The forest of the Vosges, around Épinal, reveals a rich variety of sometimes deciduous and sometimes resinous trees. Big old oaks and ash trees, graceful and slender beech trees are side by side with the traditional spruces and local fir trees. There are together with impressive Douglas-fir trees which are over 40 meters high whose top evokes Mediterranean landscapes. The paths leading to this great forest are varied, sometimes opened then shrunken onto mysterious trails which bypass valleys and sandstone rocks to arrive at fragrant pinewood.
The site with the remains of the castle, which has overlooked the city since the Middle Ages, offer an unmissable historical panorama of Épinal. Take the opportunity to walk across the Parc du Chateau which shelters many emblematic animals of the area or walk along the woods on the side trails. This short healthy walk will charm you, and along the way, you will be shown several exits to access the town centre. One of which will guide your steps to an old wash house, another to the “Plomberie”, a contemporary art site and another to an area close to the Place des Vosges.
Further south of Épinal walk along the water supply channel of Lake Bouzey and take a section of the old railway line which used to serve the town. This path allows you to walk through splendid forests which houses stunning rocks called Roches d’Olima. They stand at nearly 20 metres in height and are on a surface of 40 square metres and are made of plum-pudding stones. Carefully climb on the top of the Roches d’Olima so as to admire the panorama which changes colour with the seasons. You will discover the remains of a powder warehouse which dates back to the war of 1870 right next to the rocks.
L’étang de la Comtesse (The Countess Pond) is a beautiful and soothing place hidden east of Lake Bouzey. It was specially adapted to learn about the fauna and flora in wetlands.
In the spring, if you are patient and really discreet, you may have the opportunity to see the green and black frogs contemplating the flight of dragonflies or to see all the plants endemic to the ponds and peatlands, including insectivorous plants like the famous sundews. The pond has been protected by the botanical conservatory, Conservatoire des Sites Lorrains, since 1989 and its water level is carefully controlled so that the vegetation develops durable. The fragile balance between water and earth is thus preserved allowing a great diversity of animal and plant species to inhabit there. A long and beautiful wooden path winds its way over the ground allowing you to admire some perennial plants locally called linaigrettes and all the mysteries that nature conceals to the people who are in a hurry...
As you can well imagine mysterious clearings, magical undergrowth and romantic water spots, the landscape of our preserved and unsung land promises you great escapes! Our team is ready to advise you on the ideal itinerary, adapting it to your fancy of the moment.