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Arche de la Nature
Immeuble Condorcet 16 Avenue François Mitterrand, Le Mans, Pays-de-la-Loire
Phone: +33 2 43 50 38 45 - Fax: +33 2 43 50 38 46
Surface: 450 hectares - Population: 190.000 habitants
Number of municipalities:
Arche de la Nature
The "Arche de la Nature" is a vast natural area located ten minutes from the heart of Le Mans and managed by the Le Mans urban Community. Visitors discover typical department landscapes along the trails. A total of 450 hectares of nature are open to the public, permanently and free of charge.

The forest, part of which is listed as a natural reserve, stretches over 350 hectares. The "Maison de l'eau" water and environment centre, a former water works building, has three aquariums with main fresh water fish species.

Many local animal breeds live in the cowshed, pigsty, sheepfold, farmyard, stables or meadows in the Prairie Farm.

The public can visit the site in vehicles drawn by Percheron horses.
Classes, outings and theme festivals offered throughout the year make it possible for a wide public to learn more about "Mother Nature" (8 000 school children per year and over 80 000 visitors during festivals).
Water, meadow, and forest
These three elements are the core of the park's identity. The "Maison de l'eau" is enhanced by the presence of the nearby Huisne river.

The grove pathways and meadows are representative department landscapes. The forest is made up of 60% coniferous trees, while many broad-leaved species provide additional varieties.
Popular festivals and school outings
The many activities offered throughout the year provide a genuine nature discovery area. Whether they are led by Arche de la Nature activity leaders or partner organisations, events and outings are extremely popular.
Many points of interest
The former water works, with its turn-of-the-century windows, traditional stables, and wooden footbridge are part of a remarkable constructed heritage. Many trees (chestnuts, oaks, etc.) are considered to be unique, due to their age. The ambition to preserve animal species, including endangered species, and plants, including an orchard with over 100 apple varieties, represent the "Arche de la Nature"s strong points.