Saint-Hippolyte is a commune in northern Aveyron in Occitania, on the edge of the Cantal department. The neighboring town is Entraygues and is located 65 km north of Rodez and 40 km south of Aurillac.
It regroups several villages or hamlets whose main ones are Saint-Hippolyte, of course, Couesques, Pons and Rouens.
Saint-Hippolyte, which has a population of about 450 inhabitants, is located in the midst of a preserved mid-mountain natural area, which lived mainly from agriculture. It was particularly developed in the aftermath of the Second World War when the Couesques dam was built and the adjacent one, On the Goul, which mobilized more than a thousand workers for several years. Generating electricity, these dams also helped to regulate the watercourses concerned, especially during spring creep.
They contribute to the development of an economy now also focused on green tourism.
The built heritage of the various villages of the commune is worth a look.
In Saint-Hippolyte, the visitor will discover typical mountain houses, with nice views over the Truyère valley and the castle-fort of Valon, located in the neighboring town of Lacroix-Barrez. Also worth seeing is the church decorated with a comb bell tower (15th century).
In Pons, the sloping shale roofs of the dwellings confirm the mountain character of the place. A detour is imposed on the church, built in the 15th century, in which are preserved an altarpiece and a statue of Saint Roch of the sixteenth.
In Rouens, where the viewpoint of the castle of Valon is also interesting, the church Notre-Dame which dates from 1797 shelters a classified altarpiece of the eighteenth. Also to be seen is the restored bread oven with a characteristic stone vault.
For lovers of hiking, Saint-Hippolyte offers many possibilities, near the GR Lo Country of Camel Olt and GR 465. Marked trails are also arranged around the hamlets of the municipality, allowing to enjoy the natural heritage (information at +33 5 65 44 56 10).
The dam reservoirs of Couesques and Goul (260 hectares for one, 20 for the other) allow to practice various nautical activities, as well as fishing. Bathing is not possible, however.
On Lac de Couesques, a boat landing stage has been set up at the Izaguette, with picnic tables.
To better understand the history and functioning of dams and specifically hydroelectric energy, an information space with a playful and pedagogical vocation is now accessible at the Couesques power plant (exhibition, projection, models...). EDF Truyère is open from the beginning of June to the end of September. For further information, please call +33 5 34 39 88 70.
More traditional, a visit of the mill of Couffinhal dating from the seventeenth is possible. Information at +33 5 65 44 87 56.
Finally, you can play tennis at Pons and at Saint-Hippolyte. Please call 0565 66 14 50.
The third weekend of April, in Pons, festival of gardens and vide-grenier.
The first Saturday of August, in the evening, on the stadium of Saint-Hippolyte, festival of the village with concerts, equestrian animations and fireworks.
The last Sunday of October, in Pons, festival of chestnut and cider, with in parallel a hike around the hamlet.