We went for a half-day hike in the hilly area around the river Yvette, a place with some surprises up its sleeve!
“It's so enjoyable walking from Yvette Valley to Saclay Plateau”
As soon as we set off along this 7.5 km trail, we noticed that we were surrounded by a local rock: gritstone. This red stone is used for building houses in the local area and it glistens in the sun. We started walking alongside the river Yvette, running into lots of groups of university students along the way.
We left the town behind us and walked by the peaceful, winding river. We took some photos on the way.
Our route leads past two lakes, the Lac du Mail and the Lac de Lozère. The Lac du Mail belonged to the ancient château of Orsay. This is a popular place with the locals, who come here to get some fresh air and maybe catch a glimpse of Gaston, the heron. We took a moment to observe the wildlife all around us.
We continued on our way alongside the Yvette. Our attention was drawn to the street art by EAJ (under the N118 main road) which whisked us away into an underwater world.
We ran into a fisherman who was already stationed on the riverbanks. "Catch anything yet?" we asked him. "Mainly roach" he replied. He told us that he is a regular here and he loves the peace-and-quiet and charm of the Yvette.
We edged closer to the Lac de Lozère. This bucolic place is home to countless species of bird (Canada geese, ducks, grey herons, coot, etc.). This peaceful place is the ideal spot for fishing.
At 12 rue Charles Péguy, near Lozère train station, is the former residence of the famous writer and poet. 'La Maison des Pins' is the departure point for the Charles Péguy Trail, which covers his pilgrimage to Chartres.
We began the climb up to the Plateau de Saclay. This hike is relatively easy overall but this particular section can be a challenge. Take your time, a few hundred steps (the steps of hell as Lucie calls them) and some hills await you.
Our uphill adventure came to an end when we arrived at the Ecole Polytechnique. We stopped to catch our breath on a much-appreciated bench, and admired the view of the valley. Hundreds of brave and motivated students take these steps EVERY DAY! We take our hat off to them!
We wandered through the green forest next to the school. When we left the forest, we came across one of the oldest farms at the Plateau de Saclay, the Ferme de la Vauve.
There is a striking contast between the farming past and the new buildings for the technological and scientific centre. We followed our route alongside the Rigole de Corbeville, towards the Carrière de la Troche!
This former quarry is in Eugène Chanlon park, and it is the perfect place for fans of rock climbing! The average height of the sandstone rocks here is around 5 metres, making it a great challenge for climbers.
There are 3 climbing trails to choose from, the yellow (intermediate), blue (difficult) and red (very difficult). We weren't here for climbing today, but we stopped to admire the skills of the sporty climbers, who were very impressive.
We took our time on the way back, and went back down the steps (yes, those ones again!).
This hike can be found in the hiking guide under 'Circuit le coteau de l’Yvette SIAHVY'