For a weekend, we left Troyes to discover the 3 lakes of the Forêt d’Orient. An unforgettable cycling trip along the greenway that crosses part of the Aube, with activities based on the theme of bicycle tourism, water sports and nature!
By Anna and Max from La Bougeotte Française
Our cycling route from Troyes to the great lakes of the Forêt d’Orient
From Troyes, we cycled along the greenway that leads to the lakes for about 2 hours. The route is well signposted, flat and above all very pleasant as we cycled along a varied landscape of fields, forests and lakes. Once we arrived at the Lac d’Orient, we cycled around the 3 lakes of the Forêt d’Orient, passing through Géraudot, Dienville and Mesnil-Saint-Père. Passing through the north of the Amance and Temple lakes, the cycle route runs along the clear water of the lakes. We really liked this section, which offers a superb view. Passing to the south of these two lakes, we crossed the forest over several kilometres with an alternation of small climbs and descents.
Our activities around the great lakes of the Forêt d’Orient
At the beach at Geraudot, we hired paddles from Ora Aventure and set off to discover the Lac d’Orient. For about an hour, we enjoyed the clear, calm and very refreshing water. In Mesnil-Saint-Père, at the Maison des Lacs, we went kayaking in the immersed forest with a guide from the Parc Naturel Régional de la Forêt d’Orient.
For about 3 hours we paddled between the waterlogged trees and learned many anecdotes about the history of the Champagne lakes and the local fauna and flora. In Dienville, thanks to Domaine Le Colombier, we went kayaking on the Aube, a relatively calm river with varied and enchanting landscapes. Small beaches along the Aube are ideal for a swim or a picnic. There are routes of different lengths. We opted for the 2.5 hour route, which is ideal for a half day’s walk.
Where to eat in Troyes and around the great lakes of the Forêt d’Orient?
- Aux Oiseaux de Passage (Troyes): an unmissable address in Troyes located on the banks of the Seine, with a large terrace which serves original and succulent dishes!
- Le Belvédère (Mesnil-Saint-Père): one of our favourite restaurants during this trip, with a large glass roof that offers a breathtaking view of the Lac d’Orient and refined cuisine.
- M’Beach (Mesnil-Saint-Père): a “guinguette” on the banks of Lac d’Orient where the atmosphere is always at its best and where you can come and have a drink, eat and even attend concerts!
- Le Bistrot Nouveau (Dienville): a warm bistro offering a varied and gourmet menu on the banks of the Lac Amance.
Where to sleep in Troyes and around the great lakes of the Forêt d’Orient?
In Troyes, we stayed at the Hôtel de la Gare, an establishment located in the city centre, a stone’s throw from the station. The rooms are very comfortable and there is a safe place to park your bike. On the shores of the Lac Amance, we stayed at Domaine le Colombier in Dienville.
The domain has several accommodation options: guest rooms, camping, gîtes and even unusual accommodation in a Moroccan tent. We had the pleasure of testing the latter, which we loved!
Where to rent bikes in Troyes and around the great lakes of the Forêt d’Orient?
What equipment should you take to cycle around the great lakes?
The cycle paths around the great lakes are very accessible and relatively flat. We therefore recommend that you rent off-road bikes. If you want to venture onto more dirt roads, off-road bikes are more suitable. In terms of equipment, we strongly advise you to bring a helmet, a water bottle and suitable cycling clothing. If you are travelling on a touring trip, a pair of saddlebags are a good way to carry your belongings.
How can you transport your bike on the train?
Don’t worry, travelling by bike is easy! In TER (Transport Express Regional, the French express regional transport trains), spaces are available in some carriages and it is not necessary to reserve these spaces. In TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse, the French high speed trains), some places for bicycles are also available, but reservations are required.