TRAIL RUNNING LA NOGUERA
With a total surface area of 1,733 km2, a population of over 35,000 habitants and 30 municipalities, La Noguera is one of the largest districts in Catalonia. Balaguer is the capital of this district, which could be divided into two parts: La Noguera Alta (Upper Noguera), which is dominated by mountainous relief, with the Montsec ridge as its most characteristic feature, and La Noguera Baixa (Lower Noguera), which corresponds to the plain.
La Noguera is an agricultural and industrial district. Balaguer lies at the centre of its fruit growing area, which extends across the Pla d’Urgell. Amongst the dry-land crops that predominate in and around the Montsec and in the mid-Segre area, it is possible to find olive and almond trees, vines and wheat. On the other hand, the area’s industry is essentially concentrated in Balaguer (food industry, metallurgy and paper production), Artesa (textiles) and Balaguer, Artesa and Ponts (wood).
As far as leisure activities are concerned, La Noguera is one of the most popular comarques in which to enjoy rambling, climbing and potholing. The Vall d’Àger (Àger Valley) and Montsec are also ideal places at which to enjoy hang-gliding. Cycling is another popular sport in this district.
Total distance: 20 km
Elevation gain: 900 m.
Start point: Gerb
Finish point: Gerb
Min. altitude: 250 m.
Max. altitude: 617 m.
Description of the route
This is a very varied circuit, which does not have any signage except some milestones in some sections, very wild and away, so we will make sure to be provided with everything necessary to be self-sufficient and taking into account in summer there is very little shade. However, it is an easy route to follow with a GPS watch, especially if it incorporates maps. It is divided into four different parts: a first by narrow paths in constant ascents and descents crossing the ravines and where it will be difficult to run fast, a second with long stretches of track where you can stretch your legs, a third part in fast and fun descent, and we will finish one last part by track with a short and dizzying descent to the town. In short, a leg-breaking course that will be a grueling and excellent workout.
We leave the side of the football field, cross the village passing in front of the church, make a short stretch of road and then on the left hand side, passing in front of some laundries, we will take the Camino del Canal. The first two km are easy and on a wide track, bordering small wheat fields. From here we enter the area of the ravines where we will be constantly going up and down, all the time along narrow paths with few straight lines. From km 6 to 9 we will have the “longest” ascent. Then we will enjoy good views of much of the region, and the Segre River under the walls of the Sierra del Montsec in Camarasa. The highest part of the route will be from km 8 to 12.5, where we will reach the Turó dels Quatre Batlles, an excellent viewpoint. From there, a long descent through the pine forest will begin, coinciding with a downhill mountain bike circuit. We will be attentive to the bikes that may come behind us. Obviously not a good place to wear headphones with music. From km 16 to 17 we will have a last ascent, which followed by a plain in a gentle descent will lead us to the Mirador de Fues (just above the village of Gerb) and from where taking extreme precautions we will go down a dizzying path that in just over 500 meters will leave at the entrance of the village.