In the Landes department, there is a one-of-a-kind site: Lake Arjuzanx, not far from the Landes Bleues campsite. Formerly exploited for its lignite veins, it has been rehabilitated into a protected natural area and open to visitors. In all, more than 25 km of trails await you to admire the shores of the lake and its abundant biodiversity!
Today, Lake Arjuzanx is classified as a national hunting and wildlife reserve. It was not always like this: for about thirty years, it was exploited for its lignite, a sedimentary rock present in abundance on the site.
Subsequently, a rehabilitation project was launched, consisting of filling the main quarry with water to form a lake intended to protect the biodiversity of the site. Lake Arjuzanx has thus become a refuge for common cranes and many other endangered species.
The project, which required 6.6 million euros, thus enabled the development of a 2,630-hectare park comprising 7 lakes, i.e. 145 hectares of water bodies. Lake Arjuzanx is the largest of the lakes. On the entire site, 2200 hectares are studied to be classified as a national nature reserve, and 400 hectares are open to the public.
The site of Lake Arjuzanx will delight many visitors: those who want to stroll, sports enthusiasts, budding ornithologists... The 400 hectares are in fact laid out in numerous circuits which follow the relief of the old quarry, preserved to emphasize its singularity. You are therefore spoiled for choice!
Would you like to take a walk on the banks and explore the site at your own pace? Follow the Tour du Lac circuit, a 7 km pedestrian path punctuated with information on the site's protected species, but also its mining history and the redevelopment process.
Do you want to take advantage of the site for a sports session? Many infrastructures are present to rent a mountain bike, do a nautical activity (canoe, pedal boat, paddle) or even a horseback ride. Swimming is permitted in the lake, but only in supervised areas.
Do you want to visit places with children? Go to the Maison du site, which, over 400 square meters, will take you on a journey through the history of Lake Arjuzanx through an interactive scenography.
Don’t forget to end your visit by passing through the amazing Miocene Garden. This place is home to the species that lived on the site 11 million years ago and, by decomposing, allowed the formation of lignite. A phenomenal leap back in time!