Cycling in the Aube: how to get organised?

Lakes Bikeway

For a weekend, we left Troyes to discover the 3 lakes of the Orient Forest. An unforgettable cycling trip along the greenway that crosses part of the Aube, with activities based on the theme of cycle tourism, water sports and nature!

By Anna and Max from La Bougeotte Française

Our cycling route from Troyes to the great lakes of the Orient Forest

From Troyes, we cycled along the velovoie that leads to the lakes for about 2 hours. The route is well signposted, flat and above all very pleasant as we cycle along a varied landscape of fields, forests and lakes. Once we arrived at the Orient lake, we cycled around the 3 lakes of the Orient forest, 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.

Cycling in the forest
Lakes of the Orient Forest
Lake Route Cycling

Our activities around the great lakes of the Orient Forest

From the beach at Geraudot, we hired paddles from Ora Aventure and set off to discover Lake Orient. For about an hour, we enjoyed the clear, calm and very refreshing water. In Mesnil-Saint-Père, from the Maison des Lacs, we went kayaking in the submerged 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.

Kayak le colombier
Paddle Géraudot

Where to eat in Troyes and around the great lakes of the Orient Forest?

  • Aux Oiseaux de Passage (Troyes): an unmissable address in Troyes located on the banks of the Seine, with a large terrace and which serves original and succulent dishes!
  • Le Belvédère (Mesnil-Saint-Père): one of our favourite restaurants of this trip, with a large glass roof that offers a breathtaking view of Lake Orient, and refined cuisine.
  • M’Beach (Mesnil-Saint-Père): a guinguette on the banks of Lake 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 Lake Amance.
Restaurant the Belvédère
Lakes of the Orient Forest
Guinguette M-Beach

Where to sleep in Troyes and around the great lakes of the Orient Forest?

In Troyes, we stayed at the Hôtel de la Gare, an establishment located in the centre of Troyes, 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 Lake Amance, we stayed at Domaine le Colombier in Dienville.

The domain has several accommodation options: guest rooms, camping, gites and even unusual accommodation in a Moroccan tent. We had the pleasure of testing this last option, which we loved!

Paddle Géraudot

Where to rent bikes in Troyes and around the great lakes of the Orient Forest?

In Troyes, several establishments offer bicycle rental:
La Halle aux vélos in Troyes Around the large lakes, several establishments offer bicycle rental:

– Domaine le Colombier in Dienville
– Ora Aventure in Géraudot
Restaurant Le Petit Champenois in Lusigny-sur-Barse
– CNA Sails in Mesnil-Saint-Père

Lakes of the Orient Forest

What equipment should you take to cycle around the big lakes?

The cycle paths around the large lakes are very accessible and relatively flat. We therefore advise you to rent mountain bikes. If you want to venture onto more dirt roads, mountain 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 panniers is a good way to carry your belongings.

How do you transport your bike on the train?

Don’t worry, travelling by bike is easy! In TER trains, spaces are available in some carriages and it is not necessary to reserve these spaces. In TGV trains, some places for bicycles are also available, but reservation is required.

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