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Ripaille Forest

Chemin de la Forêt

Ripaille Forest is just minutes away from Thonon town centre and is ideal for a lovely walk. This private wooded area is home to several different species of animal and you can stroll along a signposted trail to become one with nature.

This national heritage site covers 130 hectares of the Domaine de Ripaille estate. Here you can visit the old oak field where the counts of Savoie once hunted (53 hectares), André Engel arboretum (19 hectares) and the Mémorial National des Justes de France, erected in 1997 in honour of the men and women who saved the Jews during World War II.

The site is home to a number of species of self-sufficient wildlife and plantlife living in a closed circuit of walls isolating the site from the surrounding urban area.

Ripaille Forest covers 53 hectares and is impressive from a historical, forestry and fauna point of view. The counts and dukes of Savoie that came to hunt here in the Middle Ages planted the impressive coppice of sessile oak trees that you can still admire today. During this time a network of paths were laid to divide this forest and lead to the towns in Pays de Vaud on the other side of the lake which once belonged to the Savoie region.
The large ancient wall surrounding the forest has helped the wildlife thrive and you can see deer, a large heronry and many nesting birds. Ripaille has been awarded the ZICO label (important area for bird conservation) as per the EU directive.

André Engel designed an arboretum whose trees were planted over 19 hectares between 1930 and 1934 and holds 58 different, mostly exotic, species. The aim of the project was to research how these plants acclimatised to our region. Some species, such as the North American douglas fir, were incredibly adaptable.

Learn more

  • Lakeside or by stretch of water
  • Forest location
  • Town location
  • Town outskirts
  • Close to a public transportation

Equipment & comfort

  • Public WC
  • Botanic path
  • Botanic trail
  • Unguided group tours
  • Unguided individual tours