The Vosges, a beautiful natural environment and a paradise for active holidaymakers. Earlier I wrote about my most beloved French departement and now I dedicate an article about one of my favorite places in the Vosges, Lac des Corbeaux. I can’t keep track anymore of how often I came here for a refreshing evening stroll or sunbathing and swimming under a radiant sun, but one thing is for sure, this place is breathtakingly beautiful in every season.
Lac des Corbeaux, Lake of the Crows, is a 9-hectare glacial lake located 887 meters above sea level in the municipality of La Bresse in the Vosges. The name of the lake is not related to the presence of crows. One hypothesis suggests that the name is related to the presence of the dark pines along the waterline, which give it a black color as a crow. Source: Wikipedia
I must admit that there is something “sinister” about this lake but it also has this magical and fairy touch.
Good to know is that the lake has a free private parking and a small restaurant where you can enjoy a nice lunch or a drink.
I visited this place again during last fall. It was cold and cloudy but the weather did not stop us from starting a nice hike. Half an hour is enough to walk around the lake but more fun and challenging is to overpass the lake via the Roche du Lac. This is a high walk of about 1,5 hours, from 887 meters up to 1118 meters. The Roche du Lac is a large rock which overlooks the lake. You can see the rock even if it’s hiding among the numerous pine trees. If you look closely you can find it on the picture above!
The hike begins at the refuge where the trail quickly enters the woods and leads you further through a forest and shady area. You don’t have to be an experienced hiker because the hike is not diffucult but the trail does include some steep and very rocky sections. I would definitely recommend good hiking shoes. In autumn the landscape is much more barren but still richly green including pine trees, bare trees, ferns, green bushes, moss and rocks. Nothing wrong with that but you can imagine that in spring and summer it’s a true green oasis. Foxglove is an example of wild flowers that grow here. The climb is gradual and very soothing, accompanied by natural beauty, singing birds and fresh mountain air.
After climbing more than half an hour the trail is becoming rockier and the first “difficult” part appears, secured with cables. A sign that the Roche du Lac is almost in sight.
The Roche du Lac is located at 1000 meters and forms a natural lookout point over the bowl of the Lac des Corbeaux. Despite the presence of many trees it offers a fantastic panoramic view over the lake and on the right over the famous route des Crêtes, the ski slopes of La Bresse and the highest point in La Bresse, the Hohneck (1366 m). Isn’t it gorgeous?
We fully enjoy the views over the round green mountains of the Vosges in autumn atmosphere and continue our hike via a short steep climb. After a few minutes sweating the trail becomes easier and continues towards Collet Mansuy (1050 m) where a grave sign recalls a fatal accident of a young 21 years old man. From this point the trail descends down towards the lake through different sections of eroded rocks. You sometimes really have to watch out, especially in fall when the rocks are wet and slippery and sometimes covered with wet leaves.
Once we reach the lake the sun is almost hiding itself behind the mountain. The sun gives us one final ray of light on the lake. I think it’s obvious where the lake got its name from. Black as a crow but so magical.
The Lac des Corbeaux is perfect place for hiking in every season but you can also go fishing or take a refreshing dip in the summer. Nearby there are countless hiking trails and if you’re not bored and still have energy you can easily expand this hike. Through forests, along lakes, over green mountains, passing colorful meadows. Plenty of choices! In summer the lake is just as beautiful as you can see on the following pictures.
Would you like to explore this breathtaking place?