The routes

Pedestrina / 5 steps / 60 km
From Morteau (F) to La Chaux-de-Fonds (CH), dive into the history of watchmaking and its smuggling past.
Pedestrian / 5 steps / 77 km
Circular walk on the French-Swiss border starting from Maîche
VTT / 7 steps / 252 km
Discover the job of the custom's officer
3 steps / 3h to 5h / 45 km
From Saint-Ursanne to Saint-Hippolyte step into the shoes of a smuggler

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Walk in the footsteps of the Orlogeur

Travel between France and Switzerland, walk in the footsteps of the Orlogeur and adventure on the trail of watch and clock smuggling in 5 steps between Morteau and La Chaux-de-Fonds.

On both sides of the Saut du Doubs, you will explore stunning landscapes, exceptional natural and heritage sites, and museums brimming with treasures testifying to local watchmaking expertise.

5 days on the trail of watch and clock smuggling

Step into the shoes of a smuggler and take the Orlogeur's initiation journey. Forget what you know and plunge into the history of the Orlogeurs and of smuggling. Be curious and logical. This cross-border hike will be an initiation into the secret practices of this profession and reveal the history of contraband of times gone by.

SGuided by Philémon, your Orlogeur ancestor, initiate yourself in one of the finest professions in the world. With the help of this predecessor, take the Orlogeur apprenticeship and pierce the secrets of the masters of time and of clock and watch smuggling.

TSolve the riddles on the boards along the way, collect the parts of a mechanism from the French and Swiss watch and clock museums and take them to La Chaux-de-Fonds. These parts will activate a mysterious mechanism, from which a well-deserved prize will be released to prove you have successfully completed your Orlogeur apprenticeship.



la Ligne des Horlogers
Timetable information :
• Gares de Morteau ou de La      Chaux-de-Fonds
www.ter-sncf.com (France)
   tél. : 0 800 802 479
www.sbb.ch (Suisse)
   tél. : 0 900 300 300


Common markup on the entire trail

In France
Régional GR® 5

In Switzerland


Carte IGN
3524 OT
Morteau Saut du Doubs

Carte Swiss Topo
231 Le Locle
232 Vallon de St Ismier


Highlights of the route

4 watch and clock museums, Boundary markers, The Saut du Doubs waterfall, a force of nature The UNESCO world heritage site of watchmaking town planning, etc.

Technical data file

The 60 kilometres of this walking route will take you from Morteau (in France) to La Chaux-de-Fonds (in Switzerland). You may do the return trip by train, using the Ligne des Horlogers.

The journey consists of 5 steps, taking you to several remarkable tourist sites, including the Saut du Doubs and its pools. It also gives you the opportunity to be familiar with watch and clock making expertise thanks to the collections of 4 museums dedicated to watches and to clock making (Morteau, Villers-le-Lac, Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds).

On the way, you will be able to enjoy the region's cultural and architectural heritage: the watch making hubs of Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds, a joint Unesco world heritage site, the boundary markers that mark out the frontier zones, the typical Jura farms, etc.

online map

Ascent profil


11lpi311lf44L'Orlogeur - Step 1
Pinpoint this step
MorteauMM - Le Vieux Châteleu (France)LL
DISTANCE : 9.509Km   |   ASCENT : 484m44   |   Walking time : 5h55

CThis first step starts at the Haut-Doubs Watch & Clock Museum in Morteau. You will then cross the Morteau plain, a vestige of a Palaeolithic lake, through which the Doubs gently flows.

The ascension starts in the forest beneath Mont Gaudichot up to “Le Châtaignot“, above which you will reach the peak of this step. You will then descend again into the valley towards Le Vieux Châteleu. Note: there are no opportunities to buy food and drink along the way.

To discover on the way

. Morteau paleolac
. Mont Châteleu

A short distance from the trail

. Obertino bell foundry
. Museum farms of the “Pays Horloger”
. Mont Châteleu Viewpoint

11lpi311lf44L'Orlogeur - Step 2
Pinpoint this step
Le Vieux ChâteleuLL - Sur la Roche (France)SS
DISTANCE : 11.801Km   |   ASCENT : 215m22   |   Walking time : 3h3033

This second step takes you to the French-Swiss border. After leaving Le Vieux Châteleu, you will go through a place called “Les Cernoniers“ where you can see the Chapel of Saint Anne and admire farms with tuyé chimneys, typical of the Haut-Doubs. The path then goes towards Meix Lagor, where you can find a restaurant.The route then goes alongside the border, where boundary markers still today mark the limit between the two countries. The path then takes you to a place called “Sur la Roche“, where this second step ends.

