Tiempo  8 horas 49 minutos

Coordenadas 4347

Fecha de subida 22 de junio de 2019

Fecha de realización mayo 2019

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-
140 m
59 m
0
8,4
17
33,74 km

Vista 532 veces, descargada 14 veces

cerca de Barbizon, Île-de-France (France)

This brisk hike takes in a lot of highlights of the Fontainebleau Forest, roughly between Fontainebleau and Barbizon. It includes among others the Gorges de Franchard, the Elephant rock, the Gorges d’Apremont, the Tour Denecourt, the Croix du Calvaire, the park and gardens of Fontainebleau Castle, Mont Aigu, an endless series of particularly shaped sandstone rocks, little fountains and natural ponds, and varied forest types (pine, oak, beech). The hike is largely on forest tracks and trails. The ridges of sandstone hills with peculiar rocks require continuous climbing and descent on uneven trails. Many trails I chose are well signposted with blue arrows and paint dots, part of one of many Denecourt-Colinet trails, named after the guides who developed these trails in the nineteenth century (Colinet being the successor of Denecourt). The sandstone rocks have peculiar shapes like an elephant and a crocodile, and are also used for rock climbing (bouldering). The gardens and courtyards within the Fontainebleau castle grounds are free and open between 9 am and 5 to 7 pm, depending on the season (see https://www.chateaudefontainebleau.fr/Opening-Hours?lang=en). Only in Fontainebleau/Avon and at the start of the Cavalière des Brigands, you will find something to eat or drink.
The hike starts at the free parking at the entrance of the Gorges de Franchard. I started at sunrise, and there was a deer on the Route de l’Ermitage next to the parking. From the parking you walk past the building of the Ermitage and then you follow the blue signs on the Sentier des Gorges de Franchard. The route directly takes you on a sandstone ridge with boulders and pine trees. The winding trail takes you past several viewpoints (although it was a bit misty on my trip) to the viewpoint Point de Vue de Saint-Mégrin. Soon after you descend from the ridge and go north, passing de Butte de Franchard, and the D409 road, towards the Gorges d’Apremont. You follow the ridge on a small trail towards the famous Elephant rock. From here you go east towards the start of the Cavalière des Brigands trail, where there is also a restaurant. The trail takes you up on another sandstone ridge with peculiar boulders. You pass by the Caverne des Brigands, a little cave, and walk on past the Mare aux Biches, a natural pond. You walk through a flatter piece before you get to another hill with another pond, the Mare aux Sangliers. Shortly after, you come across some small sand drifts (the area is also called Désert d’Apremont, and then cross the busy four-lane D607: watch out for fast traffic! On a forest road you to the D142 where there is the Belle Croix at a parking. Here starts another trail through another hilly area with a fountain, a cave and more boulders. At the end of the trail you come to a large grassy area (Cabaret Masson). You cross the D606 and follow other small trails in the Rocher Cassepot area, including viewpoint. After crossing the D116 it is another trail with rocks until you get to the Tour Denecour, a tower with viewpoint. From here you follow fores tracks with viewpoints, fountains and the Sponge Stone towards the Croix du Calvaire. Here, you have a good view across Fontainebleau. You descend to Avon, the town grown together with Fontainebleau, and walk to the castle park. You cross it towards the Canal Grande, and then to the entrance of the castle garden and courtyards (not open early in the morning, and in the evening). You get a good view of the castle before you end up on the square in front of the castle, where there are some bars and restaurants. From here you walk west towards the forest. Along a long and pretty straight forest road through dry forest you get to the start of the trail that takes you up the Mont Aigu, with sandstone rock formations and a view. After descending the hill, you walk west back towards the start, on the way crossing another area with sandstone hills. After crossing the D301 you pass by the natural pond Mare aux Pigeons. From there, it is not far back to the starting point.
Punto de información

Allée Napoléon

The Allée Napoléon takes you straight from the park entrance towards the castle. There is a source of a stream about halfway.
Punto de información

Butte de Franchard

The path steeply rises the last few meters to the top of the hill Butte de Franchard
Punto de información

