A tiny offshoot of the Yvette River runs through the village of Chevreuse, gently traversing timeworn cottages, ancient wash-houses, and a medieval tannery. There are 22 petits ponts, or little bridges, that span the river crossing various pathways.
This promenade is a popular walk for locals and visitors alike, hidden behind high fences sandwiched between the backs (or fronts) of perennial houses and a modern car park. Perhaps the best times of the year to visit are during the spring, when the blossoms and jonquils perform their brief but beautiful annual display, and the summer, when hydrangeas cascade over the tiny bridges.
The walk is not long, less than a kilometer—perfect for a Sunday stroll. When visitors cross the canal there is also a chance to explore the tannery building, which made Chevreuse its fortune for many centuries. It’s now used as an exhibition hall. The 11th-century Château de la Madeleine perches on a hill above the village, and there’s a perfect picture to be taken of the castle and the church spire. There’s much to see in the Valley of the Chevreuse, only a short distance from Paris.
Know Before You Go
The village of Chevreuse is in the Yvelines, 40 kilometers from Paris. The walk along the canal is a bit hidden, but easy to reach. Follow the signs from the town center if you've walked down from the castle, or park in the large Petits Ponts public car park behind the river.