Aizenay’s Forest

A green jewel

Aizenay’s Forest is classified as ZNIEFF (natural zone of ecological, faunal and floral value). With its 450 hectares, it is one of the most important forest of the Vendée.

Its streams, ponds, heather moorlands, oak stands and damp clearings offer numerous shelters and food to different animal species.
There you will come across nesting birds :

  • the European nightjar
  • the northern harrier
  • the hobby falcon
  • uncommon butterflies such as the Camberwell beauty and the heath fritillary

The main tree species of the forest are :

  • oak and maritime pine
  • Sitka spruce
  • Holly
  • Beech
  • Birch
  • Chestnut
  • Ferns

Some reforestation is carried out.

The terminals numbered in green correspond to the forest plot. The department of Vendée uses them.

Le sentier du Souvenir (Remembrance path)

On the edge of the forest, a strange installation is to be discovered. It traces the story of the crew of an American bomber crashed in the forest.

On the 27th March 1944, the American B-17 bomber « Big Red », on fire, flied over the city of Aizenay and crashed at the edge of the forest.

The crew members jumped with or without parachute to escape fire. Some were taken prisoner by German soldiers, others were saved by resistance movements.

50 years later, a book about this event was published « Il s’appelait Big Red » (Its name was Big Red). In July 1995, the « Sentier du Souvenir » was inaugurated at the place of the crash.

Le sentier du Souvenir (Remembrance path)

Walking paths :

  • Les Grands Bois, the blue path, 5500 m
  • Les Écureuils
  • Les Chevreuils

From 2021, the signage for other trails will be reviewed :

  • Le Pas du Loup
  • The green and blue path
  • Le Caille Blanc
  • La Grande Barrière