Lac des Montagnes, Midi-Pyrenees, France

Lake Locations:

France - Southwestern France - Midi-Pyrenees -

Also known as:  Barrage des Montagnes

Lac des Montagnes, also known as Barrage des Montagnes, is a small artificial reservoir in the Midi-Pyrenees region of France, close to the Spanish border. It has a surface area of about 10 acres. Facilities include mini golf, a handicap-accessible entrance point, swimming beaches with lifeguards (on the northeast section), and picnic tables.

Swimming, sailing, boating, and fishing are just a handful of the relaxing pastimes at Barrage de Montagnes. Canoeing and kayaking are other notable diversions; paddlers can drift along the peaceful shores of Lac de Montagnes or the winding waters of the nearby Tarn, Thore, and Agout Rivers. To the delight of local anglers, wild trout populate the sparkling streams of the Gijon Valley. In addition, pike and perch are commonly found throughout the area, as are carp. Night fly fishing for carp is allowed in certain places. Permits are required for any angling in the area.

Hiking and walking trails of varying lengths and skill levels can be found throughout the Lac des Montagnes region, like the GR7 walking trail leading from the Vosges to the Pyrenees. One of the most intense paths is the GR71, which traverses the entire country of France from north to south.

Cycling and mountain biking trails are also plentiful in the Lac des Montagnes area, which features 10 long-distance routes and countless shorter pathways. One circuit begins at Albi and winds for 27 miles through rolling hills and picturesque Gaillac vineyards. Many of these same cycling and walking routes can be used for horseback riding; there are at least 8 equine centers nearby.

Lac des Montagnes is known as a family-friendly destination. Go karts, theme parks, and day spas are just a short drive away in the city of Mazamet. Wine tasting, horseback riding, and ice skating are just a few of the many other diversions that this beautiful area has to offer. Sport enthusiasts can take their pick playing rugby, tennis, or a round of golf at the 18-hole championship course. Both children and adults can’t get enough of the three animal parks – an Australian zoo, an African safari park, and a bird zoo – can all be found within driving distance of the lake. There is also a water park less than 20 minutes away in the city of Castres.

For thrill seekers, canyoning and rock climbing are possible at the Montagnes Noires, or the Black Mountains. This ancient range is over 330 million years old and stretches for 60 kilometers. Its tallest peak is the Menez-Hom, at 1,083 feet. At this altitude it is possible to participate in hang gliding, or just absorb the stunning views of the Bay of Douarnenez, the Crozon Peninsula, and the Alder Estuary.

During the winter, the ski resort at Formigueres – roughly an hour and a half away from Lac des Montagnes – features a snow park, ski lifts, and a ski school. Another attraction within the vicinity is Carcassonne, a medieval city fortified by beautiful stone towers and brimming with fountains, courtyards, churches, and gardens dating back to antiquity.

Also near Lac des Montagnes, you’ll find the Parc Regional de Haut Languedoc. This reserve affords an opportunity to hike to the Pic de Nore, a spectacular mountain peak that boasts breathtaking views. The immense park is composed of 2,605 square kilometers divided into seven areas. It is home to at least 240 species of birds, and a human population of 82,000.

Each year, several festivals and events are held in the Lac des Montagnes area and around Mazamet. A racing rally known as the Annual Rallye Montagne Noire is held during July and August. At the yearly Fanfare Sans Frontieres music festival, hundreds of bands from many countries worldwide perform for a solid week to the delight of generally young and enthusiastic fans. Cycling races are also held year-round, such as the Mazamet Nocturnal Cycle Race.

There are endless things to see and do in the city of Mazamet, just 10 minutes to the north of Barrage des Montagnes. Situated on the northern side of the Montagne Noire Mountains, this area was once renowned as an internationally recognized industrial trading center (circa mid-1800s). Here you’ll find numerous bars and restaurants, shopping areas, and even a game and toy museum with over 1,200 wooden items from around the world. Three days a week, this town hosts a fresh food and flower market – a great place to come for a taste of genuine French culture.

