From Audincourt, southwards and upstream, the D437 follows the valley of the Doubs, winding and climbing steadily between steep, wooded banks to the bridging point at ST-HIPPOLYTE, where you'll find the riverside Hôtel Bellevue (tel 03.81.96.51.53, fax 03.81.96.52.40; €4055) and a campsite (MaySept). Seven kilometres west along the D39, the Auberge de Moricemaison, in Valoreille (tel 03.81.64.01.72; under €30), offers rustic simplicity and wholesome evening meals from €13.
A less congested scenic route from Besançon follows the D464 south of the river, but without a car you'd have to hitch all this manageable but slow. Beyond St-Hippolyte the road climbs onto a wide plateau at an altitude of around 850m, with grassy cattle pastures encompassed by fir-clad ridges and dotted with broad-roofed farms and barns. Once up here, cycling is easy enough. Alternatively, it's a lovely but long hike of well over 50km along the GR5 footpath from St-Hippolyte across the plateau and up the Doubs valley to the plunging waterfall of the Saut du Doubs outside Villers-le-Lac the beginning of the GTJ marathon cross-country ski piste. To reach the fall, it's a four-kilometre walk from the last houses above the north end of the lake in Villers along a track through the woods.
By road, Villers is 47km south of St-Hippolyte along the D437, which turns east at MORTEAU, a village with nothing more than a much-altered, thirteenth-century priory church to recommend it. The D437 is part of the Route du Comté, so if you like cheese, it's worth the detour. There is accommodation here in the form of a gîte on chemin du Breuille (tel 03.81.67.48.72) and, up on the plateau, the welcoming Hôtel des Montagnards (tel 03.81.67.08.86, fax 03.81.67.14.57; €3040; closed Sun out of season).
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