An incredible natural labyrinth overlooking the Chassezac. This petrified forest of rock and white oak forms a labyrinth classified as a “Sensitive Natural Area”.
The enchanted forest
Can you resist the urge to enter into this mysterious world where you’ll have some surprising encounters. Children will love exploring the blockfields of petrified rocks weathered by erosion. The Païolive woods have been inhabited by strange sculptures of limestone boulders since the beginning of time.
If you enter into the Païolive Woods, you’re in for a bewitching, captivating experience.
You’ll feel like an honoured guest if you take one of the paths that cross the woods. A walk in the Païolive woods is an invitation to let your imagination run wild. Keep your eyes wide open and observe the lush vegetation and the limestone shapes rising majestically up towards the sky, and resembling bears, lions and elephants.
A fragile environment
The Païolive Woods and the Chassezac Gorges are a protected natural area (Natura 2000 site and Sensitive Natural Area), home to a great many species and rare plants. You can find the famous beaver on the riverbanks and birds of prey such as the peregrine falcon and the Bonelli’s eagle that nest in the cliffs. The ancient woods provide a refuge for a multitude of beetles such as the stag beetle and the Cétoine Bleue or Eupotosia mirifica, found almost exclusively in France. At nightfall, you might be lucky enough to see bats emerging from the many nooks and crannies. There are almost 20 different species of them in these woods!
To respect this fragile natural environment during your walks or activities, please keep to the marked paths. Be discreet and you’ll have more chance of spotting wild animals. Obviously, smoking, building fires and camping in this site are all prohibited, as is leaving any trace of your visit (please take any rubbish with you)!
Please remember that much of this land is private property. Discretion is vital to protect this remarkable but fragile ecosystem.