Lacs De La Folie walk Contrexéville ©j. Baudoin Industrial PhotographerLacs De La Folie walk Contrexéville ©j. Baudoin Industrial Photographer
©Lacs De La Folie walk Contrexéville ©j. Baudoin Industrial Photographer

On the 3 Lakes Trail

Today, it's hiking!

Today it’s hiking. On the program of our expedition: the Sentier des Trois Lacs. A 19 km loop, for nearly 6 hours of hiking. To make life easier, we split the route in two, with a picnic by the lake halfway through. Yes, the Three Lakes Trail lives up to its name: you’ll first contemplate the Lac des Récollets, before passing by the famous Lacs de la Folie, and then finish by skirting the lac du Conge in Saulxures-lès-Bulgnéville.

A cool start

The bag on the shoulders, the sneakers well laced, we are about to put the nose outside, in the morning freshness. It’s not 6 a.m. either, but we still decided not to drag ourselves to bed too much. First, we have to get to the starting point of the trail, which is not in Contrexéville but a little further away, in Bulgnéville.

We spot the trail entrance sign pretty quickly, and we memorize the color of the markings, yellow, as well as the different markers we will find along the way. We start walking quietly, along Lake Recollets, the first lake of our hike.

The surrounding trees soothe us and provide the shade we need to fully enjoy this beginning of the hike. We leave the Lac des Récollets and head deeper into the Vosges plains, skirting the Bois de la Dame.

Enjoy the Lac des Récollets

Prepare your hike well

The longest of the circuits marked out on the territory

You can park at the Parking du Lac des Récollets.

GPS coordinates: N 48;207060°, E 5.839113°

The circuit has no particular difficulties, but the difference in altitude is positive, it climbs a little!

For additional information, you can inquire at the Contrexéville Tourist Office.

A well-deserved break

At the Lakes of Madness

We continue our way, our steps guide us along the paths, in the Vosges nature. Time flies, and we enjoy the feeling of peace that the greenery gives us. We meet other hikers, on this emblematic path between Vittel and Contrexéville.

A picnic lunch with local flavors

As we reach the second lake on the Three Lakes Trail, our stomachs begin to rumble. It’s obviously time for a well-deserved break, and to regain our strength before setting off again to complete our circuit.

So we spread our plaid, sit down in our suits, and take stock of the 100% local products we’ve brought: water from Contrexéville, brimbelles, cheese… There is enough to make a good picnic and to treat ourselves before leaving.

The itinerary in your pocket, for more serenity

Before leaving, think of downloading the “Rando Fiche” of the Sentier des Trois Lacs. You will find the average duration as well as the length of the route, but also the codes of the markings, its color, the difference in altitude… Useful if you have a memory lapse, or the desire to leave your phone at the bottom of your bag.

Take time to stop at the Lacs de la Folie

If you decide to do this hike in two parts, mark a real break halfway through and enjoy the many activities that the Lacs de la Folie has in store for you. Pedal boats, tree climbing, outdoor swimming pool in summer… The leisure activities are numerous. But be careful to keep your strength up to complete the circuit!

Hundred-year-old trees, orchards and memories…

In addition to the three lakes that give their name to this trail, you can find along the way an arboretum, a conservatory orchard, the fountain of Naingrecourt… Without forgetting the Vosges forest that will surround you and the stele of the bomber, for a return through History and the Second World War.

Siesta in the shade

And last kilometers

After enjoying this picnic with local flavors, we grant ourselves a little nap on the banks of the lake. Sheltered by the trees, the sun doesn’t beat down too hard and we take advantage of these few moments not only to digest but to fully recharge our batteries, in contact with nature.

It is now time to get back on our way, and to complete the Three Lakes Trail. We leave the Lacs de la Folie, to find the outskirts of Contrexéville.

We have one last lake to contemplate on our way: the Lac du Conge in Saulxures-lès-Bulgnéville. This portion is probably the most difficult of our hike, what’s more in the last few kilometers where fatigue starts to be seriously felt. We hold on, and after a few laughs, we are out of the woods.

The end of our hike is spent in a happy and good mood. A final right turn, and we see the Lac des Récollets, and thus our starting point (and return). We take the road again, direction Contrexéville. The next part of the program, it will be a good hot shower to relax all our muscles, and then an evening of entertainment to end the day well !

Ready for a bowling evening?