A walk in the forest of Fontainebleau / Hikers in the Bois de Vincennes

Hiking in Paris Region

Make no mistake about it, you can go hiking in the area around Paris. In the forest, on the banks of the Seine, in the depths of nature or within the city, the capital and its surrounding area have plenty to keep your walking poles busy. Let the adventure...
  1. What to see and do
  2. Sports and leisure activities
  3. Hiking

Which itinerary for your next hike?

Fancy hiking in Paris Region?

Enable your compass app and dig out your best rucksack. It’s time to go exploring on foot. Hiking is a sport that’s good for both body and mind and is among the most popular activities in France. In Paris Region, from the centre of Paris or one of the surrounding towns, discover a new passion or succumb to your need for escape.

A breath of fresh air outside Paris

When you live in the capital city, getting some fresh air isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. So take to the outskirts and treat yourself to an invigorating walk in the country. Deep in the forest, at the bottom of a valley or along the riverbanks of Île-de-France, take a deep breath and unwind in the cool woodland setting.

Forest from start to finish

What could be more pleasant than taking to the great outdoors beyond the Paris boundaries? Even when it’s cloudy, hiking is one of the most relaxing of all nature activities. You don’t have to go far to enjoy a change of scene. Armed with your Navigo pass — the Parisian’s all-purpose travel tool — head for one of the nature parks of Paris Region. In less than an hour, you and your walking shoes will be ready to challenge those calf muscles.

Which adventure tempts you most? In the Vexin nature park you may come across a medieval castle hidden within a village. The Gâtinais Français nature park features a number of cultural sites dotted across the landscape. In the upper Chevreuse Valley, the trails are shared between hikers, cyclists and horse riders. This park’s superb natural setting will host the road cycling race of the 2024 OPG. Last but not least, on the edge of Saint-Denis, the Oise - Pays de France nature park is your gateway to the Hauts-de-France region. Previously the haunt of Gauls and Romans, this park boasts some fabulous cultural heritage.

Hiking trails for all levels

The area around Paris is quite hilly. Which is no surprise, considering that Île-de-France has nearly 4,000 km of rivers and streams. And valleys always come with slopes. If you’re a seasoned hiker, you’ll enjoy the challenge of some of the trails around Paris. One example is the Bossapas hike in Hauts-de-Seine: 33 kilometres and a 1,100- metre elevation gain.

Not particularly sporty? Some of the châteaux stand in parks where even the least energetic visitors will find walks they can manage. In autumn, listen carefully for the bellow of the stags in rut and the sound of their antlers. If you enjoy mixing history and sport, you’ll find around a dozen hiking itineraries within the Palace of Versailles estate. You’ll need more than a weekend to cover them all.

Visiting Paris in your hiking shoes

Have you ever heard of city hiking? This is not a shopping marathon that takes you across Paris in search of your dream shoes. Although that does sound quite challenging. City hiking is an alternative and green way of visiting the city. You can go unguided or supervised by a specialised guide to learn more about what you see.

These itineraries on the streets of the capital take you sightseeing between bridges, parks, heritage features and street art. Depending which route you choose, your hike can quickly turn into a lesson in history or culture. So remember to look up and enjoy the views, at your own pace.

Also to be discovered

  • Copyright images: © JL Polion, © A.Laurin