easy way! In total, the walk along the 7 Hérisson waterfalls, lasted About 3 hours, for a drop of 200m. Be careful, some passages are very slippery. The start is a bit steep with some nice stairs that my kids hate! But we are walking under the trees and it’s very pretty!

In order, we cross the Fan’s waterfall pictured below: this is the best known. Then comes the big jump, which you follow with a staircase and then a fairly narrow path. The rest is simpler, the waterfalls are smaller, and I enjoyed the water that was close at hand! The Leap of the Forge was almost completely dry, so the passage under and behind the waterfall was possible!

Unfortunately for us, at the end of August, the Hedgehog stream was very dry, and the waterfalls not very vigorous!

With baby: baby carrier compulsory, except on the 1st part starting from Girard jump, but with a 3-wheel or all-terrain stroller! And I don’t know if we manage to see a waterfall!

Sandrine du Travel and Kids blog

4- Family hike in Baume les Messieurs – Jura

It’s a well signposted hike accessible by family although it presents a good climb at the start. You start from village of Baume les Messieurs and climb the ladders of Sermu (which are actually stairs) to reach the top of the circus and a great view. You walk along the circus for 1 hour. Arrived at the bottom of the circus, you go down to reach the waterfall then walk along the river in the undergrowth for 1 hour to return to the start by the village. At the waterfall, there is a cave to visit (currently closed) and in the village, an abbey. This hike can be very busy in summer. For people who do not wish to climb to the top of the circus, you can do a nice walk accessible to all a return trip from the village to the waterfall along the river (allow 2 hours, taking your time)

  • Distance: 8 km
  • 270m vertical drop
  • Duration: about 3 hours

Thanks to Stéphanie for sharing

5- Hike to the Langouette gorges and the Saine river

Departure from a place called Montiboz in the village of Les Planches en Montagne. Hiked without difficulty accessible to everyone. From the start, we take full eyes and ears when there is a lot of water. The hike begins with the 47 m high gorges carved out by the Saône. The site is very well laid out, very good for families with very young children!

The river jumps in several cascades to the bottom of the gorges. You will then cross forests, walk along the La Saine river. You will then borrow theold tram track and go to a tunnel (bring a lamp): children love it ! And will always continue to follow the river with these Caribbean blue and emerald green colors !!!!

  • 9km
  • 200m vertical drop
  • 3h

Thanks to Stéphanie for sharing

6- Ascent to the Lac de Bonlieu belvedere

Access: Not far from the center of the village of Bonlieu, several car parks are available more or less close to the lake depending on your desires or the number of people.

This hike has three options depending on your desires and your level, which makes it a very accessible place for everyone!

The hike almost starts at the lake. As much to tell you right away, it is very beautiful. It is a natural lake, surrounded by very dense vegetation, which takes on the air of “little Canada” with the seasons, and is particularly conducive to rejuvenation.

If you do not have much time, or if it is not possible for you to go and admire the lake from its two lookouts, you can opt for the lake tour. It’s very easy, and it won’t take you more than an hour. Note that the “view” of the lake is only possible on half of the route, because on the other side it is a swampy area, so the path goes further from the lake.

If, like us, you are avid hikers, then I strongly advise you to go up to the Maguenay belvedere, from where you will have a superb bird’s eye view of the lake. We took the opportunity to take a few pictures of the birds which came to spin very close to us, while taking advantage of the bench in this belvedere for a picnic. This place is very shady. To be preferred in the event of extreme heat, which was the case during our visit.

Then we have to retrace our steps, almost to the beginning, by the lake. Again if you don’t have time, you can stop there and come back to the parking lot.

The third option, the one we have chosen, is to continue the hike to the La Ronde Belvedere. The climb to this second lookout is smoother than the first and allows you to have a view just as breathtaking as the first. From there, it is possible to end the hike by skirting the lake through the forest, taking the Ronde forest road, then heading towards the “Altar Stone”, before returning to the car park.

Anne France from Destination elsewhere blog

8- Stroll around the abbey lake

Access: In the town of Grande-Rivière, a car park is located near the cemetery, near the Abbey in Grandvaux.

The abbey lake is located at an altitude of almost 900m, it takes its name from the Notre-Dame en Grandvaux abbey, built here in the XXII century and subsequently altered. The lake attracts swimmers in summer, and skaters in winter!

This hike can be broken down into two options: simply go around the lake, or enhance the walk by going up to the Belvedere du Moulin, which I strongly recommend!

In the Jura, a multitude of belvederes provide magnificent views. This will be the only “difficulty” of the course, otherwise the rest of the way is flat.

This belvedere, in addition to its magnificent view, has the advantage of being located in the forest, which makes it possible to add a shaded part to the hike. It is particularly well equipped with a large wooden pontoon, and explanatory panels. There is also a picnic area.

For us who did this hike in the blazing sun, this was the most enjoyed part. It must be said that the second half of the course is a bit more monotonous, as it is further from the lake, occasionally located on a road, and especially in full sun, with no possibility of shade. My teens couldn’t wait to finish it off to cool off, but don’t do like us, pack your swimsuits to enjoy the lake!

Anne France from Destination elsewhere blog

9- The losses of Valserine

A superb hike, in a less mountainous landscape than the previous hikes. Located in the Ain to the south of the Jura massif, this is a great stopover! We traveled a large loop following the losses of the Valserine at the start. Then we fork to the left to climb the mountain and find the old railway line. As we pass, we pass through the forest, discover a waterfall. We arrive at the town bridge and follow the road down to the river (pass the pleasant mpins!)

Then we go along the river going up to the loss. This is our favorite part of the hike. Many picnic tables line the course. We pass under the old mill, see a waterfall before taking a footbridge clinging to the mountain. Then, we study the dam with the passage for the upward movement of fish … In short, nothing to be bored on the way!

  • Distance: 7 to 9 km
  • Duration: 3 hours with picnic
  • Difficulty: easy

Sandrine of Travel and Children

Family hiking books in the Jura

To find other ideas for family hikes in the Jura, I recommend the Emilie trails collection. This is a collection that we use a lot at home, in our Hautes-Alpes

So much for our easy and family hiking ideas in the Jura. Do not hesitate to share your findings in the comments!

For further
  • Other articles on the Jura
  • Right next to the Vosges
  • Weekends and holidays in France
  • All our tested accommodations
Jura family hike with child
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