Roc de Chère: a forest full of live
Summer hike
Roc de Chère: a forest full of live

Roc de Chère: a forest full of live

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A green setting overlooking the lake
This forest walk takes you through very contrasting natural environments. By crossing Roc de Chère you’ll pass from alpine environments to Mediterranean ecosystems. A fauna and flora of opposite affinities find refuge on this same rocky outcrop which overlooks the lake of Annecy.

9 points of interest

  • Flora

    A young forest

    The forest that you can admire is rather young: it is just a century old. Until the beginning of the 20th century, the Roc de Chère consisted of open landscapes, mostly cultivated (cereals, vines, pastures, mowing grasslands). It was only after the 1st World War, with the desertification of rural environments leading to the disuse of agricultural land, that the massif was gradually turned again into forest. Farmers, shepherds and woodcutters are now replaced by walkers, geologists, botanists: other uses, other approches of landscapes and natural environments...
  • Fauna

    The Green Lizard

    Sometimes fleeing at the very last moment, the Green Lizard is quite impressive. It can measure up to 40 cm, with two-thirds of its length on the tail. Its bright green yellow dotted body can’t go unnoticed! In the spring, the male also sports an obvious blue throat. Attracted by hot and dry semi-open environments, the Green Lizard appreciates the Mediterranean forest and the rocky outcrops of Roc de Chère where it visually part of the landscape, difficult to notice between rocks and vegetation.
  • Fauna

    The Fire Salamander

    Forest and ponds? What more could you dream of for lady salamander, the species the most depending on forest among the amphibians living at Roc de Chère!
    It only uses ponds to give birth to its larvae, equipped with gills, like tadpoles. A poor swimmer, it quickly returns to the forest, leaving her young to lead their first phase of aquatic life. This nocturnal animal has smooth, black skin interrupted on its back by a yellow, occasionally orange, pattern of dots and/or lines. Each individual has a unique pattern!
  • Flora

    The mediterranean forest

    You can’t really say that it’s a coincidence that the vegetation reminds you of the forests of the Mediterranean hinterland (Boxwood and Oak). The southern orientation of the hillside has a great influence on the microclimate and the vegetation. In this location, the solar radiation is more important since reflected on the waters of the lake. Moreover, the position of the Roc de Chère on the lake stops the northern winds. For all these reasons, you can find species adapted to warm climate, such as Commun Wild Madder and Montpellier maple, attesting this microclimate.
  • Flora

    Common or Bell Heather

    Do you recognize these two different species? Hint: Common Heather has distinct petals while Bell Heather has bell-shaped flowers and its leaves look like small Cedar twigs while those of Bell Heather form needles.

    Common Heather is often confused with other species of heather such as Bell Heather. This confusion comes from the exploitation of heather soil, called “black gold”, a very good fertilizer used by gardeners. Indeed, Common Heather is able to grow on acid soils and even directly on the rock. The dead plant parts pile up and decompose and form black humus. Asters CEN74, manager of the nature reserve, is carrying out actions in order to preserve the Common Heather, which is gradually being colonized by ferns.
  • Fauna

    Forest ponds: an essential environment

    Did you know this? Wetlands are the third richest ecosystem in terms of biodiversity in the world. They have the ecological function of storing rainwater, like a sponge, filtering it and storing carbon.
    Forest ponds, prime wetlands, are sources of drinking water for many mammals (deer, bats, foxes).
    They are also ideal breeding sites for many insects (dragonflies) and amphibians (frogs, newts).
  • Flora

    The Common Wild Madder

    The Wild Madder is closely related to of the Dyer’s Madder, which was cultivated in the past to produce a red dye. Very common on the Mediterranean shores, the Wild Madder has not known an industrial use and yet its root also gives a red-orange dye. Did you know it? In a botanical perspective, Wild Madder is also related to coffee!
  • Geology

    Lime- and sandstone soil

    The bedrock of Roc de Chère is composed as well by limestone on the right side of the forest (Talloires) as by sandstone at the edge of the young forest (Menthon-Saint-Bernard).

    Roc de Chère is located on a very original fault, between two geological layers which give this specific shape the landscape. The Green Lizard and Wild Madder prefer these draining and hot limestone environments, while Common Heather and ponds are found on sandstone, an acid and impermeable soil.
  • Flora

    The secrets of the marshland

    This marsh is a remnant of a time when glaciers still covered the valley. These wetlands, becoming increasingly rare, are home to remarkable and sometimes threatened flora and fauna. Frogs and lizards hunt the graceful dragonflies flying between the irises. It is mown every year by the golf course holders in order to prevent drying out and natural closing of the ecosystem by trees.


  1. From the car park, follow the sign "Belvédère du Roc de Chère" passing in front of the ruins of the old roman baths and the tomb of Hippolyte Taine just before entering the forest.
  2. After a slight climb, turn right at the yellow markings "Le Mur des Moines". Keep to the right on the main trail which runs along the golf course, then go down under the Belvedere.
  3. Turn left at the sign "sous le Belvédère" and go up on the main trail.
  4. After a viewpoint from the Belvedere, continue to "La Patte d'Oie".
  5. At the sign "La Patte d'Oie", turn left until you reach the entrance to the golf course.
  6. Cross the golf course on the left and follow the sign for walkers.
  7. Continue straight ahead and go back to the mark "Le Mur des Moines".
  • Departure : Parking « Bouverat », Menthon-Saint-Bernard
  • Arrival : Parking le Bouverat, Menthon-Saint-Bernard
  • Towns crossed : Menthon-Saint-Bernard, Talloires-Montmin

Altimetric profile


Please stay on the tracks in order to protect the surrounding vegetation.

Always be careful and plan ahead when hiking. Asters, CEN 74 can not be held responsible for the occurrence of an accident or any inconvenience on this itinerary.


Bike: Access by cycling route Voie verte du tour du lac d’Annecy.

Bus 60 from Annecy, stop: Menthon-Saint-Bernard, main town.

Access and parking

From Annecy, road D909 crosses the village of Menthon-St-Bernard along the eastern shore of the lake. After the center of the village, turn right and follow the direction of the Palace de Menthon. The parking is located before the palace, indicated on the right in a counter alley.

From Faverges: take road RD 1508 to the Doussard roundabout. At the roundabout, follow the direction of Talloires. Follow the direction of Annecy. Just before the center of the village of Menthon-Saint-Bernard, turn left towards Palace de Menthon.

Parking :

Parking le Bouverat, allée du Bouverat, Menthon-Saint-Bernard


Emergency number :114

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