This ride explores some lesser known climbs starting from Lake Annecy and heading south. Road bikers don’t leave yet. While this loop requires a mountain bike and some pushing, it begins with a nice 10 kilometre paved climb that you probably don’t know.
I started beside the lake immediately jumping on the wonderful bike path that heads all the way to Albertville.
As the map below shows, I followed the bike path for approximately 10 kilometres. Just before it passes through the old train tunnel I quit the path and took a little road right/west that immediately heads into the mountains just south of Le Semnoz.
It’s twelve kilometres uphill to Col de la Frasse (1379 metres). The first ten are well paved passing through small villages with mountains on each side. It’s a quiet, scenic road.
The paved road ends two kilometres from the col. It gets challenging here. I managed to pedal the first kilometre on a steep, gravel, farm road.
Then it becomes a rough hiking trail through woods and I had to push often, as well as avoid several fallen trees blocking the trail. But no worries, a little hiking never hurt anyone. It opens up at Col de la Frasse. The lake is just visible in this photo:
The next three kilometres are steep and often unrideable as I descended the col. But I eventually reached civilisation and a farm road.
This far side of Frasse is also sparsely populated mountain country. My next goal was to visit two gravel cols for the first time.
NOTE: If you ride this route, I made a small mistake at kilometre 25 taking a mainly unrideable hiking trail for a couple of kilometres. I would descend to the same point later in the ride on a decent road. Basically at km 25 on the map below take the left road not the right trail.
If you take the correct route everything is rideable and fun.
Photo below is at Col de Bornette. Lake Annecy in view at top left. Above Bornette I would next traverse to Golet de Doucy (1329 metres).
From Golet de Doucy (Golet is an old word for col most commonly used in the Jura Mountains) there is a grassy but easily rideable descent for a couple of kilometres.
The last 28 kilometres or so are fully paved, generally downhill and quiet. I would traverse to Col de Leschaux (897 metres) and then descend back to the lake, returning to the start along the bike path. I didn’t take any photos as I was tired and the “featured” part of this ride was the gravel.
here for the best climbs from lake Annecy.
I enjoyed this route. I’m lucky enough to have ridden dozens and dozens of times near Annecy and it was fun to visit Bornette and Doucy for the first time. Road bikers remember, the 10 kilometre climb to just below Frasse is a good addition to any Annecy ride collection.