Gimel Les Cascades

Correze, Limousin, France

About Gimel Les Cascades


Hiking Distance: 2.5km round trip
Suggested Time: 60-90 minutes

Date first visited: 2012-05-11
Date last visited: 2012-05-11

Waterfall Latitude: 45.29879
Waterfall Longitude: 1.84779

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Gimel Les Cascades (literally Gimel The Waterfalls) is the name of both the collective set of waterfalls as well as the charming town above them.

The waterfalls may also be referred to as Les Cascades de Gimel (the waterfalls of Gimel).

Gimel_071_20120511 - Queue de Cheval (Horse's Tail) - one of the Gimel les Cascades Waterfalls
Queue de Cheval (Horse’s Tail) – one of the Gimel les Cascades Waterfalls

The waterfall series located right below town consisted of three named drops.

From top to bottom, they were Le Grand Saut (or the big leap, which dropped 45m over three successive steps), La Redoule (which twisted and dropped 38m towards a footbridge), and La Queue de Cheval (or horse’s tail, which plunged 60m in one tier).

There was also another named entity according to the signs, which was known as Le Gouffre de L’Inferno.

However, I wasn’t sure if this referred to the misty area at the base of Queue de Cheval or if there was a fourth but distant or inaccessible waterfall.

Gimel_008_20120511 - Julie walking through Gimel les Cascades - the town
Julie walking through Gimel les Cascades – the town

I had gone as far as the main tourist walk would allow me just downstream of Queue de Cheval, but that was when the path terminated at a dead-end.

Experiencing Gimel Les Cascades

After getting to the town of Gimel Les Cascades and finding parking (near a war memorial just across the street from the visitor center), we then followed the signs to the waterfall.

The signs indicated that we had to walk downhill another 400m to access the Gimel Les Cascades Waterfalls.

During this part of the walk, we followed the main road between a handful of quiet shops, a church (which was quite cool and drafty inside considering it was over 30C during our visit), and some remnants of an old chateau (or castle).

Gimel_016_20120511 - Julie entering the waterfall part of Gimel les Cascades
Julie entering the waterfall part of Gimel les Cascades

Towards the bottom of the descent, the road traversed the stream over a bridge, which was right above the waterfalls.

And a few paces further took us to the chalet (really a cafe) where we paid our entrance fee of 5 euro per person at the time we did it in 2012.

That allowed us to start a loop walk that descended towards an attractive-looking building.

From the building, the trail branched further downhill towards falls 2 and 3 while another branch went behind the building on a path towards Le Grand Saut as well as a spur trail to the top of La Redoule.

While the trail leading closer to Le Grand Saut continued further uphill, this part of the trail was deprecated because it led back up to the original entrance to the falls, which was now closed.

Gimel_028_20120511 - Looking down at Le Grand Saut - another one of the major waterfalls of Gimel les Cascades
Looking down at Le Grand Saut – another one of the major waterfalls of Gimel les Cascades

I think they closed this access because they wanted you to go through the main entrance besides the chalet where there was a snack bar as well as infrastructure to collect admission fees from visitors.

The diversion spur to the top of Redoule gave us an appreciation of the height of this second drop of the falls as well as a different perspective of Le Grand Saut.

Continuing back along the main trail towards falls 2 and 3, we had to descend some switchbacks until we made it to the bottom of the descent alongside the stream.

A branch to the right led over a bridge in front of La Redoule towards a lookout with a frontal view of this waterfall.

Meanwhile, the branch to the left descended alongside the impressive Queue de Cheval.

Gimel_040_20120511 - Looking back at Le Grand Saut from the top of La Redoule
Looking back at Le Grand Saut from the top of La Redoule

The further we went on the trail, the more direct (and misty) the view of this tier of the falls became.

In fact the mist carried so well that the trail near its dead-end further downstream was wet and muddy.

Once we were done checking out this last waterfall, the trail then continued up a pretty extensive series of switchbacks leading right back up to the chalet.

Once up there, the loop walk was complete and we could return to town of Gimel Les Cascades along the main road that we descended to get here (and now have to ascend to return).

