Lakes, Ponds, Peatlands Menu Heritage and Tours Sceneries and Men History of Men Geology and Climate Landscapes Hautes-Vosges The “Plateau des Mille Etangs” Fougerolles and Val d’Ajol Valleys Ballons of Franche-Comté Vosgian Valleys Haut-Rhin Valleys Wine-growing Foothills Natural Heritage Forests High Stubble Lakes, Ponds, Peatlands Ravines, Cliffs and Scree Slopes Calcareous Grasslands Orchards Local Products and Craftsmanship Marque Parc (Park Label) Mineral and Natural Spring Waters Wood Cladding Wooden Toys Honey and Fruit Juice Wooden Furniture for Children Products Fougerolles Orchards and Kirsch Fish Farming Vosgian Cattle Breed Cheeses Small Fruit, Aromatic and Medicinal Plants Alsatian Wine Smoked Meats and Andouilles Farmhouse-Inns Farm Shops Craftsmanship Textile Granite Lava Sandstone Wood industry Farm Markets Cultural Heritage Thermal Heritage Industrial Heritage Farms Country of Art and History Religious Heritage Intangible Cutural Heritage Heritage and Memory Castles Thematic Roads and Tracks Treetop Adventure Park Tourist Routes Barefoot Trails Parks and Botanical Gardens Museums and Heritage Sites Thermal Baths Environment Awareness Structures Venues for Shows, Exhibitions and Festivals At the Park Doors Colmar Remiremont Belfort Lure Mulhouse Luxeuil-les-Bains Saint-Dié-des-Vosges Nature activities Guided Walks and Discovery trails A Farm, A Hike Mountain Guides Pedestrian Hikes Club Vosgien / Club Alpin (Vosgian / Alpine Clubs) Reception Centres for Educational Stays Trail Mountain Biking and Cyclo-Tourism Equine Activities Climbing Skydiving Aeromodelism Fishing Water Sports Winter Activities Nature vacations Camping in Nature Panda Lodgings and Guesthouses Hôtels au Naturel (Hotels in Natural Settings) The Ballons des Vosges Regional Natural Park offers a large variety of natural environments. In itself, the forest covers two-thirds of territory. Still, the Park is rich with a multitude of other resources. High stubble (altitude meadows), peatlands, glacial cirques, rocky cliffs, rock slides, lakes and rivers intermingle harmoniously. The Park Territory is crossed by many streams and rivers. These watercourses start from a mostly granitic base, and produce acidic waters with low mineral content. These are “poor” rivers, yet they shelter ecologically valuable “sentinel” species: miller’s thumbs, brown trouts, lampreys or rare white-clawed crayfish. Nearly 400 peatlands developed in basins from the glacier era, or on slopes after heavy rains and streams. They spread across the Lorraine side at a high altitude, and on the Plateau des Mille Etangs. These environments are original and very rich. They thrive in abundant waters low in mineral content, and in cool weather. True enclaves for the boreal climate that prevailed over the Vosges Mountains approx. 12,000 years ago, today they shelter many animal species in a mild climate – such as Cranberry Fritillary or Least Water Lilies. These peatlands are wonderful life reservoirs as well as great natural infrastructures that play a key role in the water cycle. The territory counts many lakes, mostly artificial, except for a few great ones such as the lakes of Gérardmer, Longemer and Retournemer or some smaller relict lakes of glacial origin, such as Sewen. The others were created by Man a long time ago or more recently, for timber rafting, or industrial development (mine and textile). Today they are used as drinking water reservoirs, to produce energy, or for leisure. All these water bodies shelter many rare species such as lake loaches or red-clawed crayfish, or provide resting places for migratory species. The Plateau des Mille Etangs in Haute-Saône is the Park’s second greatest natural wealth. Its numerous ponds created by Man in small basins further to peatland exploitation were long used for fish farming. Even though their cold and acidic waters restrain productivity, they are nonetheless suitable for traditional carp farming. Leisure activities progressively replaced fish farming – abandoned ponds evolve into marshlands and peatlands with great biodiversity.