2016 Mountain activities
Mountain activities are more and more fun, to attract participants looking for new experiences and sensations.Here are three types of summer walks that are part of this trend:barefoot, aquatic and geocaching.
Barefoot walk:astonishing sensations
Originally from Switzerland and Germany, barefoot walking has started to appear in France. La Ferme Aventure (the Adventure Farm) in La Chapelle-aux-Bois (Vosges) has really thrown itself into this activity. In 2007, this nature leisure park opened the first barefoot walking path in France.“We wanted to develop a sensorial area in our park.After the success of this path, we decided that the whole park would be barefoot, with its thematic paths, labyrinths, games…”, says Denis Duchêne, creator of La Ferme Aventure. Everyone can experience walking on different surfaces : sawdust, leaves, clay beads, polished glass, hay and even mud! “Children don’t want to leave, and adults rediscover forgotten sensations and pleasures”.
Aquatic walk : water games and splashes
The idea is to go joyfully upstream in rivers wearing a neoprene suit. No mountain equipment is required (you don’t need a rope or harness) as it is just a walk, but a guide is advisable. The Mountain Office of the Arves at Saint-Sorlin-d’Arves (Savoie) offers this activity particularly for families. “You cool down, you’re active and you have fun at the same time – all with an atmosphere of water games and splashes. It is another approach to the mountains, away from the marked trails”, notes Patrick Schlatter, mountain guide.
Geocaching:technological treasure hunting
The latest trend, geocaching is a modern version of the treasure hunt. The aim is to find markers using a GPS. Luz-Saint-Sauveur (Hautes-Pyrénées) is one of the first towns to have created a course especially for this activity. The Tourist Office can lend you a GPS free of charge to find the markers. Along the route, participants discover the village and its surroundings, as well as safety rules in the mountains. Another trail will open this summer, with a more cultural theme (monuments, washing places…).
©Actumontagne for France Montagnes