© Faux De Verzy © E. Vidal Adt Marne |

The Faux de Verzy

A rare place in the World

The Faux de Verzy are exceptional trees, a variety of twisted beech with unique shapes. This is a truly enchanting fairy-tale woodland to explore! With more than 1,000 trees on 60 hectares of land, the State-owned Verzy Forest is the largest reserve of this species globally, making it the only one of its kind in the world.

The Faux

Amid spectacular trees

The Faux de Verzy are spectacular trees with a very slow growth rate and an exceptional lifespan (of up to 500 years). They do not exceed 10 metres in height, and are 3 times smaller than their big brothers, the beech.

In summer, they look like large green balls. The fau spreads its leaves in a very dense parasol, creating an igloo shape. In winter, its sinuous branches, which grow horizontally and intertwine, are revealed.

These dwarf beeches are a real enigma for scientists who do not know where their unusual form comes from. Researchers agree that they are the result of a genetic mutation in the beech tree, without really knowing more.

For the past thirty years, this species has been in decline due to global warming, which reverses their mutation. Are they destined to disappear?

The Faux de Verzy

Hiking

More than 50% of the world’s population of dwarf beech trees can be found in the Verzy forest. The forest has received the prestigious ‘Forêt d’Exception’ label, which recognizes the history, landscape and biodiversity of the site.

The site receives hundreds of thousands of visitors per year, which has posed a threat to the survival of the variety. As a result, a 3km long pathway runs through the Nature Reserve and allows visitors to admire them in their natural environment.

It directs the flow of visitors as close as possible to a few dozen of these remarkable trees, protected by log fences. This allows everyone to admire them without being harmed by human traffic.

This moderate restriction is motivated by a desire to pass on this natural beauty to future generations. Information panels explain to visitors the importance of protecting this unique natural heritage.

The Faux de Verzy trail has been awarded the Tourism and Disability label. It offers a gravel pathway adapted for wheelchairs and has equipment that meets the needs of people with disabilities: an Ariadne’s thread along the route, a Braille departure panel and two brass plates showing the route and the outline of the Faux in relief.

Online App

In the Forest of Verzy

The Office National des Forêts has launched an online App to enrich your experience of the Faux de Verzy, entitled “En forêt de Verzy”.

The App invites you to explore the unique and mysterious forest of Verzy. Let yourself be guided through this protected natural area and encounter the exceptional twisted beeches which populate the area.

Remember to download it before you get there asthere is no signal available once you’re in the forest!

Practical information

Visit the Faux de Verzy

The Faux de Verzy is a 30-minute drive from Châlons-en-Champagne. For the more courageous, you can also reach it by bike.

Do you have a GPS?

Then, it’s very simple. Enter “faux de Verzy” and your GPS will take you directly to the car park.

Don’t have a GPS?

From Châlons, follow directions for Reims. Turn left towards Verzy. Once in the village, the Faux de Verzy are signposted.

Follow the signposts to discover the 3-km long path.

For hiking enthusiasts, the Faux de Verzy interpretation trail is also available on the Cirkwi hiking trails website.

For more information about the fau trees, download the “en forêt de Verzy” App which accompanies you on the trail.

For hiking enthusiasts, the interpretation circuit of the Faux de Verzy is also available on the Cirkwi hiking trail website.