The 'Vieilles Forges'
A - The museum of the forest Voir sur la carte
The forest was and is still a source of life, providing a living for the people of the Ardennes. It gave rise to all sorts of trades which were lost with the dawn of mechanisation. The museum bears vibrant witness to this world of coalmen, clog-makers and marauders.
Route de Sécheval
Tel : 0033(0)3 24 54 82 66
Web : http://www.renwez.fr
Be sure to ask for the audio guide for your visit. You will be able to listen to anecdotes about these forest trades. Woodcutting competitions are organised here during the summer.
Did you know?
The foresters lived with their families in huts in the forest. These were precarious structures made of branches, moss and ferns. In the clearing, the family tilled a small plot of land and raised a few hens. The women helped their husbands do the heavy work, while the children were responsible for getting supplies from the village, sometimes several kilometres away. The more widespread introduction of the car in the 1950s meant that men could return home at night. Progress got the better of the people of the forest.
À Les vieilles-forges
B - The breath of the Great North Voir sur la carte
The waters of the Vieilles Forges lake sparkle at the heart of the great forest. To come here is to inhale the breath of adventure: the paths are the soul of the region. Those who cleared the land, the woodcutters and the smugglers ventured into the heart of this hostile forest, vast but nourishing. We can follow in their footsteps, in total humility.
Why not take a canoe and glide silently along the lake in autumn, watching red, yellow and green combine to form pure blue: a little of the shivering Canadian Great North here in Vielle Forges…
The leisure centre and bathing area
This site has water-based activities to offer, not to mention a host of waywarked circuits for walkers in the forest … holiday atmosphere guaranteed!
The acrobatic park and rides on the Segway
Have fun with friends or family at the heart of the forest.
The Route Martin circuit explores this mountain landscape, at first running along the Faux stream which once provided power for the forges.
Distance: 4 km
Waymarking: pink rectangle
Time: 2.30 h
Start: from the car park at the church in the village of Les Mazures, go towards the stadium.
To go further afield
Topo guide on sale at the Rocroi tourist office.
Topo guide, Les Ardennes à pied (The Ardennes on foot), published by the French Hiking Federation. Walk No 5.
À Les Vieilles Forges
C - This summer, welcome to Elfy Park Voir sur la carte
New for the summer : Elfy Leisure Park opens! Near to the Vieilles Forges lake, 5 hectares for leisure devoted to Ardennes legends and fantasy are available for families (children from the age of 2). The programme includes: tree houses, climbing nets, pedal karts, zip wires, a large swing, slides, summer tobogganing, inflatable castle, etc.
In this magical setting, in the middle of the underground worlds, of the secret garden, of the reconstruction of a goblin village, a picnic area has been specially designed for visitors. And a snack bar and shop are available too.
info : www.elfypark.fr