In a previous article, we mentioned the rich industrial past of the Creusot Montceau area. More particularly, how this heritage nowadays arouses the interest of architecture and history lovers, who stroll from site to site and wander through the museums. It is now time to take an interest in this part of the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region for the beautiful walks it offers in the middle of nature. Because the Creusot Monceau is a green and gently undulating territory, where walks, bike rides or boat trips can oxygenate the lungs and cross woods, hedgerows, marshes, as well as stop at the edge of a body of water or up a canal. You can also take advantage of the opportunity to stop off in villages and at the foot of buildings that are perfectly integrated into the natural environment. Here are a few ideas to make you want to discover Creusot Montceau through its bucolic landscapes.
The Green Walks, the discovery of Creusot Montceau on foot
In Creusot Montceau, the "Balades Vertes" (Green Walks) are a series of paths that cover the varied landscapes of the area. They are suitable for all types of walkers. You can start out on a short hike, walk for several hours or go jogging. In any case, it is an excellent way to take the time to contemplate the richness of nature, its fauna and flora. Beyond the natural landscapes, the paths also allow you to discover the heritage and everything that contributes to making each commune a memorable stop.
To combine nature and architectural treasures, the " Nature and Heritage " walk takes walkers through the state-owned forest and around the large lake, one of whose banks reveals the charming village of Saint-Sernin-du-Bois. Classified as a "Cité de Caractère de Bourgogne-Franche-Comté", you can admire the 11th century priory and the 14th century keep, before returning to the countryside and walking through the Fontaine Sainte marshes, where explanatory signs inform you about the richness of the biodiversity. From the village, you can also set out to reach the Pissoire waterfall with the " Water and the Forest " walk. You will find yourself in the middle of the woods listening to the soothing sound of the small waterfall.
The " Between Woods and Valleys " walk starts in the commune of Saint-Symphorien-de-Marmagne, where the beauty of the surrounding countryside is immediately apparent. The walk takes you through hamlets and streams, to the edge of the Marnay ponds and to breathe the air of the woods. Then there are the viewpoints offered on the splendid Mesvrin Valley and its green reliefs. On the way, we also took the time to admire buildings such as the chapel of Maison Dru, set on its rocky spur in the heart of a green setting. Not forgetting the beautiful stones of the Bâtiments de l'Usine, which is an old dye factory.
Another interesting Green Walk is the one that starts in the commune of Marmagne and which allows you to better understand part of the history of the area. Called " On the heights of the Rançon ", the itinerary follows the route of the Rançon's water supply to the town of Le Creusot, where the Schneider dynasty's factory was located. A trip through the forest at the starting point of the catchment tunnel, a detour via the Haut-Rançon dam surrounded by hardwoods, this walk is captivating.
Cycling through the Creusot Montceau countryside, Voie Verte and Eurovélo 6
It is not surprising that the Creusot Montceau area is a favourite destination for cycling enthusiasts. The Saône-et-Loire is in fact the birthplace of the first Voie Verte in France! Today, Southern Burgundy has a wealth of routes to follow by bike. For those who wish to cycle through the Saône-et-Loire from Creusot Montceau, they guide cyclists through the green hills that are emblematic of the region, but also as close as possible to the vineyards of the Côte Chalonnaise. One can also push towards architectural treasures such as the feudal castle of Berzé-le-Châtel and the abbey of Cluny. In Creusot Montceau, between Chagny and Montchanin, the Voie Verte can be used by bike or electric scooter and is located along the canal.
Another choice cycling route passes through Creusot Montceau: EuroVelo 6, which links the Atlantic Ocean to the Black Sea. There are three stages here, all of which provide opportunities to be in contact with nature and the sites of interest in the area. From Saint-Léger-sur-Dheune to Montchanin, you cycle through the superb Burgundy hills. Then, from Montchanin to Montceau-les-Mines, we follow the canal to pass through the old mining centre of Montceau-les-Mines, to immerse ourselves in the industrial past of the region. Finally, during the last stage, which takes place from Montceau-les-Mines to Palinges, we find ourselves in a river atmosphere, following the Canal du Centre and the Bourbince River. The walk is punctuated by the remains of the mining and steel industries, which are inseparable from the region.
Le Creusot Montceau along the water
The landscapes and heritage of Creusot Montceau can be appreciated on foot, by bike, but also from the water. For this, what could be more exciting than renting a boat without a licence to travel the Canal du Centre? The canal reveals the most beautiful aspects of nature, but also the architectural treasures of the area, both millennia old and from the industrial era. A cruise on the Canal du Centre gives you the opportunity to slow down and be in perfect harmony with the landscape. You can enjoy the water and the banks along which the cows pass and where birds come to rest in search of food.
Boaters can also count on the port of Montceau-les-Mines and the rest stops to refuel. The port is a modern facility where you can take a shower, connect to electricity and enjoy the shops and restaurants of the town. On the way, boaters can also stop at the rest stops in Saint-Julien-sur-Dheune, Blanzy and Génelard. In addition to water and electricity connections, they will find shops and picnic areas where they can recharge their batteries from the mainland. Everything is done to ensure that families and groups of friends have a pleasant time, contemplating the landscapes of southern Burgundy while offering themselves an original and rejuvenating holiday.