Outdoor activities

A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the forest of Fontainebleau is one of the most beautiful forests in France and the ideal place for all kinds of recreational activities with friends and family.

Sandstone landscapes with evocative shapes recalling elephants, tortoises, dogs and other animals give way to boulders, sandy deserts, plateaux, gorges, heaths and stands of deciduous or softwood trees, and from the nineteenth century onwards attracted numerous artists. This use of Fontainebleau as a subject of art and for tourism and leisure steadily developed, transforming it into a place of recreation, inspiration and relaxation.

The Pays de Fontainebleau Tourist Office has the expertise to help you enjoy recreationnal activities :

  • 300 km of marked paths and 1,600km of forest roads, guided tours with a forest warden
  • Bouldering, optionally under the supervision of approved professionals
  • Riding or riding courses
  • Rambles with donkeys or sled-dogs
  • Bike tours, including bike rentals

Let’s discover the link between French History and the forest of Fontainebleau…

Hiking in Pays de Fontainebleau

Do you know Claude Denecourt?

The visionary Claude François Denecourt, who was enchanted by the beauty of this forest, invented nature tourism: in 1842, he created the world’s first marked rambling trails, called sentiers bleus, or “blue pathways”. His work was continued by his disciple, Colinet. They created a total of 150 kilometres of walks.

Viewed until then as an inhospitable environment, the forest became a popular destination for walkers thanks to the arrival of the railway and the publication of the first ramblers’ guides, written by Denecourt (1839). Nature tourism was born and developed throughout France from Fontainebleau.

A forest shaped for horse-riding

The forest of Fontainebleau was appreciated by kings from 10th century : it was a hunting domain. Nowadays, it offers to the visitors many beautiful horse-riding treks with large paths. A lot of equestrian centers are situated near the forest. Whether beginner or expert, you can practice with or without an instructor.

The cradle of climbing blocks

Rock climbing in Fontainebleau began in the 20th century in the Apremont and Larchant sectors. The climbers then explored the forest and opened sites and tracks that will take on many different names. The discipline of climbing blocks was born and developed from Fontainebleau.

The progress is slow until the invention of the climbing shoe by Pierre Alain in 1935 which reaches the rating of 5 c. Many climbers will after join him, making Fontainebleau a must. The difficulty and the quotations increase very quickly. Several Himalayans even come to practice this sport.

The forest is now considered one of the most beautiful climbing sites in the world and welcomes thousands of international climbers each year. The forest is full of rocks also called blocks to indulge in the pleasure of climbing on a natural surface and pleasant to the touch: the sandstone. A wide choice of courses allows the practice of climbing for beginners, intermediates or professionals alike.

Are you ready to bring out your adventurer soul ?

The forest of Fontainebleau is a real paradise for lovers of nature and outdoors activities. Discover a selection of partners recommanded by the Tourism Office.

Bike ramble

balade vélo forêt Fontainebleau

Beautiful trails in nature await visitors to the Pays de Fontainebleau for unforgettable bike rides. Cycling routes will introduce you to the natural and cultural heritage of the territory. It is a beautiful way to discover the beauty of the landscapes in Fontainebleau forest. However, cyclists must be careful and respect this fragile natural environment. Cycling partners are established on the territory to offer guided hikes…


escalade forêt de Fontainebleau nature

Here are the list of climbing clubs. Whether beginner or expert, you will be accompanied by a professionnal instructor. The forest of Fontainebleau is the ideal place to climb surrounded by nature !

Horse-riding paths & schools

Fontainebleau tourisme

Whether beginner or expert, you can practice horse-riding with one of the schools below. If you just want to stroll with your horse in the forest, you can choose one of the horse-riding paths.

Strolling, hiking

Fontainebleau hiking

There are many ways to enjoy the forest : booking a tour with sled dogs, strolling by yourself or with a guide... Choose your activity !