If you have hiked around the Esterel mountains of south eastern France recently (the mountainous back-drop to Cannes on the Côte d'Azur), you may have noticed a change. Like magic, one of the main lakes of the Esterel has disappeared. The Esterel's "Squirrel lake" or Lac de l'Ecureuil is dry.
Why? One of the foresters working in the Esterel noticed a crack in the man-made lake's barrage about a year ago. The lake was thus drained for safety reasons.
True, hiking that side of the Estérel doesn't feel quite the same. And fewer animals stroll in the evening as they did to take a drink, but the reddish cliffs that surround the hiking path still glow like flames in the setting sun. I continue to recommend this hike to anyone visiting the region behind Agay, Cannes, St Raphael in southern France.
The Lac de l'Ecureuil hike is hike #3 in the hiking guidebook "26 Gorgeous Hikes on the Western Cote d'Azur", available on all Amazon sites (US, UK, France, German, Japanese).
Plans are under way to restore a small dam to capture rain water. We're expecting to hear more about these plans in 2011.