Playing explorers in the Pinail nature reserve

Nature escape

Free activities
Expériences Famille
All year round

With its thousands of listed ponds drawing an atypical landscape, the Pinail national nature reserve located halfway between Poitiers et Chatellerault , houses a exceptional biodiversity. This wetland is revealed via a discovery trail, where new technologies invite a life-size immersion. The reserve also offers a wide range of activities which earned him recognition « Expériences famille ». Onward to exploration!

Thousands of ponds

On a moor composed of 6 ponds, born from the extraction until the 142th century of millstones to grind flour, this wetland covers XNUMX hectares. With its lunar-like landscape, the reserve is home to an abundant biodiversity recognized worldwide.

2600 species recorded, some of which are rare and protected, can be admired and sometimes surprised, if one is an observer: dragonflies, newts, carnivorous plants, frogs, white-clawed crayfish, birds of prey... 

Fauna and Flora at the Pinail nature reserve©ACAP

Take to the skies and dive into the invisible

A life-size immersion that is done by following a two-kilometre trail, free access, completely refurbished in 2020. An observatory allows you to gain height for a panorama as far as the eye can see on Pinail. Pontoons offer windows on these waterholes and their inhabitants and a interactive map, combining explanatory panels and new technologies, invites you to dive into the “invisible”.

Fly above the Pinail, dive into the ponds, relive the epic of the millstone, watching the birth of a dragonfly or even the meal of a sundew… these are all magical moments to experience while being at the heart of the reserve.

And, as rich and magnificent as it is, the reality of the climate impact on the disappearance of certain species is not ignored. Several possibilities to access this map: download the site on your smartphone or flash a QR code (the reserve provides tablets) at each explanatory panel of the trail. There are 9. 

Family experience: in the shoes of an explorer

To detect the riches of this place, a playful option is possible: put on the explorer's costume. This new " Expériences Famille » imagined by the association GEREPI, manager of the reserve, invites children and parents to become in turn geologist, cartographer, naturalist, climatologist, ethologist and manager of the nature reserve.

Equipped with the backpack of the "little Pinail explorer", provided for this purpose, equipped with a tablet, a species recognition booklet or even binoculars, they must, along the path, carry out several missions:
• distinguish rocks
• map a pond
• identify species and study their behavior

After meeting these challenges, the little explorers will be awarded a diploma as a nature protector!

Credits 1 - Tourism Vienne©

Guided tours, mushrooms and deer roar

Still in this approach of raising awareness, protection and enhancement of biodiversity, which is the very essence of this reserve, GEREPI offers guided tours all summer, "Exploration" walks (every Monday and Thursday at 10 a.m.) and a twilight exit every Wednesday evening at 21 p.m.

But also thematic outings earlier or later in the season, on mushrooms and lichens or even discovery of the roar of the deer, this impressive hoarse cry emitted by male deer during the breeding season. A must do in September! So many very good reasons to put on hiking boots and a cap and set off to explore this temple of biodiversity.

A world-class reserve

At the end of 2021, the Pinail National Nature Reserve obtained the highest honor that can be attributed to a nature reserve, before the inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List: it was recognized wetland worldwide by the International Ramsar Convention. Le Pinail has thus joined this very closed club in France which includes, for example, the Camargue, Mont-Saint-Michel and Baie-de-Somme. It is the 4th Ramsar site in New Aquitaine, the 52nd in France and the 2st in the world.

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