St-Médard-sur-Ille < > Rennes
STAGE PROFILE: 26.2 km 6h30
After a route taking hollow paths, now the Way will follow waterways, either freeflowing or as canals. Water is present everywhere throughout the forthcoming stages with the advantage of towpaths offering a swift, easy and comfortable walk. The other side of the coin is of course the, if not repetitive, then at least monotonous nature of the days ahead. That said, enjoy some small variations which are suggested for you ; there are many things to discover along the way : flora, fauna, industrial areas ... not forgetting the chain of flower bedecked locks which day after day mark out the path.
0.00 - Saint-Médard-sur-Ille – Cross Place de l'église and head towards Rue de la Côte, which you go down for several metres before turning immediately right towards Rue du Roquet (Montoise Cross, 1580), then go down the little slope as far as the D521 (Caution: lorries). Go left as far as the stopsign where you turn right.
Cross the first bridge and go over the road to head down, before the second bridge, onto the towpath which follows alongside the canal d'Ille-et-Rance. It brings you to Rennes, with a busy railway nearby.
1h00 3.9 - Saint-Germain-sur-Ille. Go through the base nautique (mooring place for boats) to continue on the towpath. (The town is sited on an outcrop of white sandstone – stone quarries present – which is much used in local construction)
2h30 09.9 – D528. Pilgrims wishing to go to Chevaigné should take the D528 on their left at the exit of the towpath, about 30m after the buildings associated with the leisure stopping place. Others should continue straight ahead after having crossed the D-road. .
3h30 14.0 - Betton. The town extends from both sides of the canal, with the town centre (Mairie/town hall, church, postoffice, supermarket) on the right of the bridge. The day continues in company with the canal upon whose banks a Sunday market takes place, renowned for the quality of its products. After a few kilometres you go through the Château de la Vallée. Continue on the towpath.
5h30 22.0 - Saint-Grégoire. You only touch upon this town on the outskirts of Rennes. However you can easily go in to the centre by leaving the path at the top of the mooring place (base nautique). In this case take the D-road which leads to the town centre, but otherwise continue along the towpath. You are now quite near Rennes whose presence you can feel more and more strongly.
More and more bridges crossing the canal, the amount of traffic, the industrial areas, some of which are quite recent, and the increasing number of joggers using the towpath, indicate your arrival at Rennes, which you reach via the Rue du Canal Saint-Martin.
6h30 26.2 - Rennes. Auberge de Jeunesse (youth hostel) where you can stay overnight.