All told, the overall excursion from leaving our car and returning to it took us over 90 minutes including all the photo stops as well as just taking our time on the walk.

Authorities

Gimes Les Cascades resides in the Correze department of the Limousin province of France. For information or inquiries about the area as well as current conditions, visit their tourism board website.

Gimel_089_20120511 - War memorial by the nearest car park in the center of Gimel les Cascades
Gimel_005_20120511 - According to the sign, we had about 200m to walk through the town of Gimel les Cascades to the waterfalls
Gimel_012_20120511 - Remnants of an old chateau in the town of Gimel les Cascades
Gimel_014_20120511 - Continuing to walk along the road past the bridge after having descended past the center of Gimel les Cascades the town
Gimel_028_20120511 - Closeup look at Le Grand Saut, which was the first of the Gimel les Cascades waterfalls that we encountered
Gimel_038_20120511 - Looking towards a three-tiered cascade which was part of Le Grand Saut at Gimel les Cascades
Gimel_048_20120511 - The bridge at the base of La Redoule after having had our fill of Le Grand Saut
Gimel_056_20120511 - Julie getting a direct look at La Redoule
Gimel_058_20120511 - Julie going back across the bridge fronting La Redoule to continue exploring Gimel les Cascades
Gimel_062_20120511 - Looking at Queue de Cheval as the trail descends alongside it
Gimel_078_20120511 - A different direct look at Queue de Cheval (or Horse's Tail), which was the last main waterfall belonging to Gimel les Cascades
Gimel_080_20120511 - After having our fill of the Queue de Cheval, we went back up a steep path to conclude our visit to Gimel les Cascades, the waterfalls
Gimel_082_20120511 - Back at le Chalet at the entrance and exit of the waterfalls part of Gimel les Cascades
Gimel_083_20120511 - Julie walking back up into the town of Gimel les Cascades after having visited the waterfalls of Gimel les Cascades
Gimel_084_20120511 - On the bridge looking over the brink of Le Grand Saut towards the town of Gimel les Cascades above
Gimel_086_20120511 - Walking back up the main road through the town of Gimel Les Cascades
Gimel_088_20120511 - Julie continuing to walk back through the charming town of Gimel les Cascades on the way back to the parked car

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Gimel Les Cascade is in the department of Corrèze in the Limousin region about 13km northeast of Tulle in South Central France.

It took us close to 90 minutes to drive from Cascade de Salins to this town via winding and narrow rural roads.

It also took us just under 90 minutes to return to Mt Dore from Gimel Les Cascades via the A89 autoroute.

Gimel_001_20120511 - The limited parking near a war memorial in the center of the town of Gimel les Cascades
The limited parking near a war memorial in the center of the town of Gimel les Cascades

By the way, that autoroute was the preferred method to do this drive.

Once in the town of Gimel Les Cascades, we found limited parking near a war memorial.

The war memorial also had a lookout of the valley containing the falls below (we could definitely hear the falls from up here) across the street from the visitor center.

However, if parking here is not an option, there’s additional parking (signposts indicate this) further up town which would probably increase the walking distance by another 10 minutes or so each way.

For geographical context, Le Mont-Dore was 213km (about 2.5 hours drive) west of Lyon. The city of Lyon was 466km or at least 4.5 hours by car from Paris. However, we used the very fast and efficient TGV (high speed train or le train a grande vitesse), which wound up taking around 3 hours to cover this stretch between the two major cities.

Bottom up sweep from the bridge above the waterfalls and ending at the village of Gimel-les-Cascades


brief bottom up sweep of Le Grand Saut showing a hint of the village above the falls


top down sweep of le Grand Saut with rainbow at its base


Left to right sweep from the brink of La Redoule ending with a zoom-in on Le Grand Saut


top down sweep of La Redoule


Top down sweep of the Queue de Cheval (horse's tail)


Top down frontal view of Queue de Cheval

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Tagged with: correze, limousin, central france, france, waterfall, gimel, grand saut, queue de cheval, redoule, tulle



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