The « Coulée Verte » is a railway that has been redesigned as a green-way. It consists of two sections:
From Lourdes to Pierrefitte-Nestalas, the route follows the Gave de Pau at the foot of the mountains and is 18 kilometers. Alternating fields, wooded slopes and villages, « la coulée verte » materialized by a pedagogic signage will make you discover to the curious an impressive diversity in the fauna, the flora and the local architecture (stone buildings, barns Romans, churches, etc.). This signage also includes sound carriers (terminals) and practical tourist information translated into Braille and 6 languages.
The route is very sunny and little shaded but it is possible to stop in 12 cities and villages all equally authentic of each other.
Category « sustainable development and tourism »: European Green-ways Award 2009
Labeled « Tourism and Handicap » adapted to hearing handicaps, coats, motors.
This itinerary with a smooth coated surface and unevenness is accessible to the greatest number.
Possible activities are:
Race or road bike
MTB mountain bike
The second part of the green-way allowing to go from Pierrefitte Nestalas to the spa of Cauterets promises to be sportier!
With a height of 485 meters and a gravel surface of 10 kilometers, this section is for pedestrians and cyclists. (At a compulsory walking location)
It takes at least three hours to complete the course. It follows the gave and ascends the gorges which allows to have a view at the same time dominant on the village of Pierrefitte and at the same time to see the summits of the mountains.
The atmosphere is very different from the first stretch because a bit wilder, steeper and steeper. Nevertheless the circuit has been well renovated: the tunnel is illuminated, a few benches have been installed, bridges have been set up to pass the streams, the river, the road.
On the other hand, there is no fountain with water, and the ground is somewhat shaded, so think about what you hydrate and cover you.
The more sporty ones will try the return, for the others it is possible only to discover the itinerary going up Cauterets and to go down with the bus. The arrival of the track leads to the parking lot of the bus station, from the cable cars of the Lys. The last solution is to discover the lane by walking down to Pierrefitte, then take the bus to the center of the village (bus stop place de la mairie) to go up.
MORE INFORMATION : WEB SITE English or Spanish version