Saint-Léonard-des-Bois and Mont du Haut-FourchéSaint-Léonard-des-Bois and Mont du Haut-Fourché
©Saint-Léonard-des-Bois and Mont du Haut-Fourché|Ahmet Yildiz - PHS


The origins of the Alpes Mancelles

Located in the heart of the Alpes Mancelles listed site, Saint-Léonard-des-Bois is renowned for its outdoor activities. From Haut Fourché or Narbonne, you’ll fall under the spell of these hilly and totally atypical landscapes.

The heart of the Alpes Mancelles


In the midst of unspoilt nature, between mountains and river, the village of Saint-Léonard-des-Bois is the destination for nature lovers.

It was here, in this unique and timeless location, that in the 6th century, a hermit named Léonard settled and founded a monastery. Part of his story is told in a stained-glass window in the church. The church is said to have been built on the site of the former monastery. Originally built in the 12th century, it underwent numerous alterations, but still boasts some fine features, including a painted wooden vault and, above all, a 17th-century carving of the Dormition of the Virgin. This ensemble has been listed as a “Monument Historique” since 1905.

Saint-Léonard-des-Bois has been awarded the Petite Cité de Caractère® label.

Discover Saint-Léonard-des-Bois

in videos

made by the Petites Cités de Caractère association

Not to be missed

The Valley of Misery

This steep-sided valley, overhung on either side by rocky bars and scree of Armorican sandstone dating back to the Quaternary period, forms a unique site in the Pays de La Loire region. Of interest for its fauna, flora and above all its geology, this site is one the Espaces Naturels Sensibles (sensitive natural areas) in the Sarthe department.

Histoires géologiques


Two loops to be walked successively or independently forming a 10-kilometer circuit that will take you back up the time scale.

Following the pebbles of the Saint-Léonard-des-Bois paths, you’ll climb the peaks of the Alpes Mancelles and discover some eventful episodes in a geological history spanning nearly 600 million years.

A local artist

René Saint-Léonard

If there’s one discreet artist in Saint-Léonard-des-Bois, it’s undoubtedly René Saint-Léonard. This village, where he was born and grew up, has become his “muse”. He loves this village, it inspires him. No doubt that’s why he paints it so often. Sometimes very visible, sometimes less so – that’s the subtlety. Naive in color and form, yet so profound and generous.

Years go by, the Alpes Mancelles remain and are still a source of inspiration for artists.