Day 1: heritage morning
Ideally, on Saturday, plan to arrive at Fresnay-sur-Sarthe around 11am, so you can enjoy the market and its local products. You’ll also have the opportunity to fill your “basket” for a picnic by the water. Then take time to stroll through the narrow streets of the town. Don’t miss the ruelle du Cygne, typical for its narrowness, its small trigger guard and its original name … you’ll understand everything when you get there!
This stroll will take you to the castle park, from where you’ll see the place we recommend for a little picnic by the water. From the old town center, take the Rue du Bourgneuf along the river. At the entrance, you’ll find a beautiful place for your “lunch on the grass”.
Day 1: nature afternoon
Extend your discovery with the Coteau des Vignes. It’s not a long walk, less than 2 kilometers, but it’s so sublime and calm, and above all it offers a breathtaking view of the castle and the town.
Then back to the car (it can also be the motorcycle, bike…) towards Saint-Léonard-des-Bois. Along the way, take in the scenery – you’re bound to be surprised by how much it’s changed. Indeed Saint-Léonard-des-Bois is “our little mountain village”!
For the late afternoon, take the time to stroll through the village streets to discover its beautiful houses and roussard sandstone church. Then head down to the banks of the Sarthe River in the leisure area to enjoy the tranquility of the place and the beauty of the scenery.
Need a place to spend the night?
Enjoy your evening in your own little cocoon in Les Insolites de JSK. For your night, the choice may be difficult: a night under the stars within the bubble, or on the contrary in a very cozy setting in the kota.
Day 2: hiking morning
On Sunday, after a hearty breakfast, “en route” for the Vallée de Misère hike! This 6 kilometers hiking trail will take you over the Haut-Fourché and Narbonne mounts, the two peaks that surround the village of Saint-Léonard-des-Bois.
After your hike, head to the Domaine du Gasseau, enjoy its garden and take a picnic break in the middle of nature!
Day 2: stroll afternoon
For your afternoon, you head to Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei. What can we tell you about this magnificent village, except that it’s listed as one of France’s Most Beautiful Villages, and that everything about it is beautiful: its surroundings, its houses, its church … Do you like painting? From the mid-19th century onwards, many painters were particularly fond of the village and its landscapes. A interpretation tour allows you to discover their favorite sites!
Our “favorite”? It’s undoubtedly the Trotté site, where the trees reflect in the water and the calm hangs in the air, the ideal place for a romantic stroll.
Day 1: Towards Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei
Let’s go for the Les méandres de la Sarthe hiking trail: 17 kilometers up to the Haut Fourché mount, one of the 2 mounts surrounding the village, and on the way to Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei, classified as one of France’s Most Beautiful Villages.
This will also be your lunch break. Please note that you’ll need to pack a picnic lunch as soon as you leave Saint-Léonard-des-Bois, as in Saint-Céneri-le-Gérei you won’t find a grocery store or bakery.
At the heart of the village, everything is magnificent: your arrival via the Gallic path and the stone bridge (you probably don’t know it, but this bridge spans the Sarthe River, the natural border between Sarthe and Orne departments, and more broadly between Pays de la Loire and Normandy regions!), the church, the chapel…
On the way back you’ll pass by the Domaine du Gasseau, so don’t hesitate to stop and stroll the paths of its garden and appreciate the peacefulness of the place at this time of year.
Need a place to spend the night?
We recommand to spend the night in Saint-Léonard-des-Bois.
The reason: once there, you’ll only take the car at the end ot your trip!
You’re more into cocooning?
Go to a hotel or bed and breakfast.
You’re more into comfort but mini price?
Go to the Gîte de Vandoeuvre.
Day 2: Towards Saint-Paul-le-Gaultier
After a well-deserved rest, ready for another day of walking, we’re off again for 17 kilometers!
For this day, we’ll have to combine 2 existing hiking trails: part of the Vallée de Misère, only the loop that takes you up to Mont Narbonne, and the Bois de Chemasson circuit. The 2 link up thanks to the GR36.
On this route, you’ll discover the animal park of Saint-Léonard-des-Bois, the “famous” Vallée de Misère which is an sensitive natural area (ENS in French). For lunch, this time either bring your own picnic or take a break at the Bar du Lac in Saint-Paul-le-Gaultier, where cheese and meat boards are available.
Did you enjoy this weekend’s hikes?
There are a total of 13 hiking trails
to discover in the Alpes Mancelles!