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An Uhelgoad
The city seen from the lake
The city seen from the lake
Coat of arms of Huelgoat
Coat of arms
Huelgoat is located in France
Coordinates: 48°21′54″N 3°44′37″W / 48.365°N 3.7436°W / 48.365; -3.7436Coordinates: 48°21′54″N 3°44′37″W / 48.365°N 3.7436°W / 48.365; -3.7436
Country France
Region Brittany
Department Finistère
Arrondissement Châteaulin
Canton Carhaix-Plouguer
Intercommunality Monts d'Arrée
 • Mayor (2014–2020) Benoît Michel
Area1 14.87 km2 (5.74 sq mi)
Population (2008)2 1,602
 • Density 110/km2 (280/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
 • Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
INSEE/Postal code 29081 /29690
Elevation 92–267 m (302–876 ft)

1 French Land Register data, which excludes lakes, ponds, glaciers > 1 km² (0.386 sq mi or 247 acres) and river estuaries.

2 Population without double counting: residents of multiple communes (e.g., students and military personnel) only counted once.

Huelgoat (Breton: An Uhelgoad meaning "High Forest") is a commune in the Finistère department of Brittany in northwestern France.


Inhabitants of Huelgoat are called in French Huelgoatains.

Historical population of Huelgoat
Year 1793 1800 1806 1821 1831 1836 1841 1846 1851 1856
Population 977 898 900 929 1037 1171 1156 1200 1215 1176
Year 1861 1866 1872 1876 1881 1886 1891 1896 1901 1906
Population 1203 1277 1240 1327 1184 1401 1324 1413 1600 1874
Year 1911 1921 1926 1931 1936 1946 1954 1962 1968 1975
Population 2134 1996 2207 2331 2283 2431 2363 2057 2456 2230
Year 1982 1990 1999 2008
Population 2026 1742 1687 1602


Huelgoat is popular with tourists and holidaymakers due to its impressive natural setting among the vestiges of the ancient forest that once covered inland Brittany. Once part of royal and ducal lands, the forest is now overseen by the French forestry commission, the National Forests Office. It has an area of 10 square kilometres. A large replanting scheme has repaired much of the damage sustained by the forest in storms on the 15–16 October 1987, when 3.1 square kilometres of trees were levelled or damaged.

The village lies on a lake created between the 16th and 18th centuries to supply water to local silver-lead mines by means of a 3 km (1.9 mi) leat or canal.


Le Champignon rock, Huelgoat

A number of geological and prehistoric curiosities can be found by following trails in and around the village and forest. Among these are:

  • Le Chaos de Rochers, the Chaos of Rocks, is a jumble of hundreds of large boulders below the dammed lake, into which the river vanishes. A 10 m descent down ladders is required to see it again, running rapidly below a dark cave called the Devil's Grotto.
  • La Roche Tremblante or Trembling Rock, is a 137-tonne boulder nearby, pivoted so it can be made to rock by a person pushing against one point.
  • Le Champignon, or The Mushroom, is a large rock balanced on a smaller one to give the eponymous appearance.
  • La Mare aux Fées, the fairies' pool.
  • La Mare aux Sangliers, the wild boar pool.
  • Le Camp d'Artus, Arthur's Camp, a sea promontory hillfort based on a Gaulish oppidum, with a linear murus gallicus rampart. It was used as refuge by the Osisme Gauls against the Roman invasion in 57 BC and later acquired a nickname referring to Arthurian legend. The site was excavated by Sir Mortimer Wheeler.
  • La Grotte d'Artus, or Arthur's Cave, is a natural shelter formed under a roof of jammed rocks.

The Poërop Arboretum is a local arboretum with a nationally recognized collection of maple trees, among other substantial collections.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]