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From Coulon to La Garette, a nature trail on foot

Nature Romain - Blogueur maraîchin By Romain - Blogueur maraîchin, the 14 August 2015

Today, I propose you a walk to discover two of the villages the most known in the Marais poitevin : Coulon and La Garette (other strolls are to be discovered on http://www.blog-marais-poitevin.fr/). It is an easily accessible walk, about 3 kilometers that will also make you cross a part of Green Venice. History and nature will thus be there !

Coulon, capital of the boat

"Coulon, capital of Green Venice" !! It is the nickname which many tourist guides give generally to Coulon. But do not especially go to tell that the other villages of the swamp which fight too to obtain this naming… However, there is well a characteristic which we cannot remove from the village of Coulon : it is here that we find most of "plates" (boats traditional of the Marais poitevin) in the square kilometer. To Coulon, numerous landing stages mark out the edges of Sèvre niortaise and hundreds of boats wait patiently alongside the quay for the next visitors of the swamp. Of what to give an indisputable nickname to the village : "Coulon, capital of the boat"…

The hike begins on the tourist parking lot of Coulon at the level of the area of campers. Since this point, you will walk in the direction of La Garette by following the indications of the green sign representing a bike as well as the direction to be followed.

The route goes along the quays of Coulon to the intense activity in summer. Restaurants, landing stages, museum and shops of regional products mix on this place to offer numerous activities and leisure activities to the tourists. Borrow the bridge for pedestrian who steps over Sèvre Niortaise to continue your walking on the marked out circuit.

White paths in a tunnel of greenery

A little farther begin a white path. You cannot get lost anymore ! He will lead you directly until La Garette. By leaving the village of Coulon, the landscape opens and gives way to pastures where you will have the leisure to observe cows and horses. The path is shaded and accompanied at times with some conches (small channels of the swamp), marks favored for the local fauna, the grey herons, the coypus and the frogs.

The platelage of La Garette

Here we are arrived on the most pleasant part of the stroll. A wooden “platelage” arranged through the swamp, us made discover the typical landscape of Green Venice. Ash trees tadpoles, poplars, puddles and fields offer themselves to our view while keeping feet well for the dry on the pontoon. A few minutes later, the path gets through the hut of a former sawmill and arrives at the level of the bridge of the river "Bras de Sevreau", front door of the village of La Garette.

La Garette, village-street maraîchin

La Garette is a typical village of Green Venice. Its completely paved main street, the street of the Gravées, is forbidden the car traffic (excepted for the local residents) what contributes strongly to the tranquillity of the village. The limestone constructed houses on both sides of the street give a crazy charm to the village. Below, a conche goes along all the village of La Garette and offers a direct access to the water for all the houses situated to the right of the main street. In La Garette, you will find also two landing stages to discover in boat the channels of Green Venice.

At the end of the street of the Gravées, you arrive at the campsite “L’îlot du Chail”. By pushing a little farther the stroll, you can also take advantage of the “Maison du Cheval”, the riding school considered in the Marais poitevin.

Good stroll !!

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