Gorges de l'Areuse

Areuse Gorge

Useful Information

Location: East of Noiraigue.
Open: no restrictions.
Fee: free.
Classification: GorgeGorge
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=11 km, ascent 111 m, descent 394 m.
Noiraigues: A=730 m asl.
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Die Areuse-Schlucht, Hydrogeologischer Wanderführer, Verlag Siska, 52 Seiten, Format A6. CHF 9.– + Versand. Sprache Français - French Deutsch - German buy
Address: Gorges de l'Areuse, Office du tourisme Val-de-Travers, 2108 Couvet, Tel: +41-32-889-6896.
Jura & Drei-Seen-Land, 2001 Neuchâtel, Tel: +41-32-889-68-90. E-mail:
Point d'informations Val-de-Travers, Place de la Gare, 2103 Noiraigue, Tel: +41-32-889-68-96. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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Gorges de l'Areuse is a narrow gorge through the limestones of the Jura. Folded by the Alpine orogeny, the limestone forms high ridges running northeast to southwest. But drainage is to the north and the south, and so rivers have to cross the ridges, which they do in gorges, locally also called cluse. The Areuse river springs at Saint-Sulpice and drains to the south, towards Lac de Neuchâtel. But first it flows for a few kilometers parallel to the ridges northeast through the Val-de-Travers. Then it turns west, crosses the ridge in a steep gorge and flows into Lac de Neuchâtel near Grandchamp.

The gorge is mostly a valley, with a calm river which is dammed and has several foot bridges. There is a trail along the water between Boudry and Noiraigue and the pleasant 11 km long walk along the river takes between 4 h uphill or 2.5 h downhill. It is well developed and suitable for children. There are also buildings and roads in the valley, mostly hydroelectric plants and private roads which lead to them. About halfway is Champ-du-Moulin with the restaurant de La Truite. You can make a stop on your hike at the restaurant, or access it by car or tram, which allows to do only one half of the trail. The three access points to the gorge, Boudry, Champ-du-Moulin, and Noiraigue, have stops on the tram, so it is possible to park the car at the station and return by tram. Boudry is on line 210, the others on line 221, which actually runs parallel to the gorge. The tram is part of transN, the Neuchâtel public transport. The tour is generally described downhill from Noiraigue, which is easier to walk but less spectacular.

The trail starts north of Boudry at the Chanet hydroelectric power station. The first section with cliffs and rapids is called Passerelle du Gor de Brayes The famous Saut de Brot stone bridge, which is shown on most pictures, is located in the upper half of the gorge. The access form Noiraigue is by simply following the railroad tracks of the tram, first on the northern side where the railroad station is, then after 800 m at Le Furcil on the other side of the tracks. The trail is actually a paved single lane road which leads to a hydroelectric power plant.