Scheduled events this weekend

  • NOUVEAU : un jeu de piste géant avec l’application « Paris region aventures » !

  • Barques au Château - parc du Château de Rambouillet

  • Bon d'achat coup de pouce - Rambouillet

  • Exposition de Hopare - Maison Elsa Triolet-Aragon, Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines

  • Exposition

  • Octobre rose 2021 - Les Essarts-le-Roi

  • Exposition

  • Exposition Petites ailes - La Lanterne, Rambouillet

  • programme des animations 2021 - Bergerie Nationale, Rambouillet

  • Programmation spectacles - Cabaret du bout des prés - Cernay-la-Ville

  • Sorties Automne-hiver 2021-2022 CERF - Forêt d Rambouillet

  • C'est pas que sorcier - Bergerie Nationale, Rambouillet

  • Expo champignons - Saint-Léger-en-Yvelines

  • Exposition de lego® Brisy 78 - Le Perray-en-Yvelines

  • L'intelligence des arbres - La Chapelle, Clairefontaine-en-Yvelines

  • Programme des sorties d'automne - Dany des bois

  • Balades des guides de parc - Rambouillet Territoires

  • Les enquêtes de Anne Mésia - Musée Rambolitrain, Rambouillet

  • Animations spéciales vacances de Toussaint - Musée Rambolitrain, Rambouillet

Get to know the forest

Get to know the forest.

The Rambouillet forest stretches over nearly 30 000 hectares (one hectare = 2.5 acres) 14 000 of which are managed by the National Forest Office. Within its bounds are 29 ‘communes’ or administrative districts. Part of the forest is located inside the Chevreuse High Valley regional park.

Since 2009, the Rambouillet forest has been classified as “protected” which means that its environmental quality is to be preserved without renouncing its different uses. Through this status the Rambouillet forest has become the second largest protected forest in France.

The Rambouillet forest is characterised by a large soil diversity resulting in a variety of vegetation and landscapes. Oak trees dominate the scene while pines cover the sandy terrains.

Peduncle oak and sessile or Cornish oak

The oak is the most common tree in French forests. It can be identified by its fruit, the acorn, and by the characteristic lobbed shape of its leaf. The peduncle oak and sessile oak are the most represented trees in the Rambouillet forest. Though often mistaken one for the other, they can be distinguished by a significant detail: the acorn of the peduncle oak is separated from the branch on which it grows by a stem, the peduncle.

The woodland pine

In France the woodland pine is most often found in the mountain ranges; but it has been planted in reforestation programs in many other regions.  Easily adapted to poor and bare soils, the woodland pine can be identified by its height (up to 40 meters or yards) and by the colour of its upper trunk, brown with orange tints. Its fruit are cones with brownish scales. The woodland pine can live up to 500 years.

Among the wild life, the red deer remains the symbol of the Rambouillet forest. However, one can also run across wild boar, roe deer, various small mammals and bats.

The wild boar

This large animal with its thick, hairy coat is the ancestor of the domestic pig. It lives in all types of areas as long as the vegetation is dense.  Quite numerous in the Rambouillet forest, wild boar usually live in groups, although the male is often solitary. Its diet is varied, composed mostly of plants, but it also eats carrion and small animals. The female boar, the wild sow, can have up to two farrows a year. The young can be identified by their brown and white striped coats.

The red deer

This majestic animal, the symbol of the Rambouillet forest, is the largest member of the deer family in our region. The male is distinguished by its antlers, weighing up to 15 kilos or over 30 pounds, which it loses at the end of each winter. Its light brown summer coat becomes darker in winter.  Smaller than the stag, the hind’s coat is also of a lighter colour. The fawn can be recognised by its light brown coat with white spots.

The diet of the red deer is based essentially on plants but it also eats tree bark, acorns and dead leaves depending on the season. The males bell during the rut in early autumn, when their sexual appetite is strongest. The average life span of the red deer is 15 years. Your best chances of observing this timid animal is at dawn or dusk.

The roe deer

The roe deer are very common in the Rambouillet forest. It is easily recognized thanks to the white spot on its rump, called a “mirror”. Its reddish summer coat turns greyish brown in winter. The male’s antlers fall off at the end of autumn and then grow back. It can live for up to fifteen years.

With regards to its diet, the roe deer is quite picky, preferring the tips of plants, buds, leaves and wild fruit. Its cry is reminiscent of a dog’s bark. A solitary animal, it hides in the middle of the woods or fields and can best be observed at dawn or dusk.

Going into the forest

The Rambouillet forest is crisscrossed by 92 kilometres of foot paths (sections of short and long hiking trails) as well as by 60 kilometres of bicycle and horse riding trails. The famous GR1 (Great hiking trail 1) crosses the forest as does the new Véloscénie (the scenic bicycle path) which links Paris to Mont Saint-Michel in Brittany.

For your outings, if you are not familiar with these places, it is best to rely on an arrowed itinerary and to use a detailed map, which you can find at the Rambouillet Tourist Office.

  • To be cautious, it is advisable to inform your family or friends of your itinerary.  Remember to carry water, snacks and warm clothing in your back pack.
  • Do not enter the fragile environment of the undergrowth.
  • Do not leave garbage in the forest, take it out with you.
  • Do not pollute the water by throwing anything into the ponds and spring water sources.
  • If riding a bicycle, stay on the paths that are more than two and a half metres wide, keep to a reasonable speed and yield right of way to people on foot.
  • Stay away from forest work sites for they can be dangerous.
  • Do not light fires or barbecues and do not smoke.  Fire is the enemy of the forest.
  • Spring and autumn are the best picking seasons in the Rambouillet forest (lilies of the valley, daffodils, mushrooms, chestnuts…).
  • If you are tempted, keep in mind that you are allowed to pick things only for family use.  
    Gathering dead wood is strictly forbidden.
  • All forms of bivouac are forbidden in the Rambouillet forest, whether in a tent, a car or any kind of shelter. The Huttopia Camp Grounds, in the heart of the forest, are ready to welcome you.
  • For your comfort and safety, be sure to check the weather forecast before setting out.  A sudden storm or change for the worse can spoil your outing.  
  • Every year, people take young animals out of the forest thinking they have been abandoned by their mother: fawns, baby owls, young boars.  By doing so, these people have condemned the animals to death.  Nature’s well-made system has no need of human intervention to function properly.
  • Leave baby birds on the ground.  Their parents continue to feed them even if they have fallen out of the nest.
  • Stay away from fawns even if they seem to be alone.  Do not ever touch them.  The human smell will repulse their dam or mother, turning the fawn into an easy prey for predators such as wild boar, dogs and foxes.