Chemin des cèdres trail
« Since my accident with my wheelchair, this is the first time I can feel directly, flesh to flesh, the unique vital force within a tree. This loop of 1 200m under the tall cedars, with five areas of interpretation, is a real treat.! It offers everyone, including people with visual, hearing, mental or physical disabilities like me, the opportunity to reconnect with nature.». Alain A., victim of a personal accident.
The Cedar forest
In 1862, cedar seeds from the Algerian Atlas are sown by some convicted foresters, to try to reforest the summit of the Petit Luberon. This first generation of cedars are now 150 years old and have an imposing figure and are great-grandparents.Their descendants surround them and form the forest we know today.
Young people will inform you
Between July 1 and August 31, you will meet on this trail one of the 36 assistants trained for the prevention and monitoring of forest fires (APSIF). These young people are recruited and trained by the Luberon Regional Nature Park to raise awareness about the risks of fires but also to inform on the regulations and access to the forest. It is essential to ensure the good behaviour of the users and to reduce the risk of fires.
1952, the big fire
On July 18, 1952, the Luberon mountain range experienced the biggest and most catastrophic fire in its history. It destroyed 2030ha of forest, particularly affecting the towns of Lacoste, Bonnieux and Ménerbes and sparing only the heart of the cedar forest. The fire lasted seven days because of the Mistral (wind). Some old cedars bear the scars of this devastating fire, and others, seeming spared on the outside are charred inside.
From Atlas or Lebanon?
It is well known, cedars seen in France come from the southern (Atlas cedar) and eastern (Lebanon cedar) shores of the Mediterranean sea. But can you distinguish the two species? It is far from easy: it seems that the best criterion is that of the young branches are densely pubescent (that is to say, densely and shortly hairy) in the Atlas cedar whereas they are absent or sparse haired in the Lebanon cedar. Your turn to play!
The forest exploited by man
Strong and fragrant, naturally weather-resistant, cedar wood is valued since ancient times. Here, the communal cedar forests of Ménerbes, Lacoste and Bonnieux are managed by the National Forestry Office (300ha). They are exploited regularly by thinnings which produces lumber, while ensuring the renewal of the forest. Cedar is used locally for carpentry and construction.
Guardians of the rich natural heritage
The action of the sheep herd in the winter and spring, combined with bush clearing, contains the expansion of shrubs and ensures the preservation of this exceptional heritage that represents the lawns of the Luberon ridges. Pastoralism is also essential to the defence of forests against fire.
Go to the far end of the car park, cross the barrier by the dedicated pedestrian crossing and reach the welcome sign. Continue a few metres to reach to the starting area ofthe "Chemin des cèdres" trail.
1 - Follow on the right the route accessible to people with disabilities, signposted in blue. After a slight false flat, pass the cedar lyre, cross a farm road and continue on the opposite side. Reach a clearing and the interpretation area of the forest and life. Continue the path, pass the Cedar candelabra and reach the crossroads'Bois roustan''.
2 - Turn left and on 220m, take the left edge of the forest track, then when at the communal forest limit sign, turn right onto the path that sinks into the undergrowth. After the area of interpretation on pastoralism, keep on the main road or, slightly more playful, turn left into the labyrinth and maze of decking to return to the route a little further. easily reach the starting point of the''Chemin des Cèdres'' trail and turn right to return to the car park.
The forest site is opened to the public in the afternoon in case of ''severe'' fire risk, but closed in case of ''exceptional'' fire risk.
House of the Luberon Regional Nature Park
60, place Jean Jaurès, 84400 Apt
+33 (0)4 90 04 42 00
In the heart the old town centre of Apt, the House of the Luberon Regional Nature Park welcomes you in a town house of the 18th century. The permanent exhibition of the geology museum has a rich collection of fossils evidencing the geological history of the Luberon.
On sale at the shop: books, maps, guidebooks, games, posters...
Open Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and from 1:30 pm to 6 pm (and on Saturday, depending on the program). Free admission.
OTI Pays d’Apt Luberon
788 avenue Victor Hugo, 84400 Apt
+33 (0)4 90 74 03 18
Du 1er avril au 30 septembre
Ouvert du lundi au samedi de 9h30 à 12h30 et de 14h à 18h.
Juillet et août : Ouvert dimanche et jours fériés de 9h30 à 12h30
Du 1er octobre au 31 mars
Ouvert du lundi au mardi et du jeudi au samedi de 9h30 à 12h30 et de 14h à 18h.
Fermé le mercredi, dimanche et jours fériés.
Access and parking
At 8km from Bonnieux taking the D36 and 15km from Lourmarin taking the D945, the D36 and the route des crêtes of the forest of Cedars of the Petit Luberon.
This route was created in 2015 and is accessible to persons with disabilities (on going labeling of tourism handicap for 4 the handicaps).
Report a problem or an error
If you have found an error on this page or if you have noticed any problems during your hike, please report them to us here: