Antoigny, Commune de la Ferté-Macé

Circuit   A   < download the sheet >

Duration : 2h30 - 
Distance : 8 Km  - 
Height range :  105 m - 
Bridlepaths :  50% - 
Marked footpaths : in progress - 
Difficulties : Average - 

Wear good walking shoes/boots.
The ground can be slippery.
It is hilly in one part.

Distances and varied landscape.
· farmland criss-crossed with hedges and trees
· River
· Heathland
· Peat bog
· Gorges

Half the circuit is in open countryside and half is in the forest.

 Mairie : 02 33 37 14  91, Ouvert lundi/Jeudi 17h-19h


  1. Departure : Mairie (town hall).  On the way to the church, take he first lane on the left. At the first junction, turn right.

  2. Cross D 270. Take the opposite lane in the direction of «  Le Plessis ». When you arrive at the bend, take a small lane where you can  read a sign «  Pêcheurs, préservez les clôtures ».

  3. At the next junction, take the road on the right. Go straight on.  At the junction take the lane in  the middle. Follow «  Fontaine  chaude » ( hot spring).

  4. Just after the hot spring, follow «  Sentier des Gorges » on the left. At  the fifth stage of the « Circuit découverte », turn off to the right . Turn left at the end of the lane. Walk up and cross the ditch. Continue along the ditch which is on your left. Turn left at parcel 64.

    At the next junction : 2 possibilities
    - Go along GR 22 until «  La Vallée de La Cour »  It’s shorter than the other way but the track is a little uneven.
    - Go along the lane on the right. After the car park, on the road turn left towards «  Vallée de la Cour ».

  5. Go left along D 270 for 800 metres. Turn left in the direction of «  Bruyère Marot ».
    Go through the village of «  Bruyère Marot.

  6. Continue until the next crossroads– Turn right along the lane to go back to «  LePlessis ».
    You arrive at point 2. Turn left and return to the departure  point.

Gorges de villiers

  • Plan du site et circuit de découverte.

Géologie : Dans le prolongement du massif forestier des Andaines, les Gorges de Villiers sont situées sur une barre de grès armoricain qui domine les plaines de l’Orne et de la Mayenne. La formation d’une faille et le creusement de celle-ci par un cours d’eau ont conduit à la formation de ces gorges.

Ce dépliant réalisé par le Conseil départemental de l’Orne présente les différents point d’intérêt (faune, flore, légende) à découvrir le long du sentier de découverte des Gorges de Villiers.
Il est disponible en libre-service à l’entrée du site. 

Réalisé par le Conseil départemental de l’Orne en partenariat avec le Parc Normandie-Maine, ce petit ouvrage richement illustrés et complétés de jeux et de questions est destinée aux scolaires et grand public pour la découverte des secrets des Gorges de Villiers.

Ce document est disponible au Conseil départemental de l’Orne et dans l’Office de tourisme de La Ferté-Macé au tarif de 1€.

Dans la même collection , 5 autres sites sont à découvrir (Marais du Grand Hazé, Tourbière des Petits Riaux, La Roche d’Oëtre et les Gorges de la Rouvre, Le Coteau de la Butte, Le Vaudobin)

FRagments of rock

Geology : extending from the Andaines forest, the Gorges de Villiers site is located  on a strip of Armorican  sandstone, overlooking the plains of the Orne and Mayenne regions.
The gorges were formed following the appearance of a geological fault, which was the deepened by a stream.

The ground is covered in scree. 
Alterning ice ages and warmer periods in the quaternary era ( 2 million to 100,000 years ago to the present) caused fragments of rock to break off. 
The phenomenon is known as frost–thaw action and here led to the formation of the rocky scree slope.
The environments offers extreme living conditions where  moss and lichens thrive.


How do you tell the difference between calluna and heather ?
Calluna leaves look like scales whereas heather leaves are more like small needles.

Chaude Fontaine

The hot water spring or « hot fountain » : the water temperature doesn’t exceed 15 °C.
Drawn from the granitic depths, it remains at a constant temperature all year round so, in winter, it might actually feel warm. 
It seems to sping from the rocks, with strings of bubbles rising to the surface. 
These bubbles contain various gases, such as nitrogen, argon and hellium.

The marshland : This marshland or peat bog fed by seepage of underground water. 
It is a wet zone, characterized by accumulation of peat.
Sphagnum moss forms a spongy ground cover. 
These mosses can hold up to 30 times their dry weight. Quite rare plants grow here.

Vallée de la cour

Vallée de la Cour
In 1864, Céleste Frébet obtained permission to improve a lake and a dam. 
He installed a water and weaving mill operated by steam and hydrolic power.. 
This was closed at the end of the XIX th century (ie: the gearwheel). 
It was then transformed into an ice-block factory then a discothèque and is now used as holiday homes.

This is a  departure point for various marked walks.


The XVII th century church ( built during the reign of Louis Xiv) with its rustic nave and choir.
Its bell tower dates from 1693 and is decorated with a niche housing a painting stone statue of saint Martin of the poor dating from the XVI th .
The three XVII th century altars form a decorative ensemble in coloured wood. They are decorated with twisted columns , hanging garlands and little pediments.
Over the great altars is a XIXth century century painting representing the Assumption.

Altimetric contour

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