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City wood forest

Route du Bois de Ville

A large forest crossed by pathways on the edge of Thonon. This paradise for walkers, joggers, sports fans (equipped areas), cyclists, horse riders, nature lovers and those who enjoy peace and quiet is open all year round.

The Bois de Ville are located in Armoy and belong to Thonon-les- Bains. It has pathways and trails for visitors to enjoy whether they want to keep fit or just have some fresh air.

The Bois de Ville stretches over 118 hectares on one of the terraces formed when the glacier on the Rhône melted 10,000 years ago between the town and the foot of the Hermones Massif. In 1903, hydrotherapy patients from the spa centre began coming here for a walk and the names of the paths (such as Chemin de la Combe des Mares, de Lonnaz, de la Bécasse, Repos de l'Aigle etc.) date back to this era.

In the 60s, as firewood became less and less popular, small woods of young trees with short and sinuous trunks were kept and it began being managed as a forest. This made the massif more attractive and thus grew in popularity.

During a council visit in 1975, council members dismissed the idea of producing large amounts of wood as this would have meant planting a lot of conifer trees (spruce and fir) to the detriment of the location’s spirit and originality.
Under the joint management of the O.N.F. (subject to regional forest management policy) and the council services, a 15-year installation plan was put in place which detailed the type of planning activity necessary for the forest to answer its vocation as essentially a leisure park until the year 2000.

Open all year round and 4km south of the town centre, the woods are popular without being too busy which is essential to the protection of its flora and fauna as well as its biodiversity. Walkers come here for the beautiful setting and peace and quiet whilst sports enthusiasts enjoy the signposted walks and fitness trails. There are also special trails for the two neighbouring equestrian centres.

The GR5 hiking trail linking Holland to the Mediterranean also crosses through the forest.
A new forest management plan is currently under consideration and bears testament to the recreational vocation of this natural site in the centre of Thonon.

Learn more

  • In the country
  • Forest location
  • Town outskirts
  • Close to GR footpath

Equipment & comfort

  • Car park
  • Pets welcome
  • Unguided group tours
  • Unguided individual tours