A hike in a forest in Picardy where the pines loom large. There are also beautiful sites covered in heather and sandstone blocks. The soil, often sandy, allows for hiking in winter without difficulty.
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.
The hike begins at the car park at the entrance of the Castle, Rue René Girardin in Ermenonville (Oise).
(S/F) Leaving the car park, turn left into Rue René Girardin and walk to the crossroads where you take the road on the left which will take you to the traffic lights on the N330 at a pedestrian crossing.
(1) Cross the road and go through the car park along the archery range to take the fenced forest road. Continue on this winding road and soon after an open area that serves as a fire break. Cross through three junctions keeping straight ahead before reaching the one located at the corner of plot 217.
(2) Turn left to go to Pavilion du Prince, 500 m away. Then veer left to follow the wire fence and turn left again at the end of it to take a tortuous path (Route Anglaise) that takes you to Petit Carrefour.
GR (Red and White) markings
(3) Continue opposite on Route du Bosquet towards the Carrefour Saint-Barthélemy. Cross the D126 and continue across the road between plots 175 and 177. At Carrefour Grisard (post) go straight through the Route du Bosquet Rond to the junction of the same name.
(4) Veer left and, at the next crossroads 200 m further on, take a right to reach Poteau Sainte-Marguerite. Continue straight through along Route Sainte-Marguerite to Poteaudu Merisier.
(5) Turn right onto Route Ronde de Haute Chaume which gives way to a for a great stabilised road at the next crossroads. Go straight ahead to the Poteau de la Haute Chaume.
(6) Turn right onto Route de Haute Chaume and go straight towards Carrefour de la Cavée. Cross it and, at the next intersection, turn left. A few metres further on, after you reach the path to the monument erected in memory of victims of the DC10 Turkish Airlines crash on 3 March 1974.
(7) After visiting the site on the right, head back on the road and continue right (north-east) to meet up with the clearing of the Baraque Chaalis 700 m away.
(8) Veer left onto the paved road and follow it, taking the first turn right onto a path at the corner of plot 100. It runs along plots 100 to the left, and 102, 103 and 105 to the right to arrive at the GR®11 at its corner.
GR (Red and White) markings
(9) Turn right and continue on the GR® which crosses at the corner of the plot 108, the D126. Cross the road, 200 m further on you will reach a paved road where the GR® turns left.
(10) Cross the road and continue opposite. The road passes successively between plots 123, 118, 122, 119, 120 and 16 at first south-east and then due south.
(11) At the crossroads between plots 16, 17, 18 and 20 (Carrefour d’Ermenonville) veer onto the second path to the right along plot 18. It leads you to the Petit Carrefour about 1 km further on that you went through earlier in the day.
(3) This time head due south, on Longue Route towards Carrefour du Carreau. Follow plots 182 and 183. At the next intersection at the corner of plots 183, 185 and 189, turn right and walk straight to a T-junction with a path along a fence. You are on the edge of the plot 186.
(12) Turn left (in this direction, you can see the Castle of Saint-Sulpice-la-Ramée). The path descends into a valley and then goes back to reach the D922 road near the property’s beautiful chapel.
(13) Turn left on the D922 and then 150 m further on turn right onto the path along the water purification vats.
GR (Red and White) markings often faded
Head down to the bottom of the valley, cross the stream and enter the forest along plot 193. The stony road reaches the paved forest road of Boisdhyver at the Carrefour des Marronniers.
(14) Turn left and then, after 150 m, turn right into the road running between plots 200 and 201.
The marks of the red and white markings are now barred by a slanted white line representing the old GR® diverticulum (a branching off of the route).
At the next junction, bear right to cross plot 202. Stay left at the next junction. You come plot 202 on a track where you turn left at the crossroads at the corner of plot 206.
(15) Turn right, walk along plots 206 and 207, then go between plots 222 and 225. At the crossroads veer onto the second path to the left along plot 224.
(16) At the crossroads between plots 223, 224 and 233, turn left to continue until you cross the D922. Then follow the road running between plots 219 and 234 which takes you to the next junction where you find the forest road used earlier in the hike.
Turn right, continue until you cross the gate and walk along the archery range. Then, cross the D922 and turn right into Rue René Girardin that leads you to the car park (S/F). Hope you enjoy this walk in Picardy.
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0
1 : km 0.41 - alt. km 0.41 - Traffic lights on the N330
2 : km 1.68 - alt. km 1.68 - Corner of parcel 217, turn left
3 : km 3.26 - alt. km 3.26 - Petit Carrefour sign
4 : km 5.53 - alt. km 5.53 - Bosquet Rond sign
5 : km 6.77 - alt. km 6.77 - Poteau du Merisier
6 : km 7.61 - alt. km 7.61 - Poteau de la Haute Chaume
7 : km 8.4 - alt. km 8.4 - Access to La Stèle, turn right
8 : km 9.16 - alt. km 9.16 - Baraque Chaalis
9 : km 10.13 - alt. km 10.13 - GR11, turn right
10 : km 11.47 - alt. km 11.47 - Small paved road, the GR turns left
11 : km 12.75 - alt. km 12.75 - Crossroads between plots 16, 17, 18 and 20
12 : km 15.25 - alt. km 15.25 - Fence, turn left
13 : km 16.8 - alt. km 16.8 - Chapelle de Saint-Sulpice-la-Ramée
14 : km 17.94 - alt. km 17.94 - Boisdhyver forest road
15 : km 19.07 - alt. km 19.07 - Corner of parcel 206, turn right
16 : km 20.38 - alt. km 20.38 - Crossroads between plots 223, 233 and 234
D/A : km 22.11 - alt. km 22.11
Given its configuration, this hike can easily be divided into two small hikes of about 11 km each:
1 - From the Ermenonville car park:
At waypoint (3) take Route Longue to the Carrefour du Carreau. Then follow the description to get to the next waypoint (12) and finish the course.
2 - From the clearing of the Baraque Chaalis. (coordinates for a car GPS satnav: N 49°09'05,8", E 2°38'21,8").
Start at point (8) and, when you arrive at the point (3), go back to the beginning of the text to continue towards the point (4) and finish this course.
We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 2413OT.
Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Pavillon du Prince
The monument erected in memory of the victims of the DC10 Turkish Airlines crash on 3 March 1974.
The Jean-Jacques Rousseau Park (paid).
A hike mostly along rivers with a connection by the slopes of the Grand Morin and Marne valleys offering beautiful views of the region. Crossing through some of the villages, including Couilly-Pont-aux-Dames and Quincy-Voisins, lets you explore some interesting elements of their architectural heritage.
Hiking along a bend of the river Marne. The circuit follows along streams in its first part, then crosses part of the Montceaux forest. There are beautiful panoramic vistas at every break in the tree cover.
A hike through the vast open areas of the Briarde countryside with large rolling hills and views as far as the eye can see, followed by shaded areas in the valley and on the Grand Morin hillsides. Pieces of the architectural heritage along the way, churches, mills and wash-houses, make the trip that more worthwhile.
The hike can be shortened to a 15 km walk, or split into two, one 8 km and the other 12 km (see useful information).
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.