Lac des Montagnes is just an hour away from the beaches of the Mediterranean Sea, so visitors can alternate between salt and freshwater outings. Myriad gites – small, furnished vacation cottages in France – and real estate properties are available within walking distance of Lac des Montagnes. Many feature private gardens, terraces and swimming pools. Barrage des Montagnes is unquestionably the perfect place for an authentic, laid-back French vacation.

Things to do at Lac des Montagnes

  • Vacation Rentals
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Sailing
  • Swimming
  • Swimming Pool
  • Beach
  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Picnicking
  • Hiking
  • Ice Skating
  • Rock Climbing
  • Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Birding
  • Museum
  • Miniature Golf
  • Shopping

Fish species found at Lac des Montagnes

  • Carp
  • Perch
  • Pike
  • Trout

Lac des Montagnes Photo Gallery

    Lac des Montagnes Statistics & Helpful Links

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    Lake Type: Artificial Reservoir, Dammed

    Surface Area: 10 acres

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    Trophic State | LakeLubbers

    Trophic State measures the level of algae and nutrients in a lake.

    An oligotrophic lake is very clear (blue in color) and does not support much plant or fish life. A hyper-oligotrophic lake is the clearest of all lakes, and is nearly devoid of plants and fish.

    A mesotrophic lake is slightly green and supports a moderate degree of plant and fish life. A lake's most desired trophic state is generally this mid-point - the mesotrophic state.

    A eutrophic lake is somewhat murky and supports a large amount of plant and fish life. A hypereutrophic lake is clouded with algae, plant life, and fish life. A eutrophic or hyper-eutrophic lake can be difficult to navigate by boat - and is often an unpleasant place to swim.

    The use of phosphorus-rich and nitrogen-rich fertilizer on lawns and golf courses surrounding a lake can cause it to become eutrophic or hypereutrophic.


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    Catchment or Drainage Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the surrounding area that drains into a lake, including land, rivers and their tributaries. This is also known as the lake's "catchment basin".

    Small lakes at the highest peaks of mountains have small drainage areas. The world's oceans have the largest drainage areas.


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    Lake-Area Population | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated number of people who live in a house with a view of a lake, plus those who self-describe the lake as their home, for example: "I live at Smith Mountain Lake."


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    Water Residence Time | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated time that it takes for an amount of water equal to the entire volume of a lake to flow out of - or evaporate from - the lake.

    Residence Time can be as short as a few days for fast-flowing small lakes, and can exceed 100 years for slow-flowing large lakes.


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    Completion Year | LakeLubbers

    This is the year that a reservoir was first filled to the reservoir's normal elevation - or the year that a natural lake was first dammed. A large reservoir can take more than a year to fill after its dam is first closed.

    The Grand Anicut in southern India is generally considered the world's oldest dam that still operates. Grand Anicut was constructed in the second century BC. It now impounds an irrigation network that includes roughly one million acres.

    You can find many of the the world's newest reservoirs on LakeLubbers. Many of the world's oldest reservoirs appear on the last page of that list.


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    Water Volume | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated volume of water that a lake contains -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. By this measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal.

    You can find many of the the world's largest lakes (by water volume) on LakeLubbers.

    Water Volume can be measured in acre-feet, in cubic miles, or in cubic kilometers. One acre-foot is the amount of water needed to cover one acre (43,560 square feet) to a depth of one foot. One cubic mile equals 3,379,200 acre-feet. One cubic kilometer equals 810,713 acre-feet.

    1 acre-foot is equal to 325,851 US gallons. Siberia's Lake Baikal contains about 6,276,367,740,000,000 gallons of freshwater - nearly 1 million gallons for every living person on earth.

    The other - and more widely used - measure of a lake's size is the lake's surface acreage. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is North America's Lake Superior.


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    Maximum Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated greatest depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. The world's deepest lake is Siberia's Lake Baikal; that lake's maximum depth is estimated at 5,314 feet.

    You can find many of the the world's deepest lakes on LakeLubbers. If you select the last page of that list, you will find the (maximum depth of) the shallowest lakes in our database.


