This vast park houses a beautiful collection of trees and plants from all over the world, including a unique and beautiful Japanese garden. There’s also a river that rushes by as you walk, a large pond with bridges to cross it and many landscapes from fields, to forests and flowerbeds.
When you arrive at the Arboretum there’s a free parking area off the road to the right where you can leave the car. From here, you then follow the path and will quickly come across a route map of the Arboretum where you can choose from four different loops around the nature reserve, depending on how far you want to walk and what you wish to see. For our first visit we chose the Chemin Du Lac route which is around 3KM so a very short walk, however it was our second outing of the day and we also had a three month old with us so we wanted to avoid being out with her in the baby carrier for too long stretches at a time. The great thing about the Arboretum is that you can combine many of the different trails they propose for a longer walk where you get too see more of the variety of trees and plants in the nature park.
Along the walk there’s various signs highlighting the different tree species you see, as well as great sculptures – look out for the giant bugs as you start the path!
It doesn’t take long at all to complete the Chemin Du Lac route, around an hour, and at the start and end you have public toilets, as well as a shop, restaurant and the Wood Museum. We would have loved to enter the museum but it was closed during our walk. It’s definitely somewhere we will be returning to though in the near future so I will make sure to update this post with what we find and our thoughts after we head back.
There’s plenty of picnic places on your route if you want to extend your stay and enjoy some lunch or dinner while you are relaxing in the tranquil forest or by the pond.
We found that a lot of the route was shaded, which is good with small children, but obviously on a hot day there’s parts where the sun can’t be avoided and it definitely can get warm on the exposed longer paths.
Overall, a visit to the Arboretum makes for a peaceful half a day excursion, and has plenty to entertain all the family as they explore this well-kept nature reserve.
Top Tips for the Walk:
- Check online to ensure it is open as it depends on the season
- It’s probably not a great place to visit in bad weather, and even in good weather make sure you dress accordingly
- Bug protection is a good idea, put on some deet or a gentle repellent before arriving
- Pack a picnic and enjoy a rest mid walk on one of the many picnic spots
- Combine two of the routes to see a good variety of landscapes. But if you have little ones who can’t walk too far or limited time, the orange route is a great way to visit a lot on offer in a short space of time.
- Combine this with a visit to the nearby Signal De Bougy if you have young kids – there’s a free play park, mini petting zoo and facilities here to entertain everyone. We even loved it as adults with a three-month old!
Download the friendly PDF guide for more details on this hike