Loop St Denis de Vaux – Russilly – St Denis de Vaux
- 2 hours maximum on average, excluding the viewpoint optional detour.
- This is a very varied walk (terrain, environment, orientation) with several pretty views.
- The round trip does not appear on any guidebook – the route is highlighted in orange on the IGN "Chalon-sur-Saône" map that is available in the lodgings.
1- Park at the highest house in the village of St Denis de Vaux, next to a stone calvary with 3 small statues at the top.
Follow the big track up the hill for 5-10 minutes and take the first path on the right. (2)
Go around the climbing wall and then the Virgin (3) in its stone cave and climb to the statue of St Joseph (4) just above the Virgin. Here there is a nice view over the Vaux valley.
From here, a small balcony side path leads for 50m to a "chimney", if a little climbing tempts you.
By turning 180 ° (with your back to the view) you will see 4 statues on the hill 100m away. (5)
Continue along the path by which you arrived at St Joseph and take the small path that climbs towards the 4 statues (5 minutes). There are nice views also from the statues.
Retrace your steps 50m and take the wider path that goes to the right towards the top of the hill. This path then becomes a smaller path. You cross a meadow until you come to a row of trees and the path bypasses a tree to the left or to the right. Turn right until you reach a big path at the top (very flat) of the hill, it is the GR7. (6) This description is long but it takes 5 minutes from the statues to the GR7.
There is a nice, almost 360 ° view, from the GR7.
Follow the GR7 for 5 minutes to the right until you reach the barrier and the explanatory panel of La Chaume de Givry. (7)
Go through the barrier and head “at 11 o’clock” across the meadow. After 5-10 minutes you reach a large path with the GR signs, which leads to the top of the village of Russilly (8) and the goat farm (you can purchase cheese if you are there at the right time).
Stroll through Russilly, a very quiet, out of the way village and you can take a possible detour to the Sacré-Coeur viewpoint looking over the Saône (9 and 10 - route in purple below) See on the map - 20 minutes return. . If you are lucky, you will also have a view of the Alps. Wear good walking shoes.
Return via the church of Russilly (there is a seat in the shade of a beautiful tree), walk along the right of the church and, 20m above the church, turn right on a large uphill path. (11)
Follow this path for 30 minutes, at times you can see the valley of Jambles on the left.
You arrive at the intersection of 3 roads which meet at a sort of pass (12). Return by the road to the right towards St Denis de Vaux (walk 20 minutes to the starting point).