If you are a nature lover visiting France, you may enjoy a trip to the country’s newest national park on the Burgundy-Champagne border.

The sun shines through dense trees in a French forest.
France's new national park © Eric Girardot

The 250,000-hectare Parc National des forets de Champagne et Bourgogne is the 11th national park in the country and is a three-hour drive from Paris. It was conceived in 2009 by the then prime minister, François Fillon, and it will generate 30 jobs. Located on the Langres plateau between Haute-Marne and Côte-d'Or departments, visitors can enjoy the park's ancient trees, rare flower species and springs and rivers. There will also be small shops and businesses selling local produce.

Bright green moss grows on a forest floor.
Inside the new national park © Franck Fouquet

The new national park will provide 2000km of hiking trails and 700km of rivers for kayaking and other water sports. Wildlife at the park includes black storks, deer, wild boar and wild cats, and the area is also the site for archaeological remains dating back to 750BC. As the national park closest to Paris, it is hoped that the park will welcome at least 100,000 annual visitors in two to three years time.

A deer walks through a snowy field.
The new national park is home to deer and other wildlife © Rémi Allabert

There were, up to now, ten national parks in France, with the others being Vanoise (1963), Port-Cros (1963), Pyrénées (1967), Cévennes (1970), Écrins (1973), Mercantour (1979), Guadeloupe (1989), Réunion (2007), Guiana (2007) and Calanques (2012).

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