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near Clamart, Île-de-France (France)
The Forêt domaniale de Meudon is a surprisingly attractive forest, close to Paris. On some stretches you hardly see any people, in some places you will see joggers and anglers. It is a mainly deciduous forest with lakes, stream, open spots, and plenty of forest flowers. You will pass a menhir. It is a bit unclear to me whether the forest at the start is called the Bois de Clamart or the Forêt de Meudon. There are restaurants at the Étang de Trivaux and the Étang de Meudon with limited opening times. You can park your car around the roundabout at the start. If you arrive by public transport, probably the Place du Garde or the Cimetière de Trivaux bus stops are more convenient starting places, close to the route. There are some steeper stretches on the walk, which maybe slippery when it rains.
From the roundabout you walk in the direction of Clamart, and then around an open spot in the forest. At the Route de la Porte de Clamart, a wooden wall made of tree trunks was put next to the forest road (but will be probably gone by now). At a next roundabout you take a minor trail downhill which ends at the menhir ‘Pierre aux Moines’. At the other side of the road there is the lake Étang de la Garenne, and you walk along the south side of it. You then arrive to a smaller trail, cross a small stream that has just surfaced from an underground duct, and continue uphill. During our walk, this part of the forest was disturbed by heavy machinery to cut trees and collect the trunks. When you are near the top of the hill you walk west to the Tapis Vert, a straight strip of about 30 meters wide between the trees of grassland covered with common broom. Looking north into the distance you can make out the Orangery de Meudon at the horizon. You walk down the ‘green carpet’ for a while and then continue west into the forest. After a short downhill stretch, the path is more or less straight, crossing the D406, going uphill. At the top of the hill, you go down a hollow path (Cavalière d'Aubervilliers) towards the Étang de Meudon. You walk halfway around it and then continue upstream to the Étang de Villebon. You walk around this lake and return to pass Étang de Meudon on the north side. From here you continue on an broad track towards the Étang de Trivaux, popular with anglers (the small restaurant there named after them). In this lake I saw wood duck (Carolina eend in Dutch) three times in one week hiding near the same tree on the edge of the water… From here you walk down the Route de la Porte-Fleury, along a stone wall and pass an open spot in the forest with the little stream coming from Étang de Garenne. A short while further you take a small trail through the woods which takes you past a little open spot with bluebells (wilde hyacinthen in Dutch). You continue mainly uphill until you get back to the starting point.
You walk south and at some distance from the lake
Bridge across the stream between lakes Étang de Villebon and Étang de Meudon, which is carried in a half open stone duct when there is enough water.
Hollow path taking you down the hill.
Small forest trail which takes you past an open spot with bluebells
A large sign indicates that the big stone is the Menhir de la Pierre aux Moines
Forest road towards Clamart. You leave the road to walk around an open spot in the forest.
Large stacks of trunks are collected along this Route de la Porte de Clamart
This track takes you past a stone wall along the edge of the forest.
Track taking you uphill and back to the start
A stream through an open spot in the forest flows below the Route de la Porte-Fleury.
'Green carpet', a straight strip of land void of trees, with grass and common broom. In the distance you see the Orangery de Meudon (observatory).
Trail downhill towards the menhir and the Étang de la Garenne
A little stream pops up from an underground duct and feeds the Étang de Garenne. You cross here. The path was a bit unclear during our hike due to tree cutting work. After the crossing you go uphill on a broader track.
Lake with a restaurant (La Terrasse De L'Etang).
Lake popular with anglers and the wood duck I saw three times in one week, in the same tree on the edge of the lake. There is a restaurant 'Au Rendez-Vous des Pêcheurs' with limited opening times here.