The Fifth Lake: a route through the Pyrenees of Lleida
El Tren dels llacs (train of the lakes), which connects the city of Lleida with the town of La Pobla de Segur, allows for a nostalgic journey into the Catalan Pyrenees. The diesel engine of this train rides along the edges of the Noguera Pallaresa River and its reservoirs. From the train you can see four lakes: Sant Llorenç de Montgai, Camarasa, Cellers and Sant Antoni.
About five miles into the border of La Pobla de Segur’s county, you can spot another lake called Montcortès. Located in the town with the same name, it has become the unsuspected star of one of the favorite itineraries of the zone: The Fifth Lake.
A snapshot of the trip that makes El Tren dels llacs
This route responds to an initiative of a group of local tourism businesses, which aims to promote hiking in the area throughout the year. It takes the visitor through the Pyrenees on a circular itinerary that begins and ends in La Pobla de Segur and crosses the counties of Pallars Jussà, Pallars Sobirà and Alta Ribagorça. It takes you near the bottom edge of the spectacular Aigüestortes National Park and through least known parts of Pallars: Pla de Corts or the Valley of Manyanet, a place where hikers can find peace and quiet. 65 miles in total that you can do on foot on five different stages.
Wikiloc of the Fifth Lake route
The Fifth Lake can be seen throughout the entire time you are on the route, in some cases like a far distant stain. It’s only on the fifth stage when the hiker can appreciate the lake in all its glory. The lake sits on a karst area, just over a kilometer above sea level. Along with the Estanys de Basturs, it is the only lake in the Pyrenees that does not have a glacial origin. It is 32-yards deep and the water feeding the lake comes from underground fountains. It is, indeed, an area of great natural interest.
It’s a mid-mountain route with low difficulty. It’s definitely attainable. However there are some uneven stretches that require being minimally in shape. There are signs posted all the way, and the itinerary can be downloaded on the route’s website. Some prefer to cover the distance by riding a mountain bike or on horseback.
The route takes the visitor mostly on shepherd paths, which in some cases have been specially recouped for this route. Besides walking, along the way you can see traces of local history and culture: dolmens, chapels, farmhouses and shepherd’s shacks.
Shepherd with his sheep in the area of the Fifth Lake
The ideal time to make the route is during the fall or spring, when heat is not an issue.
Hikers on route
On the Fifth Lake’s website you can find several touristic packages, that provide accommodation offers, to complete the route in several days as well as tour guides experts in different subjects like ornithology, geology and history, for example.
The pictures on this post are provided by The Fifth Lake route.