The Sarthe River at JuilléThe Sarthe River at Juillé
©The Sarthe River at Juillé|OTAM

The Sarthe River

A calm, wild river

The Sarthe River flows through the heart of the Alpes Mancelles, crossing it from north to south, forming numerous meanders. Whether you want to take a break by the water, spend an afternoon fishing with the family or canoe with friends, it’s a must-see during your stay in the Alpes Mancelles.

A river to discover

Its source is in the Orne department

It crosses the west of the Sarthe department from north to south.

It stretches for nearly 314 km

A river with

multiple facets

In the north of the Sarthe department, and more particularly in the Alpes Mancelles, the harshness of the Armorican massif forces the river to carve out a steep, winding valley, whereas from Fresnay-sur-Sarthe onwards, it finds the plain and looser soil, allowing it to flow slowly all the way to Le Mans. It continues as far south as Sablé-sur-Sarthe, where it joins the Mayenne to form the Maine.

Although the Sarthe was used for transport throughout the Middle Ages, only the downstream section from Le Mans was made navigable for large barges in the mid-19th century. The upstream section remains wild and unspoilt, ideal for a wide range of activities.


Along the river Sarthe

in photos