Nature Park Doubs
13 December 2021
From Lake Les Brenets (Swiss name, Lake Chaillexon is the French name), the River Doubs forms the border between France and Switzerland to the beautiful medieval town of Saint-Ursanne (canton of Jura).
This river is already a story in itself. Its name is derived from the Latin dubius, doubter. With good reason, because from its source in the French Jura near Les Brenets (actually three small lakes with gorges and waterfalls, Les Gorges du Doubs and Le Saut du Doubs), it first heads northeast.
At St Ursanne, it turns north and then southwest again. The Doubs then continues its course through Besançon (Franche-Comté) and flows into the Saône near the town of Verdun-sur-le-Doubs (Saône-et-Loire department). Its length is more than 400 km, but its source is only 100 km from this mouth.
This particular river is the namesake of an extraordinary park: the Regional Nature Park of the Doubs (le Parc Natural Régional du Doubs, cantons of Neuchâtel, Jura and Bern).
The park of about three hundred square kilometres has a remarkable diversity: wooded landscapes and flowery meadows and pastures of great beauty, mountain plateaus (up to 1500 metres), gorges, moors, ponds (amongst others the ponds (les étangs)of Gruère, Royes, Bollement, the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of La Chaux-de-Fonds and Le Locle, the mosaic of villages, hamlets and isolated farms (many of which have now been converted to other uses, such as galleries, accommodation, ateliers and museums) or the horse-breeding farms of the Franches-Montagnes.
The park also offers good facilities for sports and tourism in all seasons.