This is a wonderful, family-friendly “green way” on the hills above the untamed River Loire. A chance to experience a surprising trail including 5 tunnels!
The railway line from Le Puy-en-Velay to Langogne was opened in 1912 to provide links between the industrial centres in the St Etienne area and in the Cévennes. But in 1981, the line was discontinued and the tracks were removed, giving way to a trail to delight all fans of hiking and cycling (hybrid and mountain bikes)!!!
The Green Way links the Loire valley (at an altitude of 600m) to Solignac (850 m). It runs uphill all the way from Brives-Charensac, with an average gradient of 2%. The slope is regular, easy and accessible to all!
And on the way back, of course, you go downhill and the going is even easier!
The start of the trail (from north to south) is 4 km away from Le Puy-en-Velay just outside Brives-Charensac station (altitude: 600 metres). The route climbs gently (2 %) and is accessible to all, as far as the town of Brignon (altitude: 940 metres). The Green Way goes through five lighted tunnels and over a 184-metre metal viaduct.
The start of the Green Way features great views over the Loire valley. It is quite shaded and climbs steadily. You will also catch a glimpse of Bouzol Castle.
After Coulon station, you come to the first tunnel (1.1 km long), which is ideal for cycling and hiking and is nice and cool! Then to your right you will have a wonderful view over Le Puy-en-Velay with the statue of the Virgin Mary standing out on the Corneille rock.
The going is easy in the second tunnel (1.3km) with its perfect road surface. At the end, the Green Way looks down over the valley from the mountainside, and you can see the mountains of Auvergne and Mont Mezenc in the distance.
The route then continues in a beautiful and peaceful setting all the way to Costaros!
Fine gravel, well-compacted on the roadbed. This kind of surface is ideal for walking and cycling, and is also accessible for people with disabilities in wheelchairs. The bridges all have renovated hand-rails, and there is new planking on the Solignac-sur-Loire viaduct.
Sources: Le Puy-en-Velay Tourist Office; AF3V
- Distance: 23.8km
- Signposted trail
All year round.