7 Great Hiking Trails Less Than 1.5 Hour From Paris to Escape the City

A polluted, stressful and impersonal environment … This is what is usually said about Paris. Often seen as toxic, the famous “all work and no play” routine can be really demanding for Parisians. The solution? To re-energize far from daily worries by reconnecting with nature.
We made you a list of 7 hiking trails less than an hour and a half away from Paris to try – for all levels.


Trails of under 3 hours

1) Nemours’ forest loops (distance from Paris: 65 minutes)

Difficulty: **

One of the many rocks you can see along the trail
Credits: Pierre Poschadel, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons 4.0

Located in Nemours, in the French department of Seine-et-Marne (77), this hiking trail is an hour away from Paris. Eight kilometres long, it is for medium-level hikers, but stays open to all levels and beginners. To get there, head to the South of Paris, taking the A6 highway up to the “Nemours” exit. Once arrived, you can finally put your hiking shoes on and grab your bottle of water and go for an hour and fifty minutes of harmony with nature.



2) Dame Jouanne’s Massif (distance from Paris: 65 minutes)

Difficulty : **

Not far from Nemours, you can also try out the Dame Jouanne’s Massif in Larchant (77). This trail is made for occasional to regular hikers because it is only 9 kilometres long. The access to the trail is in downtown Larchant. From Paris you will have to take the A6 highway to Auxerre for 60kms, until the exit number 14 “Malherbes”. You will then follow the direction of Larchant. Finally, you will get a breath of fresh air and a change of scene!



3) Franchard’s gorges (distance from Paris: 60 minutes)

Difficulty: **

Franchard's priory
Credits : Thesupermat, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons 3.0

What other destination than Fontainebleau’s forest to fill your batteries up after a long day of work? Just an hour far from Paris, the Franchard’s gorges trail is known for its amazing panoramas and the curiosities you will encounter along the trail, and will allow you to get an overview of the Fontainebleau’s woods. You access Franchard through the A6 highway to Auxerre, “Fontainbleau” exit, and then follow the road to Franchard.

The gorges’ trail is recommended to all levels of walkers/hikers, who along the way could admire the Ermites-de-Franchard’s well, Ermites’ fountain, the Roche-Qui-Pleure (literally, “the crying rock”), the Jockey’s Hat, and Franchard’s priory, the oldest religious building in the whole of Fontainebleau’s forest.



4) GR 2024

Difficulty: *

© Mairie de Paris

For Parisian fans of hiking that don’t want to take their car, those who only have a little time to take a walk, or simply those looking to get a breath of fresh air, there’s a perfect compromise: the GR 2024. Created in June 2017 for the promotion of Paris’ application for the 2024 Olympic Games, it is an inner Paris trail. You can start the trail from any Paris door (La Villette, Dorée, Vanves, Maillot)., with easy access helped by a great flexibility of levels. Actually, the full trail is 50 kms long, but is divided into 13 sections of approximately 4 kms, making it really accessible to the less trained.



Trails over 3 hours

5) Apremont’s gorges circuit (distance from Paris: 60 minutes)

Difficulty: ***

Platinière of Apremont
Credits : Thesupermat, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons 3.0

Back to the Fontainebleau’s forest, here’s the Apremont’s gorges trail. It is a 12 kilometre-long track which is made for medium to experienced hikers. You will get there via the A6 highway, without forgetting to take the “Fontainebleau” exit. You will then head to “Barbizon”.
This trail is known for its atypical landscape: dry, almost arid, but which has evergreen pines and birches. On the way, you will encounter an elephant-shaped rock. If you pay close attention, you might find the mysterious “bandits cave”. Will you find it?



6) Forges circuit (distance from Paris : 1h)

Difficulty : **

On to the French department of Essonne (91) now ! Only one hour away from Paris downtown, the small town of Forge-les-Bains has a beautiful hiking trail called “the Forges circuit”. With a length of 20 kms, it can be completed in a little bit more than 4h30 and goes through nice hamlets.
The route to go there is the following : go out of Paris by taking the A6 highway to Bordeaux, and then get onto the A10. You will have to take the exit number 9 (Villejust), then follow the D131 road to Forge-les-Bains.
This pretty easy track claims to be a relaxing walk for the amateurs of wide natural spaces and fresh air, and offers enough challenge for more motivated hikers.



7) Ponds circuit (distance from Paris: 60 minutes)

Difficulty: ****

the trail through Rambouillet's forest
Credits : Pline, Wikimedia Commons, under Creative Commons 3.0

Located in the heart of Rambouillet’s forest, in the department of Yvelines (78), this trail is the hardest on our list! Twenty-four and a half kilometres long, it goes around the magnificent Rambouillet forest’s ponds. It can be divided into smaller sections – you don’t have to do it all in one go! To escape, take the A13 and head towards “Versailles” to the junction leading to the A12, and then take the “Rambouillet-La Clairière” exit.

As the former King’s hunting yard, it’s pretty common to encounter stags, deers and hinds … It also gives the opportunity to admire the flourishing nature around the ponds, each with a particular name (“the Frog pond”, “the Golden pond”, “Gruyer’s pond”, …).