swimming, EDF dam, leisure park, we tell you everything about the “little Canada of Lorraine”

Nestled in the extreme south-east of Meurthe-et-Moselle, at the gates of the Vosges, the Pierre-Percée lake was born from a utilitarian vocation, namely the provision of a water reserve dedicated to the Cattenom nuclear power plant, but it has been able to take advantage of its landscape assets to develop in terms of tourism.


07:00 | updated at 6:38 PM

Where is the Pierre-Percée lake?

The Pierre-Percée lake is located south of Meurthe-et-Moselle, east of Lunévillois, one hour by car from Nancy and 50 minutes from Lunéville. The water reservoir is located more exactly west of the town of Pierre-Percée, not far from Badonviller and Fenneviller and about half an hour from Baccarat. The nearest Vosges town is Celles-sur-Plaine.

Is the Pierre-Percée lake a natural lake?

No, the Pierre-Percée lake is an artificial lake, the third largest by surface area in Lorraine (after Madine, in the Meuse, and its 1,100 ha and the Stock pond, in the Moselle, and its 700 ha) in l ‘occurrence. It is the largest water reservoir in Lorraine (62 million m³). In terms of figures, it covers an area of ​​304 ha and has a circumference of 32 km.

Its atypical shape resembles a maple leaf. Its vegetation made up of fir trees has earned it the nickname of “little Lorraine Canada”.

Its original shape, similar to a maple leaf, has earned Lake Pierre-Percée, in Lunevillois, the nickname of “little Lorraine Canada”. Photo ER/Alexandre MARCHI

Why was the Pierre-Percée lake created?

The Pierre-Percée lake was created during the construction of the Vieux-Pré dam. The latter plays a major role in supporting low water levels and in producing energy at the Cattenom nuclear power plant in Moselle.

When this plant was built, EDF wanted to create a water reservoir that could be used to compensate for the water from the Moselle used by the plant during periods of low water.

The site of Vieux-Pré, whose stream is a tributary of the La Plaine River, is chosen (Vieux Pré will also give its name to the dam and the power station). A second development was then built: Lac de la Plaine. Fed by the La Plaine River, a tributary of the Meurthe, this basin will serve as a supply basin for the upper reservoir.

The Vieux-Pré dam of the Pierre-Percée lake is located on the first foothills of the Vosges massif at an altitude of 387 meters. Photo ER /Alexandre MARCHI

Thanks to its Vieux-Pré hydroelectric power station, EDF uses its reversible “turbine-pump” groups to, and depending on the needs, either turbine the water flowing from the upper reservoir (Pierre-Percée lake) towards the lower basin (Lac de la Plaine), or pump water from the lower basin when the flows are sufficient, to replenish the reserves of the upper lake.

This equipment makes it possible to compensate for the flows of the Moselle evaporated by the Cattenom nuclear power plant during low water periods and to support the flows of the Meurthe and the Moselle, in conjunction with the Rhine-Meuse water agency and the state services.

The Vieux-Pré dam came into operation just 30 years ago. Photo ER /Alexandre MARCHI

Around ten years of work will be required before the facility is put into operation in 1993. EDF is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Vieux-Pré dam on June 10 and 11, 2023, with numerous events and public reception, rare fact. The last open house dates back to 2017.

Where to swim in the lake of Pierre-Percée?

It is forbidden to swim in the lake of Pierre-Percée. For this, you must theoretically go to the lake of Celles-sur-Plaine (less than five kilometers by car from Pierre-Percée) where a leisure area has been specifically developed and where swimming should be authorized again in 2023. : desilting and cleaning of the bathing area, weeding of algae should improve the quality of bathing water.

Opening authorizations, however, depend on the regional health agency.

Can we fish in the lake of Pierre-Percée?

The lake of Pierre-Percée is classified mountain lake of public domain of 2e category. Fishing is authorized all year round from the shore, in a boat and in a float-tube, for anyone holding a fishing license for the current year. The activity is managed by the Federation of Meurthe-et-Moselle for fishing and the protection of the aquatic environment.

More info on

Can we rent boats on Lake Pierre-Percée?

It is possible to rent 2 to 5-seater pedal boats, 1 to 3-seater canoes-kayaks at the leisure center or treat yourself to some thrills aboard a towed buoy from the Nature Sports Center – leisure center of Celles-sur-Plaine.

The paddle, one of the nautical activities to discover in the land of lakes. Photo ER /Alexandre MARCHI

A paddle rental point is located on the shores of Lake Pierre-Percée.

More information from the nature sports center of the country of lakes on 03 29 41 13 04 or

What leisure activities are offered on Lake Pierre-Percée?

The Nature Sports Center offers land activities: pedal karts, all-terrain electric scooters, archery, mini-golf, “battle archery” (an activity that combines archery and paintball, to be practiced in group), “gel blaster” (between paintball and air soft, for children from 7 years old, these are interactive fights with launchers of gel balls, made of water, which do not cause pain and do not stain), photo rally (provided with a road book, walkers must find around ten photos taken on the Pierre-Percée site).

Are there theme parks near Lac de Pierre-Percée?

Nature and adrenaline lovers will be thrilled by climbing the trees at Aventure Parc Pierre-Percée. Adventure course for all ages (from 4 years old) but also tyrolcable and bungee jumping make up the fun and sporty programme.

More information from the Nature Sports Center of the Pays des Lacs on 03 29 41 13 04 and

Aventure parc unfolds its fun and sporting routes accessible to the whole family in the green setting where the Pierre-Percée lake is nestled. Photo ER /Corinne SAIDI-CHABEUF

Who manages the Pierre Percée site?

EDF has entrusted the joint management association for the lakes of Pierre-Percée and La Plaine with the tourist development of the site. Three places of practice stand out: Aventure Parc (on the shores of Lake Pierre-Percée), the nature sports center and the leisure center (on Lake La Plaine), the canoe rental point (to rent boats on Pierre-Percée lake).

Why is the lake of Pierre-Percée associated with the “country of lakes”?

In addition to Lake Pierre-Percée, the site is closely and historically associated with Lake La Plaine. The name makes it possible to group together the two entities, precisely named in the joint syndicate. Some also associate it with the Lac de la Maix, located near Vexaincourt, in the Vosges, less than twenty kilometers from Pierre-Percée.

A fall into the void with a breathtaking view of Lake Pierre-Percée. Photo ER /Benjamin RECOUVREUR

Could the Vieux-Pré dam give way?

The staff of the EDF power plant in Vieux-Pré carry out meticulous and regular checks on the dam. Every five years, evacuation exercises are carried out: this was the case in 2022, with the participation of a dozen surrounding municipalities.

In 30 years of age, the structure has never suffered any notable anomalies. The risks are quite different: thus, when the water level of the Pierre-Percée lake is low, the area can become marshy for walkers and cruel for fish. With very dry summers, the threat of fire is becoming more and more significant.

How deep is Lake Pierre-Percée?

The maximum depth of Lake Pierre-Percée is 78 m.

The key figures of the Pierre-Percée lake

Its depth: 78 m

The largest water reservoir in Lorraine: 62 million m³

The 3e largest lake in Lorraine

sa surface : 304 ha

He counts 32 km of circumference

2023-06-10 05:00:00
#swimming #EDF #dam #leisure #park #Canada #Lorraine


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