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Mountain biking in Follatères: respect first!

Times are tough on the Valais trails for mountain bikers. After bans were implemented (The Brazilian and Alpage de Ponchet for the best known), barriers appeared on the descent of Christ-Roi in Lens, while other municipalities, such as Bovernier, announced their desire to ban mountain bikes on their paths.

In the latter case, the outcry initiated by the young Pro VTT association encouraged the municipality to review its copy, but the case remains unresolved. In the region, another sector seems to have made hikers react, that of Follatères, between Fully and Dorénaz. A popular place, especially in winter, for its mild and dry climate which allows you to ride even in the bad season. There, it seems that solutions must be found to ensure healthy coexistence with walkers.

According to information from and Pro VTT, the town of Fully and the Commission des Follatères, manager of this federal reserve, were alerted by hikers surprised to discover cyclists in this location. “No significant biological impact” According to a document established by a specialist,

It seems, however, that the passages of cyclists do not have a significant biological impact on the paths of this “spot” at the bend of the Rhône. This document notes, however, that depredations have been committed on the livestock barriers erected on the paths, which is obviously not tolerable, but which is not necessarily the work of cyclists either. The author notes that “pedestrians sometimes have to deviate from the path multiple times during a walk, with a feeling of continual disturbance.”

The rest of the time, it's not much better: "even when there are no bicycles, the walker remains confronted with the traces of their passage", the soil composed of loess very sensitive to erosion is marking easily. The Follatères reserve, hatched in red and the most “sensitive” path in terms of cohabitation with walkers (surrounded). Before drastic measures are taken, with discussions always difficult, cyclists can avoid too many encounters and obvious traces of their passage. We therefore invite everyone to refrain from crossing the Follatères on weekends during the busiest periods, namely between February and April, particularly during the flowering of bulbocodes and other flowers, which attract many lovers of the local flora.< /p>

Respect the trail In the same spirit, we will refrain from crossing the Bans de Branson sector when the ground is wet, with increased erosion. This is particularly the case when the rare snow melts in this location, but also during and after heavy rains. As the ground dries very quickly, the stress should be bearable. Pay attention to the path and the edges of the path: ride carefully, avoid slipping.

It is obviously a question of absolutely respecting fences and gates, even if we would welcome "obstacles" that can be crossed for mountain bikes, like what we find in regions with more bikes, like the Portes du Soleil. So many basic rules of common sense that we also find in the mountain biker's charter which we obviously invite you to respect to ensure the sustainability of our favorite activity.