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    Average Depth | LakeLubbers

    This is the estimated average depth of the water in a lake -- measured at the lake's normal elevation. If the water volume and surface area of a lake are known, an estimate of the lake's average depth can be calculated:

    Water volume ÷ Surface Area = Average Depth

    Example: 1,000,000 acre-feet ÷ 20,000 acres = 50 feet average depth


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    Maximum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's highest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can occur during flooding. A lake's highest possible maximum elevation is usually the top of the lake's dam or spillway.

    At lakes that include residential development, government regulations usually forbid the construction of homes below a lake's maximum elevation.


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    Minimum Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's lowest water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level, that can be reasonably expected to occur. Low lake levels can occur due to deliberate seasonal draw downs for irrigation or impending snow melt, reduced water inflows, drought and evaporation, residential or commercial water demands, and hydropower generation.

    Some lakes' minimum and maximum elevations are virtually the same. Lakes that generate hydropower may vary by several feet - according to power demand. Lakes whose primary purpose is to prevent flooding can seasonally vary by 100 feet or more.

    When some lakes reach their minimum elevation, their boat ramps may not be long enough to permit boat access - and boats docked on shallow parts of the lake may end up on dry ground. In those cases, kayakers and shore-based anglers may be among the few happy recreational users of the lake.


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    Normal Elevation | LakeLubbers

    This is a lake's normal water level, measured by the lake's surface distance above sea level. For a reservoir, this water level is also known as "full pond" or "full pool".

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    Shoreline Length | LakeLubbers

    This is the length of the exterior shoreline around a lake - measured at the lake's normal elevation. The shoreline length can be considerably shorter or longer when lake water levels are lower or higher than normal.

    A lake with many coves has a much longer shoreline than a lake of similar surface area that is nearly circular in shape.

    When known, the shoreline miles that we report in our statistics include only the lake's exterior shoreline, and exclude the shorelines of islands located within a lake's boundaries. In lakes with many islands, those islands' combined shorelines may exceed a lake's exterior shoreline.

    You can find many of the world's longest-shoreline lakes on Lakelubbers.


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    Surface Area | LakeLubbers

    This is the area (acreage, square kilometers, etc.) of the top surface area of a lake - measured at a lake's normal elevation. The surface area can be considerably smaller or larger when lake levels are lower or higher than normal. North America's Lake Superior is the world's largest freshwater lake by this measure.

    The other measure of a lake's size is the lake's water volume. By that measure, the world's largest freshwater lake is Lake Baikal in Siberia.

    You can find many of the world's largest lakes (acres) on Lakelubbers. There is no widely-accepted minimum surface area that defines a lake. What Lakelubbers describes as a lake, you might call a pond. The smallest lake that Lakelubbers currently includes is Hawaii's 2-acre Lake Waiau.


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    Water Level Control | LakeLubbers

    This is the organization that controls water releases or outflows from the lake or reservoir. In the USA, this is often the US Army Corps of Engineers, a power company, a municipal water system, an irrigation district, or a paper manufacturing company. In the case of private or gated lakes, a homeowners' association may be the lake's controlling authority.

    Many lakes cross borders, including North America's Great Lakes. The control of such lakes and their coveted freshwater may be amicably shared - or hotly disputed.

    "Water wars" continue at many lakes as growing populations and crop irrigation needs compete for the freshwater that lakes contain.


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    Lake Type | LakeLubbers

    There are 3 basic types of lakes that are currently included on LakeLubbers. 2 types may be dammed or not dammed, producing 5 classifications.

    - A Reservoir is a man-made freshwater lake that is usually created by damming rivers.

    - A Natural Freshwater Lake occurs naturally - often by glacial activity - and has a salinity of less than 30 parts per thousand. It may be dammed to produce electricity or for other reasons.

    - A Natural Saltwater Lake occurs naturally and has a salinity of more than 30 parts per thousand (ppt). It may be dammed.

    "Brackish" water may be categorized as freshwater or saltwater, depending on its salt content (salinity). Oligohaline water has less than 15 ppt of salt. Mesohaline water has 15-29 ppt. Polyhaline has 30-335 ppt.


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