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Along the Sèvre in ecomobility

Discover the Niort - Marais Poitevin Trail Station, its most beautiful landscapes and its best routes for a day, a weekend or a week of sport!




Panneau carré blanc et noir avec intitulé Station de Trail

Culturel, Nature (faune, flore)

This trail is part of the Niort - Marais Poitevin Trail Station. From the station, you'll cross Niort and its vast Place de la Brèche, meet its dragons, admire its market hall and dungeon and then reach the Port Boinot visitor centre. This is where the route starts, then winds its way along the Sèvre Niortaise as far as Saint-Liguaire. You can run it, or take your time and enjoy the pleasant surroundings just a stone's throw from the town centre.

Along the Sèvre in ecomobility

Distance : 17.5 km

Step 1: Port Boinot

Formerly a chamois factory until 2006, then the Centre National des Arts de la Rue from 2010 to 2015, Le Port Boinot lies between the Main bridges and the Sèvre Niortaise :
- A major urban park linked to the Marais Poitevin Regional Nature Park (2020)
- 6 themed gardens
- The conversion of industrial buildings: the Maison Patronale as a restaurant (2023), the fabrique as an events venue for businesses and the general public (2023), the Grand Séchoir as a travel and walking centre (Tourist Office in 2021), a space for information and raising awareness of Niort Agglo's rich heritage and a memorial to the chamois workshop (2021), the port workshops as a space dedicated to leisure activities (bike and light boat hire) and events (bar-resto-concert-exhibition of contemporary art L'ilôt sauvage)...

Step 2: Ecluse de comporté

Built in 1862, this navigation structure, which is still in working order, enables boats to cross the difference in level between the Comporté and La Roussille reaches. Since mid-May 2020, its renovation (restoration of the masonry structures, replacement of the metal doors and gangways, overhaul of the mechanisms) has been the responsibility of the Institution interdépartementale du bassin de la Sèvre niortaise (IIBSN), which is in charge of the public river domain. This operation is part of the project to develop tourist navigation between Niort and Marans. It follows on from the restoration work carried out on the La Tiffardière and La Roussille locks in 2018.
Many nesting birds, including herons, enjoy the tree-lined surroundings of the Comporté lock.

Step 3: Quai Métayer, ancien chemin de halage

The Quai Métayer follows the navigable canal. In 1808, an imperial decree was issued to make the river more navigable. The course of the Sèvre was cleared of all obstacles (mills, factories, fisheries, etc.).
The width of the towpath was set at 6 metres so that the "gabares", long flat-bottomed boats used to transport goods, could be "hauled" (pulled with ropes by men or horses). This led to the uprooting of trees and stumps of bushes, which were responsible for tearing the sails of the ships.

Step 4: Bateau à chaine

This boat, which is owned by the town, is available to anyone who wants to cross from one side of the river to the other using a clever system of chains attached to each bank (since replaced by ropes, because of the nuisance caused to local residents). Oral tradition mentions the existence of boat crossings from one bank of the Sèvre to the other, for example, so that children living on the Chey farm could go to school in Saint-Liguaire.

Step 5: Ecluse de la Roussille

From the Poitevin word roussea, meaning both red and brook, La Roussille is the place where reds, or rushes, grow.
The lock was installed in 1394 by Duke Jean de Berry, Count of Poitou, to hold back the waters of the Sèvre Niortaise in the Niort canal and basin. It is the largest of the eight locks between Niort and Marans (Charente-Maritime) and one of the first sluice locks in France. The date 1808 is engraved in the stone of the old lock keeper's post to commemorate the visit to Niort by Napoleon I, who regulated navigation on the river by decree.
In the extension of the current restaurant, the former barn of the lock keeper's house housed the horse used on the towpath to pull the barges on the small coastal river.

Step 6: Marais du Galuchet

On the outskirts of the town, this protected green confetti covers 40 hectares on the banks of the Sèvre. It is made up of livestock meadows, a small alluvial forest ("Guyane niortaise"), a former fishery (10 hectares of 6-metre ditches and 3-metre-wide mounds of earth), a reed bed, a megaphorbia (a world of tall, hygrophilous grasses resulting from the abandonment of wet meadows), a hillside and the largest heronry in the southern Deux-Sèvres.

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