To discover on the way

Chopard farm
Chapel of Saint Anne

A short distance from the trail

Sauge Artisans du Bois (Wood crafters)
Grotte de la Grande Cave (Cave) 
Old boundary marker

11lpi311lf44L'Orlogeur - Step 3
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Sur la RocheSS - Les Brenets (France - Suisse)LL
DISTANCE : 13.901Km   |   ASCENT : 210 m22   |   Walking time : 4h44

This step takes you to Villers-le-Lac to the Watch & Clock Museum. The route uses the GR5 - GTJ; it goes alongside Lac de Chaillexon (called Lac des Brenets in Swiss) and then overlooks the Bassins du Doubs. The path then goes down to the Saut du Doubs waterfall, giving you a lovely view of this magnificent waterfall. Note: for the return part of the trip, you will need to take the boat provided by the NLB company, on the Swiss side, just after the footbridge, to get back to Les Brenets and the end of the step (last departure is around 5 pm in high season; ask the boat company for information)

To discover on the way

Lakes and Saut du Doubs waterfall
Grotte du Roi de Prusse (Grotto of the king of prussia)

A short distance from the trail

Chapel of Les Bassots
Belvédère des Taillards

11lpi311lf44L'Orlogeur - Step 4
Pinpoint this step
Les Brenets - Le Locle (Suisse)
DISTANCE : 11.601Km   |   ASCENT : 409 m44   |   Walking time : 4h3044

The route overlooks the Bassins du Doubs from the Swiss side and then descends towards the Saut du Doubs waterfall. A fairly steep climb, named the "smugglers' trail", then takes you to the Pâturages des Endroits.

At the end of the climb, go back down to the town of Le Locle, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stop at the Le Locle Watch & Clock Museum in Château des Monts to discover the wonders of watchmaking expertise. Note: there are no opportunities to buy food and drink along the way.

To discover on the way

Le Locle Watch and Clock Museum
Dry stone wall

À quelques pas du sentier

Jurgensen Tower
The Underground Mills of Col des Roches
Fine Arts Museum - Le Locle

11lpi311lf44L'Orlogeur - Step 5
Pinpoint this step
Le LocleLL - La Chaux-de-FondsLL
DISTANCE : 14.001Km   |   ASCENT : 350m33   |   Walking time : 4h3044

This last step of your Orlogeur Circuit takes you to the Model Farm, after a climb from Le Locle. Walking in the footsteps of revolutionaries, you head towards La Chaux-de-Fonds and its particular architecture, listed as a World Heritage site.After stopping at The International Watch and Clock Museum, the path ends at the Espace de l’Urbanisme Horloger. From the La Chaux-de-Fonds station, you can take the Ligne des Horlogers train back to Morteau. This train was used in the past by some smugglers.

To discover on the way

International watch and clock museum
Watchmaking centres
Bois du petit-chateâu
Tour Espacité

A short distance from the trail

Le Corbusier Villas
View over Lac de Moron
Farming and Craft Museum

Well for walking

Office de Tourisme du Pays Horloger
Bureau de Morteau
+33 (0)3 81 67 18 53 |
Bureau de Villers-le-Lac
+33 (0)3 81 68 00 98 |
Tourisme neuchâtelois
Bureau d’accueil de La Chaux-de-Fonds
+41 (0) 32 889 68 95 | Envoyez un mail
. Weather
Before you leave , check the weather forecast 
Tél. : 08 92 68 02 21 -  refreshed 3 times per day
. Book your accommodation
Contact accommodation to pre book your nights 
. Take ID with you d’identité
Do not forget to take your ID as you cross the border and can be controlled. 
. Préparer sa randonnée
Obtain an adequate equipment and be sure to stay hydrated during your hike

Prévoyez: hiking shoes, backpack, rain gear , water bottle , sunscreen, hat, first aid kit, Swiss army knife , binoculars etc ...La time set for the steps is given for information only. This is an estimate based on an actual running time, which takes into account the length and height differences . Adjust your pace. Do not go too fast, take regular breaks and take time to marvel at the beauty of nature around you !

. Respect nature
You go hiking in a privileged environment. Help us preserve it, do not throw your garbage , do not fire and do not practice ceuillette on & rsquo; itinerary . & Nbsp; You grow in an environment of low mountain and pasture . Be sure to follow the herds and wildlife . Stay on marked trails , close the portals of the enclosure, and bypass the herds especially if young individuals composing them.

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