Dourdan National Forest
Formerly a royal forest, the Dourdan forest covers 1,600 hectares and has two mountains separated by the Orge valley. Back in the Merovingian period, these massifs belonged to the royal domain and remained in the royal family until the Revolution. The Ouÿe forest, the first of the two massifs, owes its name to the abbey founded in 1163 by Louis VII the Younger and is still standing today.
As for nature, many species of tree can be found in the national forest, such as chestnut, ash, beech, birch, hornbeam and of course oaks. At the southern tip of the forest, the "Six Brothers' Oak" ("six frères" in French), which has a trunk measuring approximately six metres in circumference and has grown into six new trunks, is an impressive variety. In terms of fauna, you will find various big game on the estate, with stags, roe deer and wild boar, as well as other mammals, such as squirrels, badgers, and hedgehogs. Around sixty species of birds also live in the forest, including the robin, cuckoo, tit, and woodpecker.
The Dourdan National Forest is ideal for countless walks and hikes. It also offers the opportunity to discover sites such as the Abbey of L'Ouÿe, the Fontaines Bouillantes ("Boiling Fountains" ponds), and, a little further on, the medieval Dourdan castle and its museum.
The Haute Vallée de Chevreuse Natural Park also holds nature walks for the public in the Dourdan forest all-year long.
Access and contact
Days and opening hours
All year round.
- Copyright image:
- Office de Tourisme de Dourdan