Cabaret Masson

Grassy plain near the hippodrome and near a parking lot on the D606
Punto de información

Cavalière des Brigands

Trail across a sandstone ridge with lots of peculiar rocks, a cave, and natural ponds. There are wooden steps in places. At the start is a restaurant.
Cueva

Caverne des Brigands

Little cave
Castillo

Château de Fontainebleau

Castle. You walk through the courtyards, which are free to enter, and open every day, but not all day. See https://www.chateaudefontainebleau.fr/Opening-Hours?lang=en for more information.The castle itself can also be visited for a fee.
Punto de información

Cour de la Fontaine

Courtyard bordering on the Étang des Carpres, a little lake with carps
Punto de información

Cour du Cheval Blanc

Front courtyard of the castle.
Punto de información

Croix du Calvaire

Large cross at a viewpoint across Fontainebleau. From here you descend to the town.
Punto de información

D409

Road crossing at a bifurcation.
Punto de información

D607 - dangerous crossing

Here you have to cross a four-lane road where traffic is either approaching a roundabout, or accelerating from it. You have to cross all four lanes at once.
Punto de información

Désert

Small sand drifts in a dry area called Désert d'Apremont.
Punto de información

Entrance Gardens of Fontainebleau Palace

Here you enter the gardens of Fontainebleau Palace. The gardens and courtyards are free to visit every day of the year, but not all day. See https://www.chateaudefontainebleau.fr/Opening-Hours?lang=en for more information.
Punto de información

Fontaine Dorly

Source
Punto de información

Fontaine Désirée

Source. With viewpoint.
Punto de información

Fontaine Isabelle

Source
Punto de información

Fontaine Maria

Cueva

Grotte aux Cristaux

Cave with gates in front of it
Lago

Le Grand Canal

Long and straight canal in the center of the Fontainebleau castle park
Cima

Le Mont Aigu

Hill with viewpoint and peculiar sandstone rocks
Punto de información

Maison Forestière de Franchard

Building at the start of the Gorges de Franchard. Also called the Ermitage.
Lago

Mare aux Biches

Natural pond
Lago

Mare aux Pigeons

Natural pond
Lago

Mare aux Sangliers

Natural pond
Panorámica

Point de Vue de Saint-Mégrin

Viewpoint to the north of Franchard ridge
Panorámica

Point de Vue des Gorges d'Apremont

Viewpoint of the Gorges d'Apremont
Punto de información

Rocher Éponge

Sponge-like rock
Punto de información

Route de l'Œuf

Straight sandy road towards the Mont Aigu
Punto de información

Route des Monts Saints Pères

Forest track between D607 and D142. At the end is an old cobblestone road.
Punto de información

Sentier Bleu

Track named Sentier Bleu. There are some natural ponds along this track as well.
Punto de información

Sentier Denecourt-Colinet 2

Trail taking you from the Tour Denecourt towards the Croix the Calvaire
Punto de información

Sentier Denecourt-Colinet 3

Trail taking you from Cabaret Masson through the Rocher Cassepot area
Punto de información

Sentier Denecourt-Colinet 4

Trail taking you through the hilly sandstone area between the Belle Croix parking lot and Cabaret Masson
Punto de información

Sentier Denecourt-Colinet 7

Track taking you from the Mont Aigu area towards the Gorges de Franchard
Punto de información

Sentier des Gorges de Franchard

Track of the Gorges de Franchard
Panorámica

Tour Denecourt

Stone tower with viewing platform, named after the 19th century guide to the Fontainebleau Forest
Punto de información

Track to Tour Denecourt

Track to Tour Denecourt from D116 along a ridge with sandstone rocks
Punto de información

Trail Apremont

Trail along the Gorges d'Apremont
Panorámica

Viewpoint Franchard

Viewpoint at the Gorges de Franchard
Panorámica

Viewpoint Rocher Cassepot

Viewpoint in the Rocher Cassepot area
Punto de información

Éléphant

Rock resembling an elephant.

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