Walk to Lake Guizengeard and its 50 shades of blue

Boresse-et-Martron
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Walk to Lake Guizenge ...
When Lake Guizengeard was first mentioned in my entourage, I thought it was an imaginary place straight out of a Lord of the Rings setting. So the adventurous explorer in me, always in search of the unexpected, looked for and found this mysterious place nestled in the heart of an immense forest on the border of Charente-Maritime and Sud-Charente . It is an idyllic place. A blue lake where the color of the water is as intense as it is surprising. We hardly do better in terms of hiking scenery. Change of scenery guaranteed!

Site temporarily closed pending measures to protect the biotope and development of the course for the respect of nature and the preservation of biodiversity

Discovery of Lake Guizengeard

To quench the wildest thirst for adventure, nothing like a beautiful hike in the forest of Double Saintongeaise, in the Charentais hinterland! Bordering on Charente-Maritime, located 6 km south-west of Brossac, the “Balade Lac Bleue” is indicated on Google Maps near the village of Guizengeard . To get there, take the D58 exit towards Oriolles from the N10 then follow Guizengeard. Arriving at a place called Chez Thomas , take direction Boresse for 1 km. Follow the signs for the “Clay Discovery Trail”. You can park in the church parking lot (right) to take the path that leads to the sparkling waters in the middle of the forest. The walk of Lake Guizengeard follows a loop route of 3 kilometers , easy and accessible to walkers of all levels.

Guizengeard Lake

From Chez Thomas, follow the direction of Boresse

Lake Guizengeard and the path seen from the sky 


A landscape shaped by Man won back by nature

Between 1975 and 2013, the exploitation of white clay by humans considerably changed this forest environment. At the origin of this supernatural landscape, this old kaolin quarry produced a beautiful white earth intended for the manufacture of porcelain, tiles, bricks, and cosmetic and pharmaceutical products. To extract and transform kaolin, operators moved thousands of cubic meters of material by digging up to 40 meters deep. After the end of the industrial exploitation of white clay, the vegetation resumed its rights and this immense open pit quarry filled with rain water, giving birth to a deep artificial lake which we discover today . This new environment is still very young and the acidity of the soils of the different geological layers prevents any development of aquatic life in the lake (algae, fish, amphibians). The water is crystal clear, transparent , and has no suspended matter that can absorb light. This is fully reflected in the lake which thus sports a shades of blue , from turquoise to azure blue, to the delight of walkers and nature lovers .

Guizengeard Lake


Guizengeard Lake

3km of forest trails to cover

Guizengeard Lake

50 shades of lake blue

A fragile space to preserve

Two trails allow you to discover this site of disconcerting beauty: the Grand Bois du Marais circuit and the Guêpiers circuit. After about 20 minutes of walking in the heart of the pine forest, you will discover the sumptuous panorama of this oasis at the end of the world ! Golden cliffs are erected before us, the result of the exploitation of the underground for decades past. At a height of up to thirty meters, only 10 to 15 meters are visible above the surface of the water. With the natural evolution of the soils and the progressive development of the vegetation, these unstable cliffs are brought to recede and to dissolve, subject to the erosion of rainwater. Over time, flora and fauna will develop to colonize this environment and recreate a balanced ecosystem. Owner of the site today, the Regional Conservatory of Natural Spaces of Poitou-Charentes ensures its rehabilitation in a natural reserve and the preservation of biodiversity.

Guizengeard Lake

Information signs on the trail

Guizengeard Lake

The changing colors of the lake at different times of the day

Guizengeard Lake


Throughout the ride, x panel you provide information about the history, wildlife and flora to combine the pleasure of walking to discover this unusual and fascinating environment. Many species of animals have taken up residence around the blue lake and can be observed: European genet, European bee-eater, roe deer, white stilt, multicolored dragonflies and kingfisher. Sharing these moors and these wooded areas with local fauna is essential for the enhancement of this natural environment, which is why these two routes call for wonder as much as respect for wilderness. For this purpose, it is forbidden to swim in these waters in the colors of the Caribbean. The instability of the soil over 30 to 50 meters deep on a slippery clay bottom makes rescue impossible and swimming dangerous.

Guizengeard Lake


Guizengeard Lake


Allow about two to three hours of walking to fully enjoy this little wild paradise and for a total immersion in this breathtaking setting. Do not forget your camera , you will not resist the pleasure of bringing your own photos!

I wish you a nice ride around the blue lake of Guizengeard. For my part, I have an unforgettable memory of this invigorating hike with magnificent landscapes!


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Article and photos prepared by Lesley Williamson for the Charente Maritime Guide


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