Where Two Rivers Meet: The Confluence of the Marne and the Seine at Alfortville

Where Two Rivers Meet: The Confluence of the Marne and the Seine at Alfortville
This is a walk which I discovered by following the Marne from St Maur-Créteil, a continuation of the walk from the islands of Créteil towards Paris, 12 km away. Although the footpath has been tidily aménagé so that it presents no difficulty to local walkers, parts of it are still surprisingly rural, with rewarding views of the Marne. It passes a little island painted by Cézanne and ends dramatically at the confluence of the Seine and the Marne at Chinagora, an astonishing Chinese hotel and restaurant complex which overlooks the meeting of the two rivers. From there you can return a little way along the Marne to take a shortcut through the listed Art Deco façade of the old Suze distillery to the métro at Ecole Vétérinaire de Maisons-Alfort. And to relax after the walk, there is a friendly Italian café-pizzeria with a sunny terrace next to the station. 6 km walk from St Maur-Créteil RER station to métro Ecole Vétérinaire de Maisons-Alfort Turn right from the station at St Maur-Créteil and take the pedestrian crossing straight ahead, under the railway bridge. Cross the Avenue Ronsard at the next pedestrian crossing and continue into the Avenue Noel on your right. At the end of this quiet street, lined with 19th century villas, turn right into the equally quiet Boulevard du Général Ferrié, with a green space in the middle. At the end of the boulevard you will see a little bandstand. Turn left at this point, past a playground on your right and a station de pompage and you will see the Marne in front of you. Turn right to follow it along the Quai Schaken. Eventually you will cross a footbridge over a rustic little canal, actually part of a drinking water treatment plant. Footbridge at the end of the Quai Schaken, St Maur-Créteil. Photo: Annabel Simms Continue past a few houseboats with little gardens and a convenient bench and take the steps leading up to the Pont de Maisons-Alfort. Cross the bridge and turn right, opposite La Perle du Maroc restaurant, to continue along the Avenue Joffre for a little way. You can see the riverside path below, but it soon comes to an end, so persist along the avenue until you see an opening with steps going down to the path, next to a picnic table. Steps down to the Promenade Paul Cézanne at Maisons-Alfort. Photo: Annabel Simms From this point the path is very rustic, with two pontoons over the water from where there is a spacious view of the Marne. View of the Marne from a pontoon at Maisons-Alfort. Photo: Annabel Simms

Lead photo credit : Chinagora, at the confluence of the Seine and the Marne at Alfortville. © Wikimedia Commons

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Annabel Simms is an English resident of Paris, with over 20 years' experience of exploring the Paris countryside by train, bus, boat and on foot. She is is the author of "An Hour From Paris" (3rd edition 2019) and "Half An Hour From Paris" (2nd edition 2023). Her website is http://anhourfromparis.com.