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From Renan to La Chaux-de-Fonds in the snow

Here is another short hike in the Neuchâtel mountains, even if the start is on the territory of the canton of Bern. One of the charms of this hike is that you arrive in the clock-making metropolis from a side that is very much to your advantage. As you approach the town from that side, you can admire practically the entire town, nestled between the elevations of Le Foulet and Pouillerel. Moreover, the arrival in La Chaux-de-Fonds presents beautiful contrasts, as you cross the pastures near Les Petites Crosettes and suddenly arrive at the Croix-Fédérale district.

From Renan, the first step is to reach the forest. To reach the forest, you follow some very steep roads and wonder how people get up there by car. In the forest, the route follows a good gravel road that climbs across the slope towards La Puce. Shortly before leaving the forest, you will notice two mine-entrances. I could not find an explanation for these openings (which are sealed off). However, it may have been a stone quarry because it was not possible to dig an open-pit quarry since the communal boundary is only a few dozen meters away.

From La Puce, a paved road, and not too busy, leads to La Cibourg where you end up on the cantonal road. You then must follow it for 250m. Unfortunately, nothing is prepared for pedestrians, and you sometimes have to leave the asphalt to reach safety. Fortunately, it is not long before you follow the small road leading to the campsite. There is a path that leads you down to the CJ train station of la Cibourg. Once again, you are forced to follow the cantonal road for 350m before you can take the Chemin des Reprises. On both sections of the cantonal road, there are not really any facilities for pedestrians.

From the Reprises onwards, the atmosphere becomes calmer. However, we sometimes see the small red train passing by which the rails must be crossed twice.

At La Jailleta, you reach the pastures of Les Petites-Crosettes, which you cross entirely. In the distance, you begin to see the towers of Croix-Fédérale. Once you reach the Ferme des Arêtes, you can either walk to the center of La Chaux-de-Fonds or take the bus.

Route: Renan BE – La Puce – La Cibourg – Les Reprises – Les Arêtes – La Chaux-de-Fonds
Distance: 10.7Km
Altitude gain: 300m
Duration: 3h

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