Member for 5 years
Alone or with my family
Simplicity is the key
Magic for all the family at chlorophylle park
5 mins OF ESCAPE
Chidren can scamper about, run up and down and marvel ecstatically, learning as they play... At Dochamps in the village of Manhay, Chlorophylle Park certainly lives up to its title of educational fun park. The heart of this 500-hectare forest invites you for an unguided exploration in total freedom on a 2 km trail.
Plunge into forest depths
No doubt about it, Chlorophylle Park really does nestle at the heart of a 500-hectare forest. As we approach, we can see its radiant greenery in the distance, shining under the sun. The scenery is beautiful. We're spellbound before we even park the car, but are careful to follow the directions we've been given. The receptionist gives us a map from which we get an idea of what's in store: 2 km and 26 sections of treetop trails. We're reassured that we can follow each section at our own pace. Do we really have to do it an hour and half? No problem, we can take as long as we like. The aim is to enjoy it to the full.
2 km of trails covering every theme of nature and the forest
On entering the park the children's faces instantly light up. They've spotted an immense play area in the distance. To reach it they'll have to be patient because it's located on the latter part of the trail. This pleasant walk is the stuff of dreams. The simplicity of the forest is exalted in beautiful landscapes and we feel ourselves drawn into what appears to be the work of a great painter. Further along, a beautifully bucolic lane lined with basket willows shelters us from the sun... How beautiful nature can be! We're walking in a "unique universe, a fragile environment of exceptional value." The first information panels invite us to get to know our surroundings, so that we can live in harmony with them.
From root to crown
Amazingly, we come across two deck chairs in the middle of nowhere. We sit back and enjoy a different viewpoint. A buzzard flies high in the sky while, closer to us but unbeknown to walkers, there are squirrels and white-admiral butterflies, while spiders hide under the carpet of leaves. We're both dwarfs and giants in this densely-populated habitat. Throughout the trail, educational panels and recreational rest areas provide insight into the forest realm via amusing features that place the focus on its different aspects. A few metres on, we're stunned by a life-size cross-section model of a badger sett. Our amused fascination reaches its peak as we become smaller than ants and the boys decide to climb the ant hill. Fits of laughter guaranteed!
an educational trail dotted with information panels
The pleasure of gentle hiking
We continue our peaceful hike and savour the virtues of nature. The air is pleasant to breathe and the paths are exquisite. The children run ahead, making the most of their newfound freedom in this huge space. Here and there, they consult an information panel between rides on the slides. Each to their own way of recharging the batteries. We adults take the time to read the panels. Maybe we'll learn to recognise all the different trees, at last. This forest is the ideal place to become familiar with some key species: oak, aspen, hornbeam, and the mountain ash with its clusters of red berries that brighten up the forest... This temple of nature awakens the senses and soothes the mind.
The children run towards us, thrilled with their discovery of a bridge that disappears into the forest. A little hesitant, they've decided to wait for us before crossing this 200-metre footbridge that leads to the treetops. It is indeed quite awe-inspiring, 15 metres above the ground, putting the leaves within our reach as we cross it. We silently contemplate their rustling and stop for a few minutes to enjoy the revitalising view and allow the magic to operate. Is that an elf we can see over there?
From an animal viewpoint
After this unexpected and poetic pause, we gently continue our walk and every turn reveals a new setting, an incredible fact or a fun activity. Shall we see if we perform as well as the animals around us? Try to keep our balance like a stork, see as far as a buzzard, carry as much weight as an ant or walk a tightrope like a squirrel...? Samuel is keen to try the various experiments while Gabriel attempts the climbing wall.
And here we are at that play area! Ropewalk features between tall wooden towers, slides, timber beams, funnels to communicate from the leaning tower, and so on... The range of activities proposed appeals as much to the adults as the children. Sitting on a bench or stretched out on the grass, we are kept entertained by the children's antics. Feeling relaxed, we don't want to leave this haven of joy and peace, but we still have plenty to see. Like the legendary forest.
A balcony overlooking a fantasy world
The forest is filled with the ethereal presence of gnomes, elves, fairy witches, dragons and werewolves. All these imaginary characters emerge from the fount of fairytales to hide in the park... so that children can try to find them. The return to reality is a gentle one: a timber cabin, a saw mill and a railway are the final features before a last play area. We enjoy a snack outside on a terrace at an elevation of 500 metres. We're still bewitched by the power of this landscape. We were told it would take an hour and half, but we've been here all afternoon. We're the last to leave the car park and the children are still asking for more. An unforgettable experience for all the family.
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