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Lac de la Foret d'Orient (October 2011) [© Frédérique Behl]

Foret d'Orient Regional Nature Park

Just east of the historic city of Troyes lies a complex of three man-made great lakes and 300 smaller waterbodies amongst wet valley pasture and dense oak forest considered by many the most beautiful in eastern France. Together with Lac du Der-Chantecoq, the Foret d'Orient or Eastern Forest makes up northern France's best winter birdwatching and is a peaceful but beautiful landscape for summer exploration.

Foret d'Orient, an area of over 60,000 hectares, was designated as a Regional Nature Park in 1970. The main lakes are important for migratory and over-wintering birds and the deep forest harbours wild boar, red and roe deer, red squirrels, plus six species of woodpecker. Add to this the wonderful routes for walking and cycling, sandy lake beaches for family fun, the attractions of Troyes historic quarter, the hearty food and naturally the champagne - and you have one of France's most under-rated outdoor experiences.

We've visited this area many times over the last few years: don't forget to read our trip reports to see and hear about our own experiences. Its quiet but scenic atmosphere has made it one of our favourite areas in France.

Use the links to the detailed pages in the left hand column or the WildMap below to explore the highlights of the region.


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