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Blain - Nort-sur-Erdre

STAGE PROFILE : - 25.7 km – 06h20

This lovely stage allows you to enjoy again the banks of the Nantes-Brest Canal, which you have already encountered frequently since your departure from St Matthew’s Point. The walk is especially peaceful and not hilly; a reasonable distance and no elevation. Therefore take your time walking this section of Ways in historic Brittany, before you reach the banks of the Erdre – the ‘most beautiful river in France’ according to François I – and finish your stage at Nort sur Erdre. There is nothing to recall St James on this stage; you will have to use the power of your imagination to dream of the many pilgrims who might have passed this way.

On the other hand, Nort sur Erdre still remembers the reversal suffered by the Vendéens during the War of the Vendée, at the bridge of Saint Georges over the Erdre. Nort sur Erdre, the first navigable harbour on the Erdre constructed in 1840, contributed to the development of local commerce. Today having become a pleasure port, it has a new purpose ; river tourism and watersports.

DIRECTIONS :

0.00 - ... Leave the gîte d'étape towards the left to get to the promenade Anne de Bretagne, to the left of the château de la Groulais of Blain, which you can admire on the other bank.
The start of the way is tarmacked, as are most parts of this journey which give access to a lock. The other sections are gravelled. Your path will go by 8 locks on the way to Nort sur Erdre. After having gone along the other bank through a wooded section (forest Groulais) you come to...

0H25 1.8 - ... Lock/écluse de la Prée. Continue for 3km, till you cross an intersection with a local tarmac road with a bridge over the canal – this will be the case for all the roads which the pilgrim cross es along the canal – till you get to the lock/écluse du Terrier after 350m. Continue and get to .....

1H35 6.6 - ... Lock/écluse du Gué de l'Atelier. 250m further, there is a crossing with a path, and just after at 250m, a passage over a spillway via a metal passerelle/overbridge. About 1km further there is an intersection with the D132 near the market town of Chevallerais (with local shops, 500m from your Way). Use the pedestrian passage under the bridge, going alongside the canal. Continue to....

2H25 9.7 - ... Lock/écluse de la Rémaudais. About 800m further there is an intersection with a road at the bridge Pont Remaud.

3H00 12.0 - ... Continue via the passage under the expressway Nantes-Rennes in the area of Bout de Bois. 300m further, at the crossing with the D537, the pilgrim changes canal banks, : going to the right on the D-road then immediately to the left after the bridge. Continue and at the intersection....

3H35 14.6 - ... of a road, keep going on the right-hand side (cycleway). 3km further at the intersection with....

4H15 17.7 - ... the D39, change canal banks again (don’t follow the two signposts « la grosse souche » and « Ecluse du Pas d'Héric »). Continue on the path for several kilometres. You will go past the lock écluse du Pas d'Héric (18.3km) and then arrive at an intersection with a road (19.5km). Take a left for 200m to get to the feed channel/ la rigole alimentaire, which you go along by the right hand side for 2km approx. as far as the bridge Pont des Orillères.

- At the bridge, turn right onto the road and go straight ahead for 1.2km passing through two hamlets (in which you don’t take the roads or paths on your left). Turn left at the agricultural path , then at the end of it take a right till you arrive at a Y-junction. Go straight ahead to the Cross – a metal cross on stone base (23.7km). Take a left onto a country road, partially grassy, till you arrive at....

6H00 23.9 – an intersection with two tarmac roads : head down the one facing you and follow it to enter Nort sur Erdre. At 700m, you come to the first houses in the built up area on the left of the road. Go along this road, rue des Fauvettes, leaving a gas station on the right, before going alongside the wall of the cemetery on the right.

After 500m, there is an intersection with the D164 opposite a retirement residence with a chapel on its right. Continue left, straight towards the town centre via the boulevard Charbonneau et Rouxeau, rue Fairand, then rue Aristide Briand.

6H20 25,7 - ... Arrive at the church of Saint Christophe of Nort sur Erdre (end of this stage).