5 Easily Accessible Hikes Around Paris

Where to hike near Paris ?

© Les Randonneurs, 1997.

We all laughed ourselves silly watching the cult film Les Randonneurs and its insufferable character played by Benoît Poelvoorde (see photo). But in all seriousness, hiking proves to be the ultimate win-win physical activity: it’s free, allows you to get some exercise, and lets you admire extraordinary landscapes. No need to trek through the Vercors or sleep under the stars; there are stunning walks around Paris for modern-day hikers. Here are five top picks from Alltrails, the fantastic outdoor app, as recommended by its French ambassador, Mehdi El Mabrouk.


Cool Off by the Water

Saint-Maur along the Marne

The Best Hike: Saint-Maur along the Marne.

The Vibe: This flat, very accessible 14.5 km loop (also dog-friendly) in Val-de-Marne takes you along the Marne River, past pretty houses, quaint little boats, and various birds. A calming walk, ideal for beginners and seasoned runners looking to enjoy a scene straight out of an impressionist painting.

Car-Free Access: Take RER A and get off at La Varenne-Chennevières.

Mehdi’s Tip:This walk is even more pleasant during the beautiful days of March and June, when the trees along the Marne show off their stunning colors.”


Discover a Remarkable Spot

Park and Gardens of Château de Fontainebleau

The Best Hike: Park and Gardens of Château de Fontainebleau.

The Vibe: If you love beautiful architecture and wide, well-defined paths, go for the loop around Château de Fontainebleau and its remarkable English and French gardens. Before or after the walk, don't miss booking a delicious lunch at Gina, the Italian restaurant at the Hotel de Cavoye.

Car-Free Access: Take Transilien R and get off at Fontainebleau-Avon.

Mehdi’s Tip:This route is great for both a scenic run and a leisurely stroll. Spring is the best time to enjoy this tour as the symmetrical tree-lined paths are in full leaf.”


For Experts Ready for a Challenge

GR 22 Stage 1: Paris - Versailles

The Best Hike: GR 22 Stage 1: Paris - Versailles.

The Vibe: Ready for a 30 km trek starting from the Eiffel Tower? The GR22 is the perfect route for serious walkers, with its first stage ending in Versailles... before continuing to Mont Saint-Michel. Start in the urban area or join the route from Issy to venture into the lush forests of Meudon and Versailles.

Car-Free Access: Take RER C and get off at Pont de l'Alma.

Mehdi’s Tip:A long route requires precise preparation, especially regarding water and food rationing. Plan for an average of 0.5L of water per hour spent outdoors; this ratio can change with the temperature. Also, bring enough food to avoid hypoglycemia during such a long effort. Finally, as this route is not a loop, ensure you have your return planned before setting out.”


Wander Through Picturesque Villages

The Oise Valley of Painters

The Best Hike: The Oise Valley of Painters.

The Vibe: The town of Auvers-sur-Oise has long inspired painters, including Van Gogh, who spent his last incredibly prolific two months here (recently featured in a Musée d'Orsay exhibit). The blending colors of endless fields, sky, forest, and river resemble a painting. In short, this walk is perfect for contemplative spirits.

Car-Free Access: Take Transilien H and get off at Auvers-sur-Oise.

Mehdi’s Tip:For this outing, make sure you have versatile shoes, as you'll encounter a variety of terrains: forest paths, roads, and trails along fields. If you plan to run this loop, choose off-peak hours, early in the morning or later in the day, to fully enjoy this beautiful route, which is quite popular with hikers during nice weather.”


Get a Nature Boost in the Forest

Bois-le-Roi - Fontainebleau-Avon

The Best Hike: Bois-le-Roi - Fontainebleau-Avon.

The Vibe: It takes about 4 hours to walk through the heart of the mythical Fontainebleau Forest, a former royal hunting ground until Napoleon III. Enjoy fresh air and total silence, perfect for disconnecting and recharging. Pure bliss.

Car-Free Access: Take Transilien R and get off at Bois-le-Roi.

Mehdi’s Tip:This circuit is perfect for a gentle introduction to trail running if you decide to run the segment. The elevation is spread throughout the route, and the clear terrain allows you to enjoy the scenery without constantly watching your footing. Bring enough water and food to be self-sufficient for the entire hike.”

Find all the best hikes around Paris on alltrails.com

© Mehdi el Mabrouk – France Ambassador AllTrails

Also check out your Parisian weekend program and a dream day in Giverny.

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