Moulzoune pond 1 - CopyMoulzoune pond 1 - Copy
©Moulzoune pond 1 - Copy|Office de Tourisme des Pyrénées cathares

Family picnic

Moulzoune pond

High up at 1,385 m, a little corner of paradise, calm and cool awaits you: the étang de Moulzoune, a water reservoir in the heart of a cirque, was created on an ancient peat bog between beech and conifer trees. The ideal place for a family day out!

MDO September 2022MDO September 2022
©MDO September 2022
Charlotte tells...

"Of all the hikes I've done in the Cathar Pyrenees, the one to Etang de Moulzoune remains my favorite, because the pleasure of the eyes is omnipresent. Breathtaking panoramas, a dazzling view over the valley and the few machines left there, a vestige of the past when the Fangas quarry hired French and Spanish workers to extract talc from the mountain."

On the road to the mine

To reach the Moulzoune pond, take the road leading to the Monts d’Olmes resort. Halfway up, I take a forest path indicated by a sign on the left where it says “Route de la Mine”. The road is passable, so I take my time climbing. When I’m more than halfway up, I stop to photograph the château de Montségur, majestic on its pog.

At the finish: a view of the high-altitude forest, its tall beeches mixed with firs. We take a deep breath.

Warning, it’s uphill so bring good shoes! We load up the picnic and set off for a 10-minute climb: destination Moulzoune pond.

Easy to get to, it’s perfect for a family getaway. After the appetite-boosting walk, it’s time for a picnic: sit down on one of the wooden tables and benches. There are even stone barbecues!

Under the trees, it’s ideal for having your meal in the cool. A walk around this artificial body of water is possible.

Start from the picnic area, walk past the two wooden chalets that give off a little Canadian air, cross the wooden bridge and reach the starting path through the woods. The pond is a reserve de pêche intended for the restocking of Ariège rivers, so fishing is prohibited.


The Fangas mines

Above the pond are the anciennes mines de Fangas at around 1450 meters above sea level.

This hike is more complicated for little legs as it climbs a lot. Finding your way is easy, just follow the frogs… on the directional signs.

After two fairly steep climbs, the view is spectacular: it overlooks the Moulzoune pond in the foreground and the valley behind. On sunny days, you can even catch a glimpse of Lac de Montbel.

The traces of the former miners are represented by the machines left on site and an old abandoned house where vegetation largely dominates. Testimony to a mining past, these industrial relics remind us of the harshness of life, of the work of yesteryear in this mountainous area that was accomplished by brave men many decades ago.


Take the road that leads to the Monts d’Olmes resort.

Midway, carriageable forest path, indicated by a sign on the left where it says “Route de la Mine”.

Parking at the finish