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The "Trail of the Senses"

Hikes · Riddes
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  • The Trail of the Senses
    / The Trail of the Senses
    Photo: CC BY-ND, La Tzoumaz Tourisme
  • / Family on the "Trail of the Senses"
    Photo: CC BY-ND, La Tzoumaz Tourisme
  • / The Trail of the Senses
    Photo: CC BY-ND, La Tzoumaz Tourisme
  • / The Trail of the Senses
    Photo: CC BY-ND, La Tzoumaz Tourisme
m 2000 1900 1800 1700 3,0 2,5 2,0 1,5 1,0 0,5 km La Tzoumaz, Les Eriez La Tzoumaz, centre
The “Trail of the Senses” invites walkers of all ages to explore alpine nature through sound, smell and touch. A delightful waterside stroll starting at the fascinating “House of the Forest”.
easy
3.5 km
1:30 h
107 m
107 m

The Sentier des Sens (“Trail of the Senses”) is a charming walk of 2.7 km for nature-lovers of all ages, accessible also to pushchairs and wheelchairs. Developed in conjunction with a school for visually impaired children in Lausanne, the path invites visitors to explore nature with all their senses – and especially through touch, sound and smell.

Starting point is the Maison de la Forêt (“House of the Forest”): attractions include interactive exhibitions on local wildlife, observation towers on stilts, a botanical garden with medicinal plants, an adventure playground and café.

Here, visitors can pick up a copy of the “5 senses quiz” booklet, which features a series of puzzles and games at 5 stations around the Maison de la Forêt and a further 11 along the Sentier des Sens. The quiz is available in French, English and German; the panels along the way are also marked in braille.

Along the trail, visitors explore the sensations evoked by the flowers, trees and birdsong, the soil below their feet and the skies above. The route largely leads along a “bisse”, one of the irrigation channels characteristic of Valais, built by hand to carry precious alpine water to the fields and orchards. Created in in the 1850s, the Bisse de Saxon is the longest in Valais at 26 km, known as the “King of bisses”.

A picnic site at Le Marteau with tables and barbecue equipment is free for all to use.

NB The Maison de la Forêt is open from late May until the end of September, plus October weekends.

Highlights

  • Maison de la Forêt – fun interactive exhibitions, adventure playground and café
  • 5 Senses Quiz – games and puzzles along the walk
  • Flat, pushchair/wheelchair-accessible trail – mostly along the water
  • Picnic site – complete with tables and barbecue equipment

Author’s recommendation

At the Maison de la Forêt, pick up a drawing kit (“The green pencil”) and learn to look at nature with an artist’s eye.
Difficulty
easy
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
1,789 m
Lowest point
Maison de la Forêt, 1,683 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Use of the trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. Valais/Wallis Promotion accepts no liability for the accuracy and completeness of information on this website.

For all hikes:

  • Bring a map. Download full description of this route including large-scale map by clicking on “Print” icon, top right of this page.
  • Use marked trails only, and observe all signposting – for your own safety, to safeguard grazing animals and to avoid disturbing wildlife.
  • Close gates after passing through.
  • Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals.
  • Do not leave any waste in nature.

For mountain hikes:

  • Take extra care protecting yourself from the sun at altitude. UV radiation can be exceptionally strong, even in cloudy weather.
  • Plan hike carefully: take into consideration fitness level of each participant, weather forecast and season.
  • Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains, without warning. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time. 

For high-altitude hikes:

  • Inform others of the route you plan to take. Whenever possible, avoid going alone.
  • Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
  • Take note of the warning signs that point out the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs: water levels may rise rapidly without warning.

Tips, hints and links

More information about the destination: 

Start

Maison de la Forêt (1,682 m)
Coordinates:
SwissGrid
2'584'876E 1'109'448N
DD
46.136352, 7.242941
DMS
46°08'10.9"N 7°14'34.6"E
UTM
32T 364282 5110698
w3w 
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Destination

Maison de la Forêt

Turn-by-turn directions

Starting at the Maison de la Forêt, the trail leads through woodland, generally following the Bisse de Saxon irrigation channel. At Les Pontets, the path loops through subalpine forest and pasture before leading along the river La Fare back to the bisse.

 

The picnic site of Le Marteau is about 1 km before the start/end of the walk.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Train to Riddes, bus to La Tzoumaz (gondola station). The start of the trail is about 1.25 km / 30 minutes’ walk away. Find full timetable information at www.sbb.ch.

Getting there

A9 motorway, exit 24 (Riddes). Follow directions to La Tzoumaz.

Parking

Parking in front of the Maison de la Forêt.

Coordinates

SwissGrid
2'584'876E 1'109'448N
DD
46.136352, 7.242941
DMS
46°08'10.9"N 7°14'34.6"E
UTM
32T 364282 5110698
w3w 
///subject.postings.theme
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

The tourist office in La Tzoumaz has got brochures and information material about hiking in the region.

Author’s map recommendations

SwissTopo Maps 1:25’000: 1325 Sembrancher / 1326 Rosablanche

Equipment

We recommend: 

  • good footwear
  • clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
  • hat or cap
  • sunscreen
  • bottle for water
  • picnic
  • camera
  • binoculars (optional)
  • hiking poles (optional)
  • printout of this hike (click “Print” icon, to download)   

For certain walks:

  • Swimwear

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Photos from others


Difficulty
easy
Distance
3.5 km
Duration
1:30 h
Ascent
107 m
Descent
107 m
Out and back Refreshment stops available Family friendly Cultural/historical value Botanical highlights Faunistic highlights

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