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On the Right Track
Walking is by far the most popular sporting/leisure activity of the French and as with many things in France, it is well organised. The GR routes, Grandes Randonnées, have been in existence for more than 60 years. Lines are painted on rocks, trees, walls and posts – red and white for hiking routes and red and yellow for GR de Pays which are easier but longer circular routes. One single yellow line marks the shorter PR Promenade et Randonnée routes. Over the whole country, the network of paths offers nearly 180.000 km of routes. The Fédération Francaise de Randonnée Pédestre (FFRP) maintain these paths and markings so that everyone can discover France’s regions and natural history in complete safety.
In Burgundy the GR13 passes from north to south from Auxerre
The Topo-guides, published by the FFRP give details of the individual walks, maps, distances between each stage, timing, where to stay etc. in French.
Topo-guides for the region
Auxerre et ses environs à pied : 21 promenades & randonnées – day walks
canals, vineyards and the Morvan
There are two new guides to walking on the Burgundy Canal, the Canal de Bourgogne, published on Kindle and other ebook formats by Melinda Lusmore. The first covers Migennes to Pouilly-en-Auxois and the second from Pouilly to St.Jean de Losne. Information on where to stay, places to visit en route, transport connections...
'Walks in the Beaune Countryside' suggests 30 routes with a map, telling you the distance, duration and rating, detailing the points of interest en route. It is available from the Beaune Tourist Office, 6 Boulevard Perpreuil for 3 euros.
For a well organised self-guided hiking tour in and around Beaune, see Discover France Adventures.
France offers the walker National and Natural Parks and sparsely populated areas of great beauty
Find Your Way With Ease
It is rugged and lighter than many watches as well as waterproof. It features an electronic compass, a barometric altimeter and a USB interface. You can even wirelessly share routes, tracks and waypoints between units. It also incorporates a trip computer, sunrise/sunset and hunting and fishing information and can connect to your PC. When it's time to head back, simply turn on the TracBack® feature, and Foretrex will retrace your path back to where you started. Garmin Foretrex 401 GPS Watch