This quite long route allows you to discover exceptional sites such as the Rempart du Restant du Long Rocher ('the rampart of the remainder of Long Rock'), Béatrix Cave and Carrosse Rock. You will also go past magnificent viewpoints, rarely visited walkways and some beautiful ponds, typical of the forest.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Depart from the car park on Avenue de Maintenon, which you reach from the D606 road (coming from the Obelisk Crossroads, turn right at the first crossroads).
(D) From the car park, go up to the gate and then head due east on Route du Rocher d'Avon (which is more a path than a road). Cross the D58, go past the gate via a special passageway on the right and carry on until you reach the Octagon Crossroads.
Next, take the third path on the left which climbs gently, winding upwards. On the way back downhill, it crosses a path and, a bit further on, it reaches the Denecourt-Colinet No 9-10 path, waymarked in Blue.
(1) Follow this path to the right, immediately ignoring path No 9. Follow along path No 10 which climbs steadily, winding up Rocher d'Avon. First cross Route d'Estrées and then Route de Poitiers (signs). You will reach a crossroads.
(2) Turn right onto Route de la Percée, going downhill. Cross Route du Rocher d'Avon and join Route Gabrielle. Turn left onto this road and re-join Route du Rocher d'Avon. Ignore Route de la Croix du Grand Maître on the right and, at the next crossroads, continue straight ahead on Route du Rocher d'Avon (south-east, second on the right).
(3) At the Placereaux Crossroads, take Route d'Augier (second on the right) until you reach the Mare d'Episy Crossroads (this 'mare' ('pond') is situated on the left, climbing up Route d'Orient). Follow Route des Ifs (heading south-west, fourth on the right) until you reach the Rapport Crossroads.
(4) Turn left onto Route du Déjeuner which leads to the Vanne aqueduct and ends up on the D301 which you need to cross over. On the other side, on the right, go down Route du Rocher des Princes (sign) which leads to the D148 and the car park at Rocher des Princes.
(5) The Denecourt Path, No 17, starts from here (sign). Take the Denecourt Path's right-hand branch (Route du Rocher Besnard, due west). Leave the Blue waymarked path and head into the woods on the left and carry on until you reach the next crossroads. Turn left onto Route du Haut Mont. At the top of the climb, cross over Route de la Malmontagne and go along the deep hollow of the 'Puits Fondu' (wells). Cross Route du Lord and you end up on Route de Milady which marks the southern edge of Malmontagne.
(6) Turn left onto Route de Milady. The path winds back and forth on this flat section up to an old watchtower. At the crossroads which immediately follows, turn right onto Route du Râle. Cross Route du Bois Prieur as you go downhill. You will end up at a crossroads with Route Biron. Take Route de Russie slightly on the right and then, on the right again, take Route de la Garenne de Gros Bois.
(7) At the crossroads, veer straight away to the left onto Route du Rocher Carrosse (Blue path) which climbs towards this very unique (and isolated) rock.
(8) Continue on the Blue path. After about a hundred metres, cross Route de Russie and let the Blue path head off to the right as you continue on in a south-west direction. At the next crossroads, take the second left (south) and meet the southern edge of Haut Mont. Next take a branch of the Blue Path No 17 on the right. Follow it to the west up to a magnificent viewpoint (bench).
(9) Follow the path which goes downhill from the flat section. At the bottom, cross Route du Long Rocher and climb up opposite onto the Restant du Long Rocher (connecting paths No 11 and 17).
(10) At the top of the climb, make sure you veer to the right onto path No 11 - do not continue straight ahead. The path runs along the splendid northern rampart of the Restant du Long Rocher and then reaches the Béatrix Cave after quite a few circumventions.
(11) After the cave, there is a really beautiful view. Make sure you keep following the Blue waymarkers: the path follows a kind of circular arc which leads you to the southern edge of the flat (where there is another viewpoint). In this location, many of the blue waymarkers have been erased in the direction of the hike described here, but they are still visible (especially when you turn around!), but the path is quite obvious anyway. The waymarking traces appear again a bit further on. You will reach another viewpoint and the path continues along a really spectacular rampart. The path then goes downhill steadily between the rocks.
