The Côtes de Meuse - the Meuse hillsides - and the Woëvre plain are located right in the middle of the Lorraine Parc Naturel Régional.
The Meuse hillsides and the Woëvre abound with orchards full of blossoming mirabelles, the famous "golden fruit", as well as with vineyards. The Woëvre, a land of water and lakes, naturally gets its name from "vouivre" - old French for "viper", a mythical water serpent.
This is home to the Madine lake, the Lachaussée lakes and the Colvert leisure centre, where you can practise numerous activities linked to the water or the great outdoors in general. A Benedectine city, Saint-Mihiel is home to the works of the great Renaissance sculptor, Ligier Richier.
The lake of Lachaussée, in the Lorraine nature reserve, covers over 300 hectares of water at the hub of a vast network of wetlands of major biological interest in the heart of the clayey plains of the Woëvre.
This lake is naturally colonised by aquatic vegetation organised in bands, giving rise to sizeable areas of reedbeds, lush areas surrounded by marshy meadows that are very conducive to the fauna. In order to preserve the site's ecological interests, it has been classified as an Espace Naturel Sensible - a vulnerable natural area.
Watching the stars from the Lorraine nature reserve:
THE CÔTES DE MEUSE OBSERVATORY AT VIEVILLE SOUS LES CÔTES
At the foot of the Côtes de Meuse, the observatory has one of Europe's largest telescopes open to the public. Evenings observing through a 83-cm-diameter telescope, and the Amphithéâtre aux Etoiles for exploring the sky with the naked eye. Video screening. Tours for children, including schoolchildren: daytime activities and observation evenings. Duration of tour: 3 hrs.
SAMMIELLOISE ASTRONOMY ASSOCIATION AT SAINT-MIHIEL
The "Champ Chipolé" observatory is an astronomical observation site in the heart of the countryside, 5 minutes from Saint-Mihiel. Observatory visit (by night) lasting 2 hrs.
"Let's Play with the Sun" activity: duration 2 hrs. Planetarium visit and screening session: duration 2 hrs. For the children: "Sun Special" Day.
Not far from the Parc Naturel Régional de Lorraine there are two more parks: the Parc Naturel Régional des Vosges du Nord (Northern Vosges regional nature reserve) and the Parc Naturel Régional du Ballon des Vosges (Ballon des Vosges nature reserve).