25 September 2018
Discover the Marais poitevin by bike
A water bottle, a pump and patches in the backpack, that is what we need. The bike is ready with inflated tires and a greased chain. We decide to start from the gateway of the Louis Tardy dock in Coulon, but for this tour, there is no starting point, we can start wherever we want! We chose the circuit n°9 and its 21 kilometres in the heart of the Marais poitevin. So, let’s go!
Cyclists on a wooden footbridge.
A waterside bike ride
The bike routes of this part of the Marais poitevin, in the Deux-Sèvres, have the same tracking system, it is thus easy to locate the marks. On a light blue background, you have the distances and the route to take according to the selected route number. The number 9 quickly gets you out of Coulon to reach La Garette. You ride along the canal, sometimes on tracks, sometimes on a wooden bridge. Along this passage that allows you to test the seat comfort at the outset, you will find small arears with benches so that you can take a break.
A good way to discover Marsh’s biodiversity
Four-Spotted Chaser Dragonfly
You can enjoy the succession of dark and sunny tracks. You cycle surrounded by water. Still along one of the canals of the Marsh, the route peacefully follows the flat terrain which is perfect for a quiet family walk. Nature lovers discover information panels on the flora while you can observe a group of water vole by opening your eyes. They interact with sheep, cows, swans but also dragonflies that open the road flying around you.
A cycling route in the heart of the Marais poitevin
Kilometres pass between paths and ways. The last part of the route is more on open ground. Once you cross the Sèvre niortaise river and you start the return trip to Coulon, the route becomes more and more taken. The path longing the banks is a good way to meet numerous fishermen with success being uneven. Never mind, the quietness of the site is a means to compensate with a good nap under the willows.
Docks of Coulon
As the distance is beginning to be felt, the panel “Coulon” indicates the end of the ride and the return to the village, where everything started, two hours later. 21 kilometres in 1 hour and 47 minutes to be exact; way below the time of the Tour de France pack! But time is not really important, we stop, we take a picture to instantly share with family and friends (yes, we have access to network!), we enjoy the quietness of the area. Dragged by the smell of waffles and crepes, we finally realise that it is time to recuperate in the bars and restaurants of the city.
There are more than 800 kilometres of marked cycling routes in the Marais poitevin, so there should be one for you! And if you don’t have a bike, don’t worry: bike rental is available in the whole Marsh and you can even rent an electric bike!
You can book your bike and even enjoy guided tours.
You can also enjoy the Marsh at the pace of the boat or canoe paddle, so why don’t you try it to?