Basilique Saint-Maurice à Epinal
Charmes Épinal

Cycling along the Canal des Vosges

27,11 km


  • Châtel-sur-Moselle: 11th-century fortress

  • Thaon-les-Vosges: La Rotonde, a theatre with astonishing architecture

  • Épinal: Musée de l'image, the Château and its grounds, Musée d'Art Ancien et Contemporain, Basilique Saint Maurice, Planetarium

As your itinerary on the Voie Bleue in Eastern France draws to a close, the wild Moselle gives way to a final urban escapade where you can discover the ancestral know-how of Epinal's imagery.

After Charmes, the Moselle follows its course through a rural setting. Keep your eyes peeled for the chance to spot the birds and beavers that call the river home. The route continues on a magnificent greenway along the Canal des Vosges.

Soon you reach Châtel-sur-Moselle, where the remains of the 11th-century fortress are the subject of a major works campaign. Not far from there, the traces of the Vosges textile tradition can be seen. First in Nomexy with the old spinning mill with its red brick walls, then further afield in Thaon-les-Vosges, with its imposing rotunda. Now a theatre with a rich and varied cultural programme, the site was once a festive gathering place for the families of workers at the adjoining textile factory.

Epinal marks the end of this penultimate stage in the Grand Est region. On your arrival at the port of Epinal, two of the town's must-see sites will be opening their doors to you. The Imagerie d'Epinal, founded in 1796, is still in operation today. As for the Musée de l'image, it has one of the largest collections of popular images in France and even Europe. The expression "image d'Épinal" has become part of popular parlance, and takes on its full meaning here!
After discovering this ancestral know-how, get a bit of height by taking the unusual Tour chiniose, which has been wonderfully restored, to explore the remains of Epinal castle. Stroll through the streets of the town centre and visit the Musée d'Art Ancien et Contemporain or the Basilique Saint-Maurice before sitting down at Place des Vosges to sample some of Lorraine's gastronomic specialities. After the effort, the comfort!

Practical info

  • 27.11 km
    Cycle route: 26.50 km
    Surface: smooth 24.47 km, rough 2.61 km

  • Access by train
    Charmes and Épinal stations

This stage runs along the Canal des Vosges, on a signposted greenway. From Golbey, you can take a link along the canal to the centre of Épinal.

Note that in the event of roadworks along the route, alternative routes will be put in place.