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The historic route between Le Locle and Hauts-Geneveys

Some interesting routes cross the Jura Neuchâtelois and some have an exciting history. Even if they do not have the historical importance such as the Col des Etroits or the Col de Jougne, they nevertheless played and sometimes still play an important role. Thus, the Vue des Alpes, which owes its name to the homonymous inn, which was built there, still plays a major role today in exchanges between the upper and lower parts of the canton. However, it would be simplistic to make the Vue des Alpes the only historic passage between the Neuchâtel mountains and the shore of the lake. Indeed, another route has had significant importance in the past: the one which connects the Val de Ruz to Locle via the Vallée de la Sagne and des Ponts. This route crosses the first ridge at the pass under the Tête de Ran, formerly called the Col de la Sauge.

This is the route we followed from Le Locle to reach Hauts-Geneveys.

Departing from Le Locle station, you first must go down towards the town. It would be tempting to use the funicular, called the Remontoir, but it is more interesting to use the Passage des Cent Pas, going down between the houses of rue de la Gare. Once you have crossed the town, you must then climb towards the Communal by taking the Chemin de l’Argillat. Even though the latter is quite steep, it is part of the historic route, because it allowed, and still allows the shortest climb from the city.

Once reached the Communal, you must follow the road leading to Entre Deux Monts for a long way. Luckily, it’s not too busy, but you still must walk on a paved road. Arriving near an old restaurant, a track leads through the pastures and allows you to cut the bend made by the Sagne road. We thus arrive at a small pass where we find the road. Fortunately, the path does not follow it, but cuts through the woods up to the height of the quarry. Shortly after, we reach the village of La Sagne.

Once you have reached the train station, you go one way towards Corbatière to turn off onto a small road leading to the Sagne football stadium. We then follow the Grand Bied for a bit before entering a gorge which leads to the Combe des Quignets. We must then climb this valley, long and quite monotonous, until we arrive at Mont Dar.

From this place, a short climb and a crossing takes you to the Col de la Sauge. This leads to the Val de Ruz. All you must do is follow the marked path, which runs along one end of the historic route, to arrive at the start of the old ski lift. We are then very close to the village of Hauts-Geneveys and its train station.

Itinerary: Le Locle – Le Communal – Entre Deux Monts – La Sagne – Combe des Quignets – Mont Dar – Tête de Ran – Les Hauts-Geneveys
Distance: 15Km
Altitude gain: 670m
Duration: 4h30

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