Forest paths, hollow paths, towpaths, the Sarthe is crossed by 7 GR and has 3600 km of hiking trails. Thanks to this very dense network, it is possible to go around the Sarthe on foot! The variety of natural environments in Sarthe promises beautiful walks.

Marked trails and GR® of Sarthe

Among the 3600 kilometers of marked and mapped paths, discover the routes labeled by the Departmental Council and the Departmental Hiking Committee on which you can explore, along the way, the treasures of the Sarthe heritage.

At a crossroads, seven GR ® routes cross the Sarthe over nearly 700 kilometres! The destination offers a wide variety of landscapes from forests, valleys and bocage meadows in the north, to vineyards and orchards in the south in the Loir valley.

From Sarthe, great hikers can reach Paris or Mont-Saint-Michel by the GR 22, Eure or Maine-et-Loire by following the GR 35 along the river Le Loir. 
The GR36 which connects the English Channel to the Mediterranean crosses the center of the Sarthe by the Alpes Mancelles, the valleys and wet meadows of Le Mans then the plains of conifers which lead to the Loir valley.

Hikes in the forest

The national forest of Sillé which extends over 3500 hectares with accentuated relief reserves a privileged environment for long walks. Do not miss the hike of the three ponds which leads to the classified site of the Grand pond and its equipped beach.

Les amateurs de paysages de montagne seront séduits par les Alpes Mancelles avec ses pierriers abrupts et vallées verd

Lovers of mountain landscapes will be seduced by the Alpes Mancelles with its steep scree and green valleys. Good walkers will be able to discover all the geological richness of this listed natural site on the circuit of the misery valley in Saint-Léonard-du Bois.

Further south, in the Loir Valley, the forest of Bercé, labeled Forest of Exception®, remains an ideal site for family outings. Discover its four emblematic sites: the high forest of the Clos which brings together the most beautiful trees in the forest, the fountain of La Coudre with its interpretive path, the sources of the Hermitière in the hollow of a valley, without forgetting Carnuta, place of interpretation of the forest of Bercé.

Heritage circuits in the Sarthe valley

Around the Sarthe river are scattered pretty villages of character to discover along the water. If you like to combine nature walks with heritage discovery, opt for a hike in the Sarthe valley.

On Moulinsart Island around the Cyprien mill and the art center, follow the canal loop, a 6 km hike in the heart of the Sarthe countryside or walk to the heart of the village of Fillé-sur-Sarthe.

Parcé-sur-Sarthe with its narrow streets and beautiful old 15th century houses is  an ideal starting point for a walk along the river to the port of Avoise or an 8 km hike on the circuit of the Bois de l ‘Hommeau.

Good walkers can be tempted by the Tour de Trompe-Souris in Asnières-sur-Vègre to discover the mansions and castles of this Petite Cité de Caractère.

From vineyards to castles in the Loir Valley

To the south of Sarthe, the landscapes of vineyards and chalky cliffs already announce the proximity of the Loire Valley.

From the village of Chahaignes and its 420 cellars dug into the tuffeau hillsides, explore the heart of the Loir Valley wine region where the “Jasnières” and “Coteaux-du-Loir” AOCs are produced. Castles and beautiful residences in the middle of the vineyards can be discovered along the circuit between cellars and hillsides.

Departing from Saint-Jean-de-La-Motte, the Château de Gallerande loop leads through the woods. Walk along wheat fields, a small stream and a few ponds before entering a forest of young oaks and discovering the superb view of this Renaissance castle.

Discover the vineyards of the Loir Valley from the village of Marçon located in the perimeter of the “Coteaux-du-Loir”. The Marçon loop through the vineyard allows you to discover old vineyard lodges and the Château de la Croix Boisée.