©ADT09_0009341_MD|Charles Ripon
From Mirepoix to Lavelanet

Chemin des Filatiers

The first section of the future V81 greenway in the foothills of the Pyrenees, the cycle route from Mirepoix to Lavelanet offers a journey between Cathar castles and royal fortresses, between nature and an industrial past linked to textiles. Straddle your favorite mount (two, 3 or 4 wheels, all fours) or just your legs, and you’re off to explore history and nature. A simple family outing that will take you far away from everyday life!

From the railroad

Linking Mirepoix and Lavelanet, this part of the greenway has been laid out on the old railway line, used during the heyday of the textile industry, with the Plantaurel massif as a backdrop.

The “chemin des filatiers” takes you south of Mirepoix, our beautiful, colorful medieval bastide. After a tour of the cathedral, the path takes you to Roumengoux, then Lagarde. You’ll pass under the tutelary shadow of the château de Lagarde, an impressive sentinel standing proudly on high. From station to tunnel, from Lagarde to Camon, you’ll pass from castle to fortified village, along the banks of the river Hers, to the charming “village of a hundred rosebushes”, built around an astonishing fortress abbey. Camon is one of France’s most beautiful villages.

On the banks of the brooks

After the old railway station, the cycle route passes through a floodlit tunnel, then continues through the woods along the river, before entering the Aude towards the charming village of Sonnac-sur-l’Hers, before returning to the Cathar Pyrenees. Continuing on, you arrive at Montbel for a welcome cool break. In summer, you can enjoy a swim before getting back on the road.

In Peyrat, you can stock up on local crafts, from the Plantaurel knife to the famous horn combs. Following the Touyre, you’ll arrive in Lavelanet, which was the base of Ariège’s textile industry in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The “chemin des filatiers” originated here, referring to the thread merchants who used to set off from Lavelanet.

Key figures
  • 38 km between Mirepoix and Lavelanet
    • Mirepoix to Lagarde: 10 km
    • Lagarde to Camon: 4 km
    • Camon to Montbel: 6 km
    • Montbel to La Bastide sur l’Hers: 10 km
    • La Bastide sur l’Hers to Lavelanet: 8 km

Attractions: castles, tunnels, bridges and local crafts.

Technical data
  • A relatively easy route with a gently undulating profile, steeper between La-Bastide-sur-l’Hers and Lavelanet.
  • While the route is uphill from Mirepoix to Lavelanet, it is in fact downhill in the other direction.
  • Caution: bring a bike suited to the terrain: mountain bikes, electric bikes or even mountain bikes. The route has not yet been fully renovated and is not suitable for city bikes.

The route is open to all non-motorized traffic.

  • Equipped rest areas:
    • bicycle racks,
    • inflation stations,
    • electric bike recharging stations.
  • Interpretation panels and exhibitions to help you understand the environment.
  • Accommodation and refreshments in villages.
  • Water points.

On the trail of the thread merchants

Cycling from Mirepoix to Lavelanet

Looking for a weekend getaway or a day in the countryside? The Chemin des Filatiers is a real change of scenery, far from the crowds and hordes of tourists… A witness to history from the Middle Ages to the industrial revolution, it will help you discover the truth about our region and the vestiges of its glorious past!