South West CreuseTrail around Vassivière

I tested for you the tour of the Lake of Vassivière in trail

Le tour du Lac de Vassivière, a little more than 25km of well-marked paths around a lake worthy of those in Canada with grandiose, ever-changing landscapes.

This tour of the lake is a challenge for me, I have never run so many kilometers yet but I know quite well the paths bordering the lake:wide, well maintained and without major difficulty.

The weather is quite nice, on this morning of July 3, a little twenty degrees; so we decided to take advantage of it to go around the Lac de Vassivière

Published on 26 April 2021

Passionate about nature, wide open spaces and therefore inevitably about the Creuse, he loves to share his discoveries :-)


I tested for you


A lifelong backpacker, I started running not long ago. No race goals but a simple personal challenge and the desire to go a little further than the horizon…

Tonight, the big vacations start… So for the last time, we take the girls to school at 8:50. Tonight they will be able to enjoy 2 months of well deserved vacation.

And for us, will start the tourist season, which means, a lot more work and less time.


Here we go direction Auphelle, west side of the lake, to leave a supply car and a means of transportation there if this attempt ended in a sudden awakening of my old back pain. We chose as starting point Masgrangeas and begin the tour by the South side of the lake, the simplest and least technical.

Once arrived, we check one last time the water reserves and energy bars, we put on shoes, caps and glasses and here we go.

The path joins the edge of the lake and skirts the old vacation village of Masgrangeas, easily recognizable with its roofs with multiple colors.

Then we run on the dike as if in the middle of a bridge spanning the lake, before forking right on the bottom of the moor of Puy de la Croix.

The sensations are good, we advance quickly. There are still few people on the edges of the lake, we are alone on the path, the lake belongs to us, our personal life-size playground.

We now go along the eastern shore of the lake, before arriving on the footbridge spanning the mouth of the Gasne, which offers a splendid panorama on the islands of Soumeix.

A wooden path takes us into Broussas and we soon birfurcate to the left, skirting the campsites towards Vauveix.

We slow down a little while to pass the metal footbridge that spans the Maulde, which is rather calm at the beginning of the season; nothing to do with the raging waters that can be descended in a kayak (cf.I tested for you the whitewater descent).

We go along the beach of Vauveix and its lined up canoes and we stop for a bite to eat on the beach of Nergout, a little energy to continue the effort, we are still far from the finish.

Once left, we crossChâteaucourt, a new parallel path has been set up to avoid taking the road,the peninsula of Pierrefitte is in sight and in the distance we see the footbridge that leads to the island of Vassivière.

The path soon joins the road, which we follow for some time; a slightly more monotonous part until we reach the high bog.

Now past the road that joins the island, we switch back to the paths and alternate passages between grass and stony paths.

Already 14 km of covered, the legs begin to be a little heavy, but the desire always present, we continue then good train.

We go up towards Auphelle by skirting the lake, we have then a glimpse on the western side of the lake before passing under the cover of the bois de Crozat. Here, a little more relief but not what to discourage us.

After a last descent, we arrive at the nautical base, then we pass successively the water intake, the hotel restaurant la Caravelle and here we are on the beach.

A small stop to test the water, it is still too fresh for a swim but it will refresh us wonderfully.

We go back up then along the campsite to find again the sweep car. There, we get rid of the superfluous layers, we nibble a piece.

17km, I never thought I would be able to do so much, I savor my “small” victory even if I suffer a little.

The decision is made to continue, even if I have to do it only once in my life, Iwill finish the tour of Lake Vassiviere and that will be for today. 10 km still separate us from our arrival point.

As soon as we leave Auphelle, things get tougher; the northern part of the shoreline trail we take this morning is steeper than the southern part but we hang on.

One climb and descent later, here we are crossing over the crest of the Vassivière dam, then the Auchaize dike, for which we find a bit of road.

The path then goes left into the woods to join les Peu de l’Aiguille, we move away from the lake to cut the peninsula of Villecros. The difference in level is more important and it is during the crossing of the road circum-lacustrine to recover the peninsula of Chassagnasthat the first pains are felt in the foot and knee.

Rapidly, they get worse, I have to walk a little while the pain goes away, and then resume when it decreases. The last kilometers are complicated for me, I grit my teeth,the finish is close and I want so much to finish this tour.

Soon, we skirt the old vacation village of Masgrangeas, the finish line is near. The path gets closer to the lake, the cab boat landing is in sight, and our car on the left.

Tour Du Lac De Vassivière
Tour Du Lac De Vassivière

We stop running in front of the Lake Bistro, goal achieved!

26 km, I managed to run around the lake!!!

To celebrate, nothing better than a good little restaurant, and precisely le Bistrot du Lac is my favorite on Vassivière, a simple, friendly place where you eat very well.

And not to spoil anything, their beer cellar is rather well stocked.

We reserve a table with Lucas, it is the son of the boss Jean-François, adorable and always attentive managers.

We join the car to change, then we settle in terrace in front of a fresh beer the time that our dishes arrive, limousine boards for us, history to recover all these lost calories.

Isn’t life beautiful?


To regain strength

Lake of

More info


About the Shoreline Trail

This original trail runs along the cut-out shores as close to the lake as possible, takes footbridges on stilts, a floating bridge, a dike flush with the water, crosses beaches to cool off… To cover on foot, mountain bike, horse at the whim of your desires.

Practical information:

– 6 hours for good marcheurs – Loop 26.4 km – Dén 455 m – Blue marking – Medium difficulty
– Map of the shoreline trail.
– In season shuttle boats ply the lake > Learn more

Rives Trail
Rives Trail

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