Chloé Perceval

Wooded paths, mountain pastures and views – running at Semnoz in Annecy

Guilhem Vellut (CC BY 2.0)

Wooded paths, mountain pastures and views – running at Semnoz in Annecy

Running Collection by Chloé Perceval

7

Tours

15:53 h

67.7 mi

15,650 ft

At 1,702 metres (5,583 ft), the Semnoz is one of the emblematic summits around Annecy. Located in the north of the Bauges massif on the edge of the lake and just a stone’s throw from the centre of Annecy, this 16-kilometre (10 mi) long mountain is an ideal playground for trail runners. Aside from the mountain pastures surrounding the summit, the Semnoz is entirely wooded. With great single tracks, rocky trails and forest paths, the route possibilities are almost infinite.

This Collection is not intended to be an exhaustive list of the trails in the area. It’s an invitation to familiarise yourself with some of the trails, discover new places, and create your own routes. Whether you are new to trail running or already familiar with the trails, you will find something here to challenge yourself in a beautiful setting. These trails are among my favorite routes in the Semnoz that I regularly run.

I propose seven routes that are between 6 and 30 kilometres (3.7 and 18.6 mi). The two short loops are relatively flat and great for beginners. You can enjoy nice views of Annecy, the surrounding mountains and lake. The three routes under 20 kilometres (12.4 mi) are designed for intermediate or experienced runners to explore the Semnoz in more depth. These circular routes showcase the Albanais side of Semnoz. You discover the lakeside and Sainte-Catherine Valley. The last two loops are for experienced runners. The Chalet de Bénévent and the Crêt de Chatillon loop take you to the heights of the Semnoz, where breathtaking panoramas of Mont Blanc, the Aravis range, the Bauges, the Beaufortain and the Belledonne range await.

For all these routes, I strongly advise wearing trail shoes. You’ll find a drinking fountain in the car park at the Basilique de la Visitation, but I recommend bringing water with you, especially if you are running in hot weather. Beginners will sometimes be surprised by the time spent on the trail compared to jogging the same distance by road. It’s a good idea to check the weather forecast before setting off on a run. Semnoz is a mountain – bad weather can quickly result in slips and dangerous falls.

There are several ways to access the Semnoz. In this Collection, all the routes start at the Basilique de la Visitation car park, which is within walking distance from Annecy city centre on foot, by bike, via the Sibra bus n°14 or by car. There are public toilets there too.

Bus line n°14 timetable: sibra.fr/lignes-dextension

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Difficult
    00:57
    3.95 mi
    4.1 mph
    1,125 ft
    1,125 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Some sure footedness required.

    This course is designed for those who want to learn about trail running on a pretty loop that does not involve too steep climbs or descents.The route starts in …

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  • Difficult
    01:14
    5.38 mi
    4.3 mph
    1,200 ft
    1,200 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Some sure footedness required.

    Here is a nice loop, which takes you a little more altitude while staying below 10 kilometers. This is a great opportunity for beginners to enjoy views on both sides …

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  • Difficult
    01:49
    7.65 mi
    4.2 mph
    1,875 ft
    1,875 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Secluded trails, beautiful panoramas and varied terrain are all that awaits you on this 12.3 kilometer loop. With a positive vertical drop of 570 meters, it is aimed at intermediate runners.The route begins at La Visitation, and after a few quick wanderings on the Perimeter path, the Mage path and the Blueberry path, you are now on the Crête path marked with yellow arrows. You gradually gain altitude and move in a magnificent wooded environment.

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  • Difficult
    02:04
    9.18 mi
    4.5 mph
    1,850 ft
    1,850 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    A very beautiful loop with an average cumulative elevation that takes you to the discovery of the Sainte-Catherine valley and the Crête trail.You start at the Visitation. You arrive …

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  • Difficult
    02:07
    9.79 mi
    4.6 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,575 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This pretty loop takes you to discover somewhat lesser-known trails in Semnoz, with superb panoramas of the lake and the Albanians. This is a variant of the Tour: "The Vallon …

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  • Difficult
    03:20
    13.3 mi
    4.0 mph
    3,625 ft
    3,625 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This 21.4 kilometer course with 1110 meters of elevation gain is aimed at intermediate to advanced runners. This is a loop that I particularly like, because a lot of it …

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  • Difficult
    04:22
    18.5 mi
    4.2 mph
    4,400 ft
    4,400 ft
    Expert run. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    A superb run, which takes you to the summit of Semnoz, at an altitude of 1,702 meters! You leave from the parking lot of the Basilica of the Visitation.You arrive very quickly in Semnoz, where you embark on the Crête trail, marked all along by yellow arrows. It is a nice mountain path, on which you climb gradually between rocks and roots.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    67.7 mi
  • Duration
    15:53 h
  • Elevation
    15,650 ft

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Wooded paths, mountain pastures and views – running at Semnoz in Annecy