Walking route -” On the former smuggler’s trail”

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    This walk follows the footsteps of former smugglers and customs officers who criss-crossed the region until the 1950s.

    The view over the Illiez and Abondance valleys reveal a fraction of the many routes taken by the smugglers on their clandestine operations. Their encounters have left some wonderful and revealing stories in this frontier region which are starting to fade from memory.
    To learn more about their aventures, you can rent a special battery pack from the “Vieille Douane” or Châtel Tourisme, between June and September, which activates the audio posts (“borne sonore”) along the way.

    From the old customs building “Vieille Douane”, follow the RD22 road to Morgins for about 100 metres, then take the track that leads straight to the border and to markers 1737 and 1891.

    Carry on towards “La Pointe du Midi”. There’s a shorcut for families to head back through the forest, if needed.

    For a harder walk, head along the border ridge by the “Plan des Mitres”, to the “Col de Fecon”. Head home via the “Perthuis” chalets and “Aity” before arriving at the “Vieille Douane”.

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    Further information

    Whichever walk you choose, we recommend that you :

    - Wear appropriate footwear and always take with you: warm clothing, preferably waterproof, plenty of water, sunglasses, sun cream and a small first-aid kit.
    - Do not set off alone.
    - Inform someone living in the valley of your plans.
    - Do not change the planned itinerary indiscriminately. But do not hesitate to shorten it if necessary.
    - Carry a map and even a torch.
    - Check the weather forecast before setting off.
    - In the event of a thunderstorm, move away from ridges, passes and summits as soon as possible and never take shelter under an isolated tree.

    Services & Equipment

    • Car park
    • Free car park
    • Pets welcome

    Customer base

    • Walkers/hikers
    • Level red – hard


    From 01/06 to 31/10.


    Animaux : Accepted without supplements

    Dogs must be kept on a lead due to the presence of herds.

    Age range

    Minimum age : 8 years

    Adapted Tourism

    • Not accessible in a wheelchair


    Free access.


    Parking Caisses du Lac
    74390 Châtel

    Departure from the Lake Vonnes lift ticket office car park. Shuttle line 4 stop Gabelou (July & August).

    Characteristics :

    • Mountain location
    • Mountain view