(12) Cross Route de la Plainte Verte and then Route du Languedoc. Turn west and then straighten up and head to the north. Then cross Route de la Mort.
(13) Follow the road to the right (north). At the next crossroads, continue straight ahead (Route de la Paisson). Cross Route des Ventes Héron and then take Route de la Garenne de Gros Bois on the left. Cross the D58 and continue straight on opposite for about a hundred metres.
(14) Turn left onto Route Héron. Re-join Route des Ventes Héron and follow it to the right. Framed by Douglas pines, it leads to the Rocher Boulin Crossroads (magnificent black pine tree ('pin noir')). Turn right onto the road of the same name and follow it up to Route d'Hippolyte after you have crossed the D301. At Route d'Hippolyte, take the second right (north-west). At the next crossroads, continue to climb opposite (ignoring the GR11). You will reach a plateau, turn right onto Route de l'Inspecteur Général and keep going until you reach a viewpoint.
(15) Turn your back to the viewpoint (look towards the west): on the right, between two small oak trees, you will see the start of the path back downhill. Follow it to the bottom (ignoring a path on the left on your way down). Turn left at a 90-degree angle onto Route de la Palette. Head northwards, ignore Route de Jemmapes on the left and cross Route de Valmy. Climb Mont Merle and cross the eponymous road. Continue on to the north, crossing Route du Daim until you end up on Route de Médicis.
(16) At Route de Médicis (Vanne Aqueduct), turn left and keep going until you reach the GR11 track (Route de la Fanfare). Follow the GR (Red and White waymarking) to the right.
(17) Turn left in order to climb up to the summit of Rocher de Bouligny (viewpoint). Follow the GR, which is quickly joined by a Blue path (No 9). Continue westwards and, after about 400m, let the GR head off to the right while you continue on the Blue path. Keep going westwards until the far end of Rocher de Bouligny.
The blue path winds around the narrow flat of Rocher de Bouligny (views to the right over the rooftop of Fontainebleau Château). You will see two small ponds and some interesting rocks.
(18) On the western edge of this small flat section, stands a very beautiful rock. A sign describes the different options for Path 9, including the return route to our car park (direction Maintenon Crossroads in 40 mins). Go around the large rock via the left. Follow the Blue path and, at the end, go along Route de la Plaine des Pins to return to the car park (D/A).
D/A : km 0 - alt. 94m
1 : km 0.66 - alt. 96m - Blue path 9-10
2 : km 2.17 - alt. 114m - Route de la Percée
3 : km 3.43 - alt. 87m - Placereaux Crossroads
4 : km 4.42 - alt. 85m - Rapport Crossroads
5 : km 5.9 - alt. 95m - Rocher des Princes car park
6 : km 6.82 - alt. 131m - Puits Fondu
7 : km 8.51 - alt. 107m - Route du Haut Mont
8 : km 8.75 - alt. 125m - The Carrosse (rock)
9 : km 9.33 - alt. 126m - Haut Mont viewpoint
10 : km 10.13 - alt. 132m - Path 11
11 : km 10.97 - alt. 131m - Béatrix Cave
12 : km 12.23 - alt. 100m - Route de la Plaine Verte
13 : km 12.74 - alt. 106m - Route de la Mort
14 : km 14.14 - alt. 93m - Route du Héron
15 : km 16.48 - alt. 117m - Inspecteur Général viewpoint
16 : km 18 - alt. 101m - Route de Médicis
17 : km 18.49 - alt. 116m - GR 11- Bouligny Rock
18 : km 20.18 - alt. 110m - West of Bouligny Rock
D/A : km 21.49 - alt. 94m
This route can be undertaken all year round, it's generally not very wet. Very few slippery sections on the rocks. Many picnic possibilities (obviously at the viewpoints, but also the summit of Boulin Rock is accessible within 5 minutes from the path). Guaranteed peace.
Parking on Avenue de Maintenon, on the right of the D58 on the way out of Fontainebleau.
You can also do this route starting from the car park at Rocher des Princes or the car park at Plaine Verte (towards Bourron-Marlotte).
Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
In the winter, there is less undergrowth and so very beautiful views open up. The viewpoints are also less obscured by the leaves from the hardwood trees.
The GPS track and description are the property of the author.