Pont-Réan < > St-Malo-de-Phily
STAGE PROFILE: 21.2 km 5h15
Another transition... Keeping to the towpath, apart from a little uphill before arriving at St-Malo-de-Phily, today’s walk should bring some lovely encounters relating to the world of water – waterfowl, and for those lucky enough to see them some cautious otters, or the more easily seen coypu – and relating to the land – the villages, hamlets, locks and mills which mark out you day’s walk. The flora can also surprise you, like the presence of wild hops !
You can also take a variation of the path by following the GR39 after having crossed the river Vilaine by the overbridge at the lock of Gai-Lieu, at Bourg-des-Comptes.
00.0 - Pont-Réan. The Chemin de Saint-Jacques/St James Way leaves this charming village by taking the right-bank towpath of the Vilaine which you follow to Redon. Cross the Place serving as a car and campervan park and follow the course of the Vilaine towards the mill of Boël, one of the favourite walks of the inhabitants of the area of Rennes. (3km).
01h20 05.5 - Go past Halte de Laillé (D39), then the lock and mill of Bouëxière (8.7km) (construction work in progress).
[Pilgrims wishing to stop at Bourg-des-Comptes (accommodation, restaurants, supermarket...) should leave the towpath (10.4km) after having passed under the second bridge after the lock, by taking the path which is found immediately on the right to get to the D48, upon which you take a right to cross over the Vilaine and head towards the town 1.7km away. To return to the towpath, leaving from the church take the Rue de la Courbe to go down towards the Vilaine, then take an overbridge which gets you to the lock of Gai-Lieu, right bank, after about 1km This variation, unwaymarked, will only add 1km to today’s journey.
03h00 12.1 – Lock of Gai-Lieu where, thanks to an overbridge, it is possible to adapt your journey :
• Either by making a short break – near the chapel of Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Secours –in the rest area of La Courbe on the other bank or at the bar-restaurant there,
• Or again, by continuing right at the exit of the footbridge to follow the GR® 39 as far as Pléchâtel where the GR® brings you back to the towpath to continue the Chemin de St Jacques. [2.5km from the footbridge, at the place called Le Mortier, you can stop overnight in a gîte.] The total distance between the footbridge and the towpath below Pléchâtel is a little more than 9km thus 4km longer than the way which follows the towpath.
• Or, finally, by following the Way along the towpath of the Vilaine.
03h55 15.7 – Lock of La Molière (Gîte in 2015 ?) : be sure to stop here for a few moments. The lock is named for the Château which you can see through the foliage of a hill situated to the right of the towpath. The towpath is tarmacked till just before the...
04h20 17.2 ... passage under the bridge of the D84 linking Saint-Senoux to Pléchâtel.
4h45 19.2 – Bridge of Pont de Cambré (railway this time). 500m further, there is an intersection with a tarmac road which you take to the left. After a little more than 500m, after a small house and near an open area, fork right. At the far end of this open space, enter a woodland by taking – bearing left – the GR® 39 towards the Chapel of Montserrat. This path is very steep for about 200m before reaching, near a bend, another path which you take straight ahead opposite you. Continue for 350m before visiting the chapel of Monserrat, which is below your path. After having come back up, continue by the same path to the left and– having admired a manor house on your right – get to...
5h15 21.2 ... the square of the neo-Roman church - Place de l'église de Saint-Malo-de-Phily, the end of your stage.