When you live in Paris or in the suburbs, you are mainly exposed to pollution, noise pollution, visual pollution, odor pollution, crowds of people in transport, crowds of people on the road, crowds of people in the office, crowds of people in the shops, crowds, crowds, crowds and pollution.
And sometimes we want to get out. Fortunately, it is possible.
1. The most mysterious: the Montmorency forest
You can easily reach the Montmorency forest from the stations of Taverny and Saint-Leu la Forêt (line H of the Transilien). There is a real timeless side to this not so popular forest, quite thick, and full of little secrets, in particular a hunting lodge used in its time by François I, numerous ponds, royal ferns and mushroom beds where s installed the Nazis during the occupation… Note that there is also an application called “the augmented forest” (
2. The most animal: the Rambouillet space
We know the forest of Rambouillet, but it must be recognized that there is little chance (except for a monumental stroke of luck) of coming across a wild boar, a deer or a deer there. On the other hand, at Espace Rambouillet, it is more than likely, since this 180-hectare site voluntarily hosts them. Even if it is better to take binoculars and a little cash, the adult price reaches 15 euros. But nothing prevents, then, to walk in the free forest. It takes an hour’s walk from Rambouillet station (or take a bike).
3. The most toll: The national forest of Dourdan
Not far from the sadly known Saint-Arnoult toll, the Dourdan forest is very marked and practical, therefore, for taking walks and hikes. Oaks galore, some of which are several hundred years old, ponds and of course the Abbey of L’Ouye, run by Ursuline nuns.
You can access the Dourdan national forest by RER C, getting off at the Dourdan-la forêt station.
4. The most royal: the forest of Saint-Germain en Laye
The second largest forest in Yvelines, the national forest of Saint-Germain offers both small paths for bucolic walks and others for more strenuous hikes. You can also go for a horseback ride to discover the inevitably royal history of the estate where hunting was once practiced with hounds, horses and poor foxes. View overlooking the Seine, valley in the heart of the arm of water. It’s nice as they say at Saint-Germain. The entrance to the forest is not far from the Saint-Germain RER (A) station.
5. The most romantic 19th century: the Valley of the Wolves
Imagined by Chateaubriand (the guy who made his memories from Beyond the Grave, not the piece of meat), the Parc de la Vallée aux loups is in the image of its creator: romantic, shady, a little melancholic. In addition to the meadows, undergrowth and trees planted by Chateaubriand himself, there is a tower in which the writer liked to work and other relics of his personal history.
To get there, just take the RER B to Croix de Berny then a fast bus.
6. The most Chevreuse: the Chevreuse valley
By RER B to Gif-sur-Yvette or Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse, you can easily reach the valley which looks a bit like a setting in Brocéliande without the Breton side. You can walk or cycle and repeat “oh, it’s bucolic! while discovering the Château de la Madeleine.
7. The most Napoleon: the forest of Fontainebleau
We are still talking about a real forest with 1500 forest road markers. There is everything: calm and beautiful, sporty, special mountain biking… What is interesting is that you can very quickly find yourself alone in the forest in front of the immensity of the possibilities for walking. Landes, forests, sandstone landscapes and even a rather steep forest massif for the Île-de-France. To get there, just take the Transilien R to Fontainebleau-Avon then a bus.
8. The quietest: the national forest of Armainvilliers
It is undoubtedly the least known and therefore the most peaceful of the forests of Île-de-France. Its low attendance has allowed the flora and fauna to do well with lime trees, conifers, beeches and of course game. It is possible to follow the rivers so as not to get lost. The forest is located 5 minutes from the RER (E) station of Ozoir-la-Ferrière.
And for all hiking enthusiasts, there is an app that will find you wherever you are, Visorando (Android, iOS).