Ecomusée du Bois et de la Forêt


Visit the Wood and Forest Ecomuseum

Mar. 2023
3 min.

Along the edge of the woods, beneath the forest shade

For those looking to embark on a more rural adventure well beyond the shores of Lake Annecy, there is a special place that will you will simply find simply mesmerizing located in a hidden valley just outside of Thônes.

Venture to the upper end of the well-preserved Montrement Valley to a fully operational 19th century hydraulic sawmill that houses the Wood and Forest Ecomuseum (“Ecomusée du Bois et de la Forêt”).

Once there, Nicolas Villaume and his team will show you around this unique facility and explain the many hidden treasures the surrounding forest has to offer.

Learn all about the essence of wood, follow wild animal tracks, listen to the sounds of the forest’s inhabitants, smell the subtle fragrance of wild mushrooms, flowers, and berries, and rediscover the splendor of nature’s wonders as well as its long-forgotten virtues. All in all, we highly recommend the experience!

Let’s start with a short trip back in time, the lively and interactive tour of the legendary sawmill: it still operates by harnessing the sheer power of the water flowing down the nearby river. 

This impressive introduction sparks a genuine fascination with forestry and offers a clear explanation of the important role that the timber industry still plays in mountain communities today. In addition to watching how the technically complex sawmill operates; enjoy learning all about another equally impressive step in the process: cable logging. 

The fascinating tour covers every aspect of forestry in the mountains.

Ecomusée du Bois et de la Forêt

© Nicolas Villaume

Over the hills and through the woods

Fun and family-oriented, the Wood and Forest Ecomuseum provides a truly incredible learning experience. Making small wood water-mills, picture stands, and pencil holders by participating in “introduction to carpentry” workshops to learn all about woodworking, and enjoy the “Défis du Scieur” (“Sawyer’s Challenge”), a treasure hunt that lets kids 6 to 12 to use their extraordinary imaginations. 

The Wood and Forest Ecomuseum offers the opportunity to delve deeper into the heart of the forest through fully-immersive workshops and activities geared towards exploring every aspect of the surrounding natural environment.

Ecomusée du Bois et de la Forêt

© Nicolas Villaume

The forest for the trees

Guided walks through the woods, nature-themed activities, learning about trees, water, and Sensitive Natural Areas; take advantage of so many amazing ideas and opportunities to enjoy a fully-immersive experience in the unique natural environment that is a mountain forest.

Learn how to recognize different types of trees, to spot animal tracks from far away, to identify the various species of vegetation, and even to observe the many insects crawling about… From microfauna to mammals or birds, from photosynthesis to the seasonal cycle, you will learn all about the biodiversity that thrives in this beautiful section of the mountains.

Ecomusée du Bois et de la Forêt

© Nicolas Villaume

The museum offers a genuine opportunity to inform, build greater awareness, and provide a clearer understanding about the need to preserve this natural mountain environment and all the species living in it

The Wood and Forest Ecomuseum takes you on a fully-immersive and interactive journey with the hope of forging an eco-citizen mindset as well as to increase everyone’s awareness that they are part of our living world… all while having fun! 


Call or email for more information. The Wood and Forest Ecomuseum organizes fun and educational activities on a regular basis.


Wood and Forest Ecomuseum




  • © Nicolas Villaume

Journalist: Gaëlle Tagliabue

Translation: Darin Reisman