The forest of Retz and its heritage

    Welcome to forest of Retz where 13,225 hectares of green awaits you. Enjoy a privileged moment in nature to break with everyday life and fall under the spell of birdsong and a palette of colors.

    Far from the stress of the city, nice discoveries are waiting for you: the forest hides remarkable natural heritage and some unusual treasures! Many ancient legends come from these woods and it isn’t impossible if, at the turn of the Clouise Stone, a huge monolith from the Neolithic, you came across a druid or some fairies. The forest is essentially a beech forest. Thirty remarkable trees are identified here and there. It is home to many common species including the majestic deer, the emblematic animal of royal hunts. There are also rarer species, today protected, such as the salamander, the black woodpecker and the rhinolophe, a species of little bat. Nowadays, the forest is managed by the Office National des Forêts.

    With its 600 kilometres of road and paths, the forest of Retz is also the best place to practice hiking. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned hiker, you will certainly find a circuit adapted to your level and your desires.

    Located at the top of a 220 metres high hill, the General Mangin's observation tower offers one of the highest point of view of the local area. On each of its eight floors, thanks to games, sound records and a spyglass, you will discover everything about the wildlife and flora of the forest of Retz but also its crucial role during the offensive of July 1918 wich leads to the Armistice.

    From this point you can also enjoy three hikes including one dedicated to the First World War which will lead you to the Guards’ Grave Cemetry where 98 British soldiers are buried. Back at the very beginning of the war, these brave soldiers fought long and hard in these woods to stop the German progression toward Paris and save their fellow comrades and Allies who were retreating.

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