Royal Channels

The royal queen of the plain at Auffargis and VE ©OTCI 3 - Rambouillet Tourist Office

Less known than the Palace of Versailles, you will discover the history of the hydraulic masterpiece that hides behind its marvelous water games.

Hiking Information

  • Duration ⌚
    • 2h
  • Range ↔
    • 18.4km

Description of the hike

Departure: on the D 91 in the Vaux de Cernay, take the D 24 towards Auffargis. Pass the Abbaye des Vaux de Cernay on your right, then the Ferme des Vallées and the Etang des Vallées. Park 700m after the farm, in the parking lot of the old sand pit which is on your left.

1. At the car park, cross the D 24 and take the forest path opposite the entrance to the car park. 370 m further you cross the Ru des Vaux via the Grandval bridge. At the bridge continue straight on the path that climbs until you reach a crossroads at the top.

2. At the Cinq cents arpents crossroads, take the forest road of the same name (2nd on the left) which runs along the cycle path then recovers it further towards the exit of the forest. Continue straight ahead on the cycle path.
You walk along a field on your right and on your left you first walk along a wood, then a meadow, then a wood again.

3. At the end of the 2nd wood on your left you come across a field crossed by power lines. At this point leave the cycle path and turn left on the path that marks the edge of the wood. At the end of the field, continue straight ahead and go into the forest on the path to the right of the big oak tree. This path leads to another 450 m path.

4. At the intersection, turn right then 20m later, at the fork, turn left. Be careful on the descent, stay in control of your speed. In the descent you will find a concrete path that leads to a property: continue on this path to the bottom.

5. Arrived at the bottom at the intersection with another path, turn right on the GR which you continue straight ahead. You will cross houses, walk along a tennis court on your right then arrive on a road. At the road turn right onto the GR (white and red markings) and continue straight on this road to the church. 

6. Opposite the church of Auffargis, turn left towards Vieille-Eglise. You come to a small square. At this place take a street on the right following the direction of Carrières. Then straight through the houses until you come to a large meadow at the level of the ru du Feu de la Saint-Jean.

7. At the ru du Feu de la Saint-Jean, turn left via the impasse du pont des Murgers (GR), then continue
right on the path that runs along the ru.

8. At the intersection with a road, cross the road to take the path opposite, behind a barrier. You follow a channel to a large oak tree where you find the path on the dike of the Perray pond at the level
of a barrier.

9. Arrived opposite the pond, take the path on the left on the dike.

10. At the end of the dyke you come to a bridge: do not cross it and turn left on the path that runs alongside the channel. Then at the road, cross it and continue opposite on the path which continues to follow the channel through the fields.

11. Arriving at a fork with an explanatory plaque on the Coupe-gorge channel, turn left leaving the channel. You arrive on the D 61 which you cross to continue on the path opposite which leads you into the undergrowth: continue straight on this path. Soon you are again following a channel that you cross twice on bridges passing successively from one bank to the other.

12. Arrived at the PNR starting panel continue straight until the road.

13. At the road, take the one-way road opposite “Chemin des Forges” to the stop sign where you turn right on the path that runs along the D 73 behind the safety rail, following the PNR markings (blue and white) .

14. After the bridge at the level of the ONF panel “Foret domaniale de Rambouillet”, turn right onto the car park, then at the end of the car park take the path behind the barrier which runs along the Etang de la Tour, following the PNR markings. Stop at the next parking lot.

15. At the car park with a PNR departure sign, turn left onto the GR towards the Vieille Eglise circuit marked out in blue and white. Cross the D 73 to take the path opposite.

16. 400m further turn right on the GR and PNR marked path and follow it to a wide path.

17. At the wide path (Saint-Hubert hunting road), leave the GR and turn left (careful, very deformed path). You cross a bridge, then you walk along a field on your right. At the end of the field facing a wood, turn right at the crossroads by the grassy path which runs along the wood on the left and the field on the right.

18. At the next intersection, straight on towards the Saint-Benoît circuit signposted PNR. This grassy path continues on a paved road that you take to an intersection in the hamlet of Saint-Benoît.

19. In Saint-Benoît at the intersection at the level of a small square continue straight, then at a fork with a PNR departure sign turn right by rue de la Croix Picard which you go up to the D 61 .

20. At the stop sign turn right then immediately left via rue du Chêne Pichard which you take to the end. Then, continue straight after the barrier to an intersection in the forest.

21. At the intersection with a PNR post, turn left towards the Rigoles circuit. Then you cross two successive forks: turn right twice and straight on to the Chêne aux Loups crossroads with an arrow post.

22. At the Chêne aux Loups crossroads, take the direction of Route du Pt de Grandval opposite, at the next crossroads on the right; then straight downhill. You are back.

Royal Channel route

To see on your way…