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Fauna, flora & mushrooms : go on a treasure hunt

At Les Gets, hiking fans can make the most of the summer season to tranquilly enjoy the spectacle of nature. Mountain hiking is the perfect way to discover the local animal and plant life.

So who do you think you might meet along the way?

Marmots: stars of the moutain pastures

These pleasant, cute little creatures can be spotted with the help of their melodic whistle call. You may well see marmots appear while walking between the Belvédère du Mont Chéry and Mont Caly on La Boucle des Clarines.

At this time of year, the rodents enjoy the warmth of the sun as they feast on wild flowers. The best time to look out for them is when they feed, early in the morning and at the end of the day. They’re fairly timid so you’ll have to be particularly discreet if you want to get a close look without scaring them away.

La Boucle des Clarines

Goats & cows: hikers’ companions.

It’s impossible to explore the mountain paths without seeing herds of goats and cows grazing peacefully on the lush green, flowery pastures. The stuff of picture postcards!

At Les Gets, goats and cows are part of the decor too and they’ll make your hiking experience even more enjoyable.

To meet them, walk near the mountain farms of our slopes, such as the Ferme des Félires(Les Places), the Chèvrerie des Ours (Magy) or the Ferme de Caroline (La Mouille Ronde) which you’ll find on the Tour des Mouilles hiking trail.

At Col de Lachat, a pass on the Mont Chéry balcony trail, you’re sure to come across (and hear!) the cows from the Ferme Les Pâtres des Reines, home to 3 rustic breeds, Herens, Valdostana and Abondance.

The farmers and herdsmen of Les Gets will be happy to welcome you for a unique discovery   of their Alpine pastures, a demonstration of their milking ritual and a sampling of their farm products. You’ll also be able to purchase products from the farm shop. Advance booking required.

Espèce à protéger

Black grouse: an Alpine icon we must protect.

At the bend of a path, if you are lucky, you may be able to see a Tétras-Lyre.

The black grouse, a protected species, is an emblem of the Alps. It is mostly seen in the Ranfolly and Mont Chéry sectors, where measures to protect them have been implemented. Indeed, the development of tourism, leisure facilities and off-piste activities causes significant disturbance in the winter season and this has made the birds more vulnerable.

Want to explore the Ranfolly sector ? Go on the Grand Tour of Les Chavannes

Please remember that weather conditions, the time of year and the state of the pastures all have an influence on the presence of such wildlife… as does your discreetness.

Plants or mushrooms: to each his own picking

As for plant life, Les Gets is festooned with a beautiful array of edible and medicinal plants that you can taste on the spot or enjoy later back in your kitchen.

If you can’t wait that long, we suggest you try the raspberries and blueberriesthat you’ll find in abundance along the paths… who cares if you end up with a blue tongue !

Fine gourmets will be surprised by the wide array of edible fungithat can be harvested in the woods from August to October : porcini, girolles, boletes, chanterelles and horn of plenty. You can even find morels in spring. There’s a mushroom for every taste ! To optimise your harvest, hunt for mushrooms near conifers, beech and spruce trees. There’s nothing like an assortment of mushrooms fried up with local wild garlic or Alpine spinach.   

Beware : if in doubt as to whether or not the fungi you’ve harvested is edible, ask at a pharmacy.  

If you fancy yourself as a herbalist, you can seek out arnica, caraway or valerian in the company of Michel Rostalski, Les Gets’ very own wild flora specialist.  

Read also: Arnica, a plant of many virtues.

Always more tips & tricks…