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Departmental Park of La Valmasque

In a pristine natural setting around the Sophia Antipolis Science Park, the Alpes-Maritimes General Council wished to maintain a wreath of green with the two Departmental Parks of La Valmasque and La Brague.

Comprising three wooded hills alternating with the small valleys of the small streams flowing into the Brague, Valmasque and Bouillide rivers, Parc de la Valmasque is ideal for children and welcomes you with the family to observe Nature and participate in games and sports.

Discover the lotus pond
Fontmerle Pond is an aquatic enclave of great biological wealth and a focus of attraction of amazing beauty. Strolling through the Park takes you through a pine grove dominated by Aleppo pine, a pine and oak grove where Mediterranean oak grow under the cover of pine trees and, finally, an oak grove with holm oak, pubescent oak and cork oak trees.

Fontmerle Pond is surrounded by 12 hectares of meadows, with willow, poplar and bald cypress trees whose flamboyant colours delight visitors in autumn. Part of the pond harbours aquatic plants, such as reeds, rushes, sedges and yellow iris. But, in summer, what is most striking is the show put on by lotus flowers. Introduced in 1970, these aquatic plants bloom in August, covering part of the pond with their splendid pink flowers emerging from large circular leaves with a diameter exceeding 50cm.

As you gaze at the splendour of the plants, your eyes will be attracted by the appearance of birds of various shapes and shimmering colours. Some sixty species, both sedentary and migratory (ducks, moorhens, herons, coots, egrets...), live or stop temporarily on this pond. Its quiet waters are home to carp, tench, eel and amphibians.
In the Park’s woods, wild rabbits, a few foxes and wide boar may go unnoticed.

Getting there
From the A8 motorway:
•    exit at Antibes, direction: Sophia Antipolis; then Route Départementale 35; direction: Mougins
•    exit at Cannes, follow the urban motorway (Pénétrante), direction: Mougins, then Route Départementale 35; the little Route de l’Étang Fontmerle leads to the Pond
•    From Valbonne, follow Route Départementale 103, then RD 35
•    From Vallauris, follow Route Départementale 135, Direction: Mougins

Parking
Given the Park’s large surface area, there are several car parks.

Facilities
•    Toilets and/or watering points: near children’s games and at Fontmerle Pond
•    Birdwatching station: an observation platform for flora and fauna near Fontmerle Pond helps recognize species
•    Playgrounds: children’s playgrounds are present in the big meadow near Route Départementale 35
•    Footpaths: hikers have access to many trails, without vehicles; at Fontmerle, there is a trail accessible for persons with reduced mobility
•    Bridle paths: 8km of marked trails near the riding clubs of Mougins
•    Fitness trail: 1.4km trail near the stadium around Les Clausonnes hill provides a chance to perform physical exercises with wooden devices
•    Discovery trail: a special trail to discover Mediterranean insects
•    Ten panels are equipped with texts in Braille for blind or visually impaired persons
•    A discovery trail accessible to persons with reduced mobility enables them to discover the meadows and Fontmerle Pond
•    Five panels are equipped with texts in Braille for blind or visually impaired persons