Here at MBFF, we have been on some lovely hikes au Pays du Mont-Blanc and beyond . . . but certainly we have not tried and tested them all!
So, today, I would like to share with you a hike (perfect for families, buggies and draisiennes), tried and tested by Marine from the excellent website Randos en Famille: the «sentier thématique des Roselières» in Saint-Jorioz, on Lac d’Annecy.
About Randos en Famille
Marine started up the website Randos en Famille / FB page a year ago, and it has gone from strength to strength (she has attracted the attention of several local newspapers). Born and bred in Annecy, Marine is a sport and nature lover, and she has wanted to pass on her love of hiking and the great outdoors to her little girl born in 2016. With the little one in a baby-carrier and then back-pack, she has explored (and re-explored) walks from a different viewpoint, through the eyes of her little girl: around Lac d’Annecy, the Pays du Mont-Blanc, Switzerland, and further afield in northern France and even Guadéloupe. Marine didn’t find it easy to find well-documented walks for parents with babies, so she launched Randos en Famille in 2017, in order to share her discoveries with like-minded folk.
Guadéloupe may be a bit of a stretch for a local walk, so today we bring you a walk closer to home, tried and tested, and described by Randos en Famille: the «sentier thématique des Roselière in Saint-Jorioz on Lac d’Annecy» (see original FB post here). *NB – Marine is in the process of updating her website, so watch this space!*.
*NB – details of the walk/research/photos all supplied by Randos en Famille (here at MBFF, I have added some suggestions for campsites, places to eat and points of interest, should you decided to explore the area a bit more or to spend an overnight).
Overview of the walk
This is a family walk par excellence, along one of the longest reed beds of Lac d’Annecy. This protected nature zone is dotted with information panels, and is home to numerous aquatic bird species (ducks, swans, coots, warblers), fish and beavers.
a perfect walk for: families, small children, buggies, draisiennes, wheelchair users / and your four-legged furry friends are permitted on a leash!
picnics/eating options: picnic supplies can be picked up at Super U in Saint-Jorioz / restaurants: there are several restaurants in Saint-Jorioz town centre, on the beach during the seasonal months (Le Resto de la Plage) and Le Moulin de Pépé at Camping Europa (pizzas, burgers).
Details of walk
- distance: aller-retour of 4,5km (you can shorten the walk by turning back earlier);
- duration of walk: 1h30;
- departure/arrival: from the embarcadère de Saint-Jorioz (l’Esplanade de l’Espérance) to lieu-dit Le Beau (just before Duingt) and back;
- GPS coordinates: Latitude 45.843467 and Longitude 6.174962;
- accessibility: all year-round;
Embarcadère de Saint-Jorioz
Esplanade de l’Espérance
A view of Duingt castle from the other side of the lake, as see by Paul Cézanne:
The importance of reed beds (les roselières)
I hadn’t realised the ecological importance of mainting aquatic reed beds, until I chanced upon an article in Lac Annecy Magazine (édition 2018, no2; cover photo Luc Nisset) a couple of weeks ago: reed beds are essential in the purifying of the lake’s water, in preventing the erosion of the lake’s banks, and in providing a home to aquatic flora and fauna. Over the years, the aquatic reed beds of Lac Annecy had reduced from 250 acres to a mere 30 acres! Thankfully, the focused work of agencies like SILA (Syndicat Intercommunal du Lac Annecy) and Asters (Conservatoire d’Espaces Naturels Haute-Savoie) have worked hard to successfully protect the reed beds.
Other points of interest for families in the area
- Saint-Jorioz white sand beach and playground – open during the summer months / there is a plongeoir (diving board in lake) / you must pay to use the beach / ice-cream in summer;
- Le Ponton de l’Embarcadère – you can rent out pedalos, kayaks, canoes, stand up paddle boards, wakeboards, water-skis and boats (with or without permit options);
- la Maison de Pays du Laudon – during the summer months, explore a 19th century house and get to grips with village life from d’anton / open from 1st May to 30th September, 9h to 19h / see website for more details;
- Semnoz – the “balcon des Alpes“, a ski station in winter and lots of summer fun / luge d’été, mini-karting, walks, VTT / see here for more details;
- Massif des Bauges – located just above/behind Saint-Jorioz, this is a beautiful area to explore en famille / see here for more details;
- piste cyclable – the old railway line connecting Annecy and Albertville no longer exists – it was made into what is now the wonderful piste cyclable, which runs along the western edge of Lac d’Annecy. Though classified as a green route, I would highly advise parents with small children to be very vigilant (my son, who aged 4 was just discovering a love for pedal biking, was shouted at for getting in the way of a very serious road biker!);
- Big Jump bouncy castles – seasonal, just 500m down piste cyclable / see FB page for more details (check opening);