The forest of Compiègne, the third largest national forest in France, forms a circle some 14 kilometers (8½ miles plus) in circumference to the northeast of Paris, and covers 14,300 hectares (35,335 acres). With a perimeter that has hardly altered since the Middle Ages, this ancient hunting preserve owes its fame to the kings of France.
Because of its history and its timber forest logging for more than 300 years, the Bertranges national forest harbours natural treasures that we may discover walking the roads of that 7600 hectares forest.
As its name suggests, this forest formerly belonged to the Abbey of Cîteaux, founded in 1098 under the protection of the dukes of Burgundy. But the size and wealth of the estate was highly coveted, and it was repeatedly plundered before it entered the public domain following the Revolution.
A former seigniorial property before becoming royal hunting land, the forest of Chinon covers 5,100 hectares (12,600 acres) of predominantly sessile oak (52%), although Scots (25%), and maritime (17%) pine, as well as beech, vie for space with the cooper’s favorite wood.