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Saint-Malo-de-Phily < > Pont-Réan

21.2 km 5h15

Directions :

0.00 - Leave St-Malo-de-Phily following the GR®39 by taking Rue des Renardières, to the left of the Mairie (town hall), towards the Chapel of Montserrat, visited the previous evening. After 700m, at a left-hand bend, head into woodland on your right following the GR® which slopes steeply for 200m. At the bottom of the descent, leave the GR® to go right then immediately left on a tarmac road which you follow for a little more than 500m before forking right to continue on the gravelled towpath (Signposted: Circuit de Monserrat).0H30 02.0 – A passage under the railway bridge of Cambré.

1h00 04.0 – Having arrived under the bridge of the D84 near Pléchatel : there are two possibilities:

  • either take the GR®39, via the steps and the bridge to stay at the gîte « Le Cellier de Bourg-des-Comptes» which adjoins the GR®. The next day, following the GR®, get back to the Vilaine and the St Michael Way/Chemin de St-Michel on the towpath by crossing over the lock of Ecluse de Gai-Lieu on its overbridge. (To save several hundred metres of walking on the GR®, take the D84 directly, going uphill and, just before the signpost indicating the limits of Pléchâtel, on the left, a small road which follows the GR® and keep going.)
  • or continue on the towpath.

Several dozen metres after the bridge, the towpath is tarmacked for a little less than 1.7km as far as...

1h20 05.7 – the lock Écluse de la Molière built beside a spur-shaped mill. It is worthwhile to stop here for a bit. The lock gets it name from the château which one can see through the foliage of a hill to the left of the towpath. At about 2km, there is the beginning of a lovely ‘meander’ (here called ‘courbe’ or curve) of Bourg-des-Comptes, with wooded escarpment on the left bank, and flat cultivated land on the right bank. Carry on to admire the superb setting of the lock...

2h15 09.1 - l’écluse de Gai-Lieu, near which an overbridge has been erected which allows one to cross the Vilaine; the GR®39 goes over it. On the other bank, you can take a break at the bar-restaurant there and get back to Bourg-des-Comptes a little more than 1km away via Rue de la Courbe which begins to the right of the bar-restaurant.

2h40 10.8 - Passage under the bridge of the D48 which allows you to get back again to Bourg-des-Comptes after 1.7km (or again to get back to the towpath if you have chosen to go through the town by taking the Gai-lieu overbridge). 500m further, pass under a roadbridge (D38) then keep going, having enjoyed the lovely weir and gone past several houses near to the lock...

3h10 12.5 - l’écluse de la Bouëxière beside a mill which still has a vertical hydraulic wheel made of very narrow planks. The towpath is often shady if you walk during the afternoon. On the other hand, the path continues to go along by the Rennes – Redon railway which would allow for taking a train at some stage. This could be done by going to the...

3h50 15.5 - Halte /Arrêt de Laillé. Continue, passing under the D39. Enjoy the view of the left bank of the river, with its escarpment which becomes a cliff as it gets closer to...

4h35 18.4 - ... Boël (lock and old mill), a favourite walk of the people of Rennes and its environs. Also favoured by mountain-bikers and rock-climbers. [The mill is unusual in its architecture as, in order to resist the strong current of the river, it is spur-shaped upstream, while its downstream section is reinforced by two strong granite buttresses.] If time allows, enjoy a refreshment break here before continuing to the large village of...

5h15 21.2 - ... Pont-Réan where you find all you need for your overnight stop. Unless you want to go immediately to Rennes, which is 20km away?