Let’s take a walk in the Ardèche woods…

Hikes and walks are numerous. So when the heat increases we are happy to take advantage of the forest trails and paths in the woods. What better immersion in nature? Breathe in the fresh air and discover the wealth of fauna and flora. Connoisseurs will be able to identify the essences, wild fruits and mushrooms, amateurs will be able to take advantage of guides. But whether alone or accompanied, everyone will benefit from a shady benefit. 

Julie Little

If the Forest was told to me

The Ardèche Verte bears its name well, in particular thanks to the many wooded areas. From the forests of pines or beeches to the larches of the Lalouvesc plateau, from the sweetness of the wild hazelnut trees and the hornbeams that border the Cance to the majestic cedars of Notre Dame d'Ay, the trees are very easy to discover. 

Do you know them all? The forest is crossed and there is a multitude of individuals sometimes older than one or two centuries with regard to certain chestnut trees. All have their names and virtues. The species that grow in the Ardèche are often also linked to the cultural and economic history of the region. 

What is this tree that hides this forest?

The Grandbeau Educational Forest. Here is the opportunity to find out more by visiting Saint-Alban-d'Ay. Located in the Sensitive Natural Space of the Hautes Vallées de la Cance and Ay, the forest of Grandbeau was devastated by the storm of 1999 before being reborn and fitted out for the public.

There is a plantation of old varieties of fruit trees as well as an educational hive. The forest area crossed by marked trails. 

Educational panels explain to visitors the history of the forest, the geology, the flora and the local fauna. In addition, we discover the riparian forest (vegetation bordering aquatic environments) at the edge of the delicious Embrun stream.

Severine Moulin

Everyone on a walk in the forest

The Grandbeau forest, is designed for everyone and it is with this in mind that the trail scenic route (200 meters developed) has been returned  accessible to disabled persons and is also ideal for pushchairs.  

Families and sports enthusiasts will go there with shared pleasure, the walking path longer and more sloping will allow you to bathe in nature and beautiful panoramas while picnic tables and benches will welcome the children's snack under a benevolent and appreciable shade in summer.

The forest of Roiffieux, of more than 180 hectares, can be discovered thanks to a path. This natural Park offers a well-deserved corner of shade during the summer and sumptuous landscapes in the fall. Picnic tables are available to share a family moment around a gourmet meal. Athletes will appreciate the mountain biking descents and the various sporting stages.

The Botanical route of Lalouvesc is also a pleasant forest circuit along which you will be guided by wooden signs in the shape of leaves. Information on the trees and plants that grow there allow you to get to know the local flora, or to remember some names that you might have forgotten. A beautiful family walk and playful. 

A hiking booklet (€4) is available at the Tourist Office.

The tree, a friend who wishes you well

It is probably an ancestral link between the Tree and the Man who reminds us and our modern life. In recent years the trend of forest bathing has more and more followers. Traditionally practiced in Japan, the Forest Bath has entered into mores in Europe and in France. 

It must be said that science never stops making discoveries about the marvelous world of plants and particularly forests. We remember the world best seller “The Secret Life of Trees” telling us about the subtleties of language and mutual aid in this seemingly immobile and silent universe. 

Why have a forest bath?

In this living nature, we like to be accompanied by well-being professionals, rejuvenation, re-connection and listening to sensations do a lot of good. 

Because yes, connecting to nature, to the forest, to the presence of trees is promoted by neuroscientists as having an action on the brain: stress management, pressure reduction and heart rate calming. So, alone, in a group, with the family for a walk or a mindfulness experience, the forest is good for your health!

Where to practice forest bathing in Northern Ardèche