Hiking with kids: the “Forest Treasure” theme trail in Les Paccots

Last Sunday, my daughter and I went to Les Paccots, idyllic hills in the southernmost tip of the canton of Fribourg. I’ve never been to this area, though I can’t count the number of times we passed a turn-off as we drove along the A12 to Vevey or Montreux. And what made me come here? On the Fribourg Tourisme website, I found that we could walk a themed trail called “Le Trésor des Bois,” designed for children. The hero of this trail is Hugo the ant, who has lost his treasure, and his animal friends (and you) help him find it. The circular route is only 3.5 kilometers long, making it walkable also for little hikers.

Getting to Les Paccots

By public transport: Bus line 492 from Châtel-Saint-Denis to the stop Les Paccots, Borbuintze. This line only runs three times a day on weekends and holidays, so check the timetable.

By car: Drive through the village of Les Paccots and continue to the “Parking Les Borbuintze” car park. The car park is large and free of charge.

The start of the route

Right by the bus stop, there is a hiking signpost. Next to it, you will also see the sign for the themed trail Le trésor des Bois. So follow the directions on the signposts and the tarmac road up a slight hill until you reach the car park of the L’ Auberge des Joncs restaurant (I’ll get to it at the end of this article). Here, you turn left onto a dirt road.

Lac des Joncs

It is worth taking a short detour to the idyllic mountain lake Lac des Joncs. This lake is 5000 years old and up to 21 meters deep. Doesn’t it seem so? It’s also a protected area for amphibians and many endangered plant species (you can find out about them on the information boards around the lake). You’ll also find two giant “board” games. The lake can be walked around in about 10 – 15 minutes.

Le Trésor des Bois Theme trail

The themed trail “Treasure of the Forest” starts a few hundred meters away. The information boards for the trail are in French only. So don’t forget to bring your smartphone with an online translator. I used my favorite Deepl. All we had to do was open the app, point the camera at the board, and in a few seconds, the translation was ready, and we could solve the puzzles. The solution to each puzzle can be found on the following board.

Corbetta

You will be rewarded with beautiful views of Lake Geneva as you climb to the top of Corbetta (1,401 m). You’ll also find a large picnic table (for up to 12 people) so you can take a nice break here.

Then, you’ll be combing the descents along the columns of the ski lifts. Here again, you will have a beautiful view of the fertile plain of the three lakes (Neuchatel, Murten, and Biel lakes). More signs await you along the way. At these, you have to guess what the lost treasure of Hugo the ant is. I admit my high school French skills were not up to the task. Fortunately, at the last station, there is a QR code on the board that will tell you the correct answer.

L’ Auberge des Joncs Restaurant

The route ends at L’Auberge des Joncs, a Swiss-style restaurant with friendly service and a good selection of quality and traditional dishes. Or when they have a meringue with double cream on the menu, you just can’t resist 🙂 .

Summary

  • The route is 3.5 kilometers long and not suitable for strollers
  • The route profile can be found in the app and the Tourenplaner website.
  • I recommend sturdy footwear. The trail was muddy, the pastures were waterlogged, and the rocks were sometimes slippery.
  • As there are several other exciting routes in Les Paccot, we’ll definitely be back.

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Categories: hiking, Theme trails
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Hana Hurábová

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