© Balade en famille | Emmanuel Berthier

10 ideas for family jaunts in Ille‑et‑Vilaine

Why not organise a little family trip? From the age of 6, children are quite able to keep up on most of the paths, as long as you make regular stops. Find our selection of 10 ideas for strolls to get some fresh air and enjoy nature. Put on your hiking shoes, take your drinking bottle, and off you go!

The tour of Paimpont lake

Situated at the heart of Brocéliande forest, Paimpont lake has two very pleasant circuits :

  • the circuit of Grotte Notre-Dame de Paimpont, accessible to pushchairs and less than 2 km from the splendid abbey,
  • the 4 km (loop) poetic and recreational footpath with walkways on platforms to discover the wetlands and the rare natural environment of the peat bog (not accessible to pushchairs).

Ideas for activities

Young children can set off to explore the plant life with often unfamiliar names (cotton-grass, drosera, coleanthus subtilis, etc.) and observe the traces of the lake’s inhabitants, such as the kingfisher and the grey heron.

To keep older children occupied, ask them how to calculate the surface of a 50-hectare lake!

Around Boulet Lake in Feins

Boulet Lake is the largest navigable body of water in the area! 153 hectares! If you want to raise your children’s awareness of the environment, this is the ideal place. It has an interpretation trail which invites you to discover the particularity of its fauna and flora through an educational path that will awake their senses and curiosity.

If they still have energy after the 1.5 km path, the fine sandy lifeguarded beach will allow you to combine convenience and pleasure for a relaxation session or an outing on the lake.

Saint-Raoul fountain in Liffré

Depending on your level, you can complete this walk in 1 or 2 hours. Around 6 km, it will take you to the famous Saint-Raoul fountain, the source of many legends. It is said that Raoul de la Fustaye, after whom the fountain is named, built his hermitage here in the Middle Ages and that, despite being a very good hunter, he drowned in the fountain with his horse in a combat against a herd of wild boars.

Could that be the origin of the horseshoe mark on a stone in the bottom of the fountain? Children will create their own theories when they hear the story.

The tour of Careil lake in Iffendic

Situated in a bird reserve, Careil lake is a haven of peace for nearly 200 bird species. During the walk (4 km loop), take time to stop at two observation points with educational information to help you identify the birds there. You can also see some protected local animal breeds such as the Breton Pie Noir cow, the Breton horse, the Landes de Bretagne sheep, etc.

If your children still want more, hop on your bike to reach other nearby sites, such as Vallon de la Chambre au Loup or Domaine de Boutavent.

Valley secrets in Monthault

Why secrets? Because, to be able to see the fauna and flora, visitors need to be quiet.  In this fun and sensory encounter with nature, you can play at being a tracker by trying to identify the objects hidden in this décor which will be revealed as you walk.

Perfect for young children, the “Secrets de vallée” does not have any steep slopes and has places to stop every 300 metres!

A loop of the Cancale villages

You’ll need a little bit of training to attack this 13-km circuit by bike, but you’ll be rewarded all along the way. From the village to the oyster beds via the surrounding woods, the circuit draws an exhaustive portrait of the Cancale landscape.

On your way you’ll pass a wash house from the early 20th century, dwellings from the 15th century, a 19th-century chapel and more. There is something to please everyone.

The site of 11 Locks in Hédé-Bazouges

An essential outing for anyone who loves green routes, the 11 locks can be covered on foot, horse-back or bike. The locks are separated from each other by just 200 to 300 metres, creating an astonishing viewpoint in a straight and flat landscape, making it very accessible for the whole family.

It’s also the opportunity to explain to those who are interested the purpose of these locks: so that boats can cover an altitude difference of 27 metres in just 2 km!

Domaine de Trémelin in Iffendic

Get off the beaten track (but without actually leaving the path) and set off on a 6- km horse-back ride around Trémelin lake, tucked away in the mythical lands of the legend of King Arthur. It’s sure to awaken children’s imagination!

For young children, from the age of 6, you can discover the lake and its many activities on a pony walk: tree climbing, water sports centre, zip wire, etc. Prepare to spend the day there!

Garde Guérin path in Saint-Briac-sur-Mer

If you have decided to visit Saint-Briac, a former fishing village with picturesque charm, don’t miss Pointe de la Garde Guérin. From its peak, you’ll have a breathtaking view all the way from Cap Fréhel to Saint-Malo.

There is only one way to get there: to walk. From the car park, a long winding path creeps between the maritime pine trees and the old fishermen’s houses on one side and the coast on the other. Walk alongside the gulf, go around a bunker, and go down to a secret beach before climbing up the other side to reach the summit of this rocky spur, which culminates at nearly 50 metres above the sea. Since 2013, an interpretation trail marks the way and is a practical guide.

Défis de l’Oust in Redon

It isn’t everyday that you can leave your car in the garage, take your time and set the family a challenge. That is the very purpose of the Défis de l’Oust! Can you get from Redon to Ile aux Pies (listed natural site) without the car? Yes you can! You could choose from treetop adventures, orienteering or canoeing.

The site proposes a 5-hour family adventure that even young children will be able to follow thanks to a towed carriage.

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