From Ornans follow D67 SE up the Loue valley. at La Main turn right, follow D41 to Ouhans. From Besancon N57 South, at La Main turn right, follow D41 to Ouhans. At Ouhans D443 to parking lot of Source de la Loue signposted. 20 min walk.
Source de la Loue, F-25520 Ouhans
Office de Tourisme (Tourist Board), Ornans, Tel/Fax: +33-3 81 62 21 50.
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The Source de la Loue, the spring of the Loue, is an enormous cave portal at the bottom of a huge cliff. The upper Loue valley, called Gorges de Nouailles, an impressive canyon with limestone cliffs and steep slopes, ends here. Many trails along the valley start here.
The Gorges de Nouailles is today interpreted as the remains of a huge cave system of the Loue. One day the roof collapsed, and the Loue transported it away. The valley has many waterfalls, cave entrances and springs in the bed of the Loue and along the valley.
The Source de la Loue produces water from the Doubs, which has several sinks 15 km away. The water flows underground to this source and needs about 60 hours for this distance. Ironically, the water of the Loue later flows back into the Doubs south of Dole. But the Doubs has 200 km more to go.
So the valley of the Loue is much steeper, the river runs faster. The steepest, part of course, is the Gorges de Nouailles, and the first attempt to use the water power of the Loue is right at the spring. The remains of an mill can still be seen, although the mill itself vanished.
The cave portal is very impressive. But the cave behind is filled with water and because of the high production of the spring any exploration is impossible. The source gets much of its water from the Doubs, but also from other sinks and the rains on the plateau between it an the Doubs. It never falls dry.
|Source de la Loue Gallery|