As you enter the forest of Villecartier, a magnificent beech and oak forest with a holly undergrowth, you’ll discover an ancient royal forest of 1,000 hectares: a remnant of the original forest that once covered the Armorique region.
The Villecartier Forest: exploring nature
The Villecartier Forest has borne witness to the history of mankind: the Norman invaders entrenched themselves there in the 10th century. Later, Chouans and Republicans would fight there during the Vendée wars.
At another time, the forest was home to an entire population of coal merchants, clog makers, makers of wood bundles, and sawyers. In the 18th and 19th centuries, thousands of wheelbarrows were manufactured to repair the dikes of the Dol marshes and to deepen the bed of the Vilaine river. The charcoal makers also sold ashes as washing powder or as a fertiliser for farmers. A significant number of clog makers lived in huts built of wood and covered with branches, known as lodges. After the First World War, most of them left the forest to settle in the neighbouring villages as clog-making craftsmen.
Shortly before the Normandy landings in 1944, lumberjacks were requisitioned to cut down many trees, in order to plant large piles in the bay of Mont Saint Michel – better known as Rommel’s asparagus – contributing to the reinforcement of the Atlantic Wall.
The Small Monuments Trail
Today, the forest has regained its tranquillity and has become a space dedicated to leisure and nature lovers.
Starting from the leisure base, set off on a 9.5 km circuit, on 100% forest tracks. By following the paths, you will discover the riches of nature, landscape and heritage hidden there: forest ponds, rocky outcrops covered with mosses, and deep valleys … Remarkable trees, an oratory, crosses and other small monuments reveal themselves as you take in the thousand-year-old history of the forest of Villecartier.
Welcome to “Recreanature“
The Miniature Port
Parents and children alike can declare themselves sailors as they enjoy a trip across the pond in an electric boat.
Hop onboard a ferry, trawler boat, Mississippi steamer, tugboat, the Queen Mary II or a fireboat! (2 to 4 seats depending on the chosen model). While on the water, take the chance to admire the flora and fauna of the forest.
Tel : +33 (0)6 40 79 96 04 and +33(0)2 23 15 02 18 – www.couesnon-marchesdebretagne.fr
The Parc des Grands Chênes
Come and enjoy yourself at Tree climbing adventure course up to 30 m high, featuring more than 210 stops for young and old: 2,300 m of zip lines, high ropes, a canyon, and a children’s park. Outdo yourself with the Quick Jump or a freefall!
2 zones: the adults zone (4 hours 30 – from 10 years old) and the children’s zone (2-5 hours, up to 10 years old and +1.10 m)
Nature Walk – “Let’s Discover the Forest”
Discover the Villecartier Forest with Pascal, a guide who is truly passionate about his country. He will tell you the history of this thousand-year-old forest, the lives of the those that populate it and the legends that surround it.
Entertainment, markets, shows, walks and various surprises fill the leisure base one Sunday a month, from April to September. These days of festivities for young and old are free of charge.
+33 (0)2 99 97 40 94 / +33(0)2 99 97 85 44