• The "Grand Paris pedestrian tour" is a 200-kilometer loop divided into eleven stages from August 19 to 29.

  • This series of hikes is organized by the media Enlarge your Paris in partnership with the Société du Grand Paris.

  • This 2nd edition of the "Pedestrian Tour of Grand Paris" traces the future lines of the Grand Paris Express in order to allow registrants to discover the green spaces of the Ile-de-France region free of charge.

24 kilometers of greenery. There, in the middle of the Saclay plateau, between green forests and paths bordered by rivers, the group of hikers of the Grand Paris pedestrian tour is spread out. Clusters of Ile-de-France residents wearing their best soles follow one another on the steep paths linking Versailles Chantier to Massy Palaiseau, in the footsteps of the future line 18 of the Grand Paris Express (GPE). Feet scrape, stumble and stumble on the stony ground, while the rays of the sun dance between the foliage of the trees.

Valentine, ethnobotanist, supports the project led by Enlarge Your Paris and funded by the Société du Grand Paris.

“I am interested in this other landscape reading grid.

Through plants, we come to understand what surrounds us, ”explains the specialist.

In the marching peloton, in the middle of the wood of Buc, Barbara is advancing at a good pace.

“I have always liked to walk.

This outing is the opportunity to get to know a new territory.

And since my return from vacation, I have alternated between nature and culture ”observes this teacher from Pantin (Seine-Saint-Denis).

Everyone has their reasons for participating in the hike

In a friendly atmosphere, the departure was given in at 10 am at the Versailles Chantier station, preceded by a distribution of chocolates and maps of the course, with their set of colored stickers. On the occasion of this pedestrian tour, mainly intended for hikers who want to go from Paris to the suburbs, the comments left on the maps distributed are real treasures intended to improve walking conditions, according to Vianney Delourme, president of Enlarge Your Paris.

Because in the group, everyone has their own reasons for coming: some take the opportunity to meet up with friends, such as the students Francesco, Hanane and Inès. "I worked all summer on my thesis, I had not had time to cool off until today" explains the latter. When others like Jacques are already visualizing the places where the changes linked to the arrival of the Grand Paris Express will take place. "I wanted to see where the GPE will go, to understand the impact on a territory that I know well", explains the engineer. For Miriam and Natacha, it is the passion for hiking that drives their every move. "I live hiking", exclaims one. "I hike 30 kilometers every week. Since the confinements, many young people have started" relates the other.

The loop is divided into 11 stages spread over 200 km

In total, 11 stages connect the future stations of the Grand Paris Express, as part of this 2nd edition, in the form of a 200 km long loop, from August 19 to 29.

On this Tuesday, Vianney's words seem to capture all the attention of walkers at the slightest stop.

It must be said that it took him a month and a half to map the entire territory to be explored.

"It is through knowledge and use that we protect a territory" details this enthusiast.

Friends, retirees and solitary people will travel along the Bièvre then the Yvette until 5 pm, all interrupted by a break, time to refuel at the Viltain farm, in Jouy-en-Josas.

And each stop is an opportunity to recall the difficult cohabitation between town planning and nature, following the example of Jean-François, member of the association "Les Amis de la Bièvre".

"Without this association, the Bièvre valley would never have been sanctuary under Pompidou" explains Jean-François.

"But the Bièvre is capricious" he emphasizes, remembering the previous floods.

Yet on this sunny afternoon, no one is suspicious of the sleeping water.

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