Springs, fountains and wash houses

Marked hike N°7.
This hike is themed by springs and wash-houses. The water flowing from the springs supplies the groundwater of the Parisian Basin on the one hand, and the Seine by way of the Loing River on the other hand. It’s a very well-marked path (#7), through an unspoiled natural environment. This track can also be done on horseback or mountain bike. It is listed on the departmental walking and hiking map (PDIPR) established by the department of the Yonne.

Technical sheet
No. 4098349
A Sainte-Colombe-sur-Loing walk posted on 31/12/12 by Tamtraductions. Update : 01/04/20
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h50[?]
Distance Distance : 15.19km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 168m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 171m
Highest point Highest point : 341m
Lowest point Lowest point : 245m
Moderate Difficulty : Moderate
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Area Area : Puisaye
Location Location : Sainte-Colombe-sur-Loing (89520)
Starting point Starting point : N 47.569096° / E 3.236669°
Download : PDF / Print -
Loing spring


(S/F) Starting at the church in the village of Sainte-Colombe, take the small road that heads up towards Perreuse (SW). After 200 m, take the path on your left. Once you get to Saint Nicolas’ Cross, turn left and follow the path until you reach the sealed road.

(1) At the intersection, take the small road that goes downhill on your right. After 200 m, you get to the spring of the Loing River (2) and the stele put up in 1994 which describes the course of the river. Keep following this road. At the next intersection, turn right and keep on until you get to the hamlet of Les Guittons.

(3) Leaving the village, take the small path on your left. This leads to the spring which is actually the first resurgence of the Loing River. In fact, from its source, the Loing River flows beneath the ground and emerges at this spot, only to disappear again a few steps further. Turn back. Once you get to the road, turn left and continue through the hamlets of Les Gressiens and Les Rameaux.

(4) Leaving the latter, take the path on your left for 200 m and go downhill taking the path on your right. This will lead you to the spring of Montillon. After a further 100 m, turn right onto the road. Watch out for traffic here!

(5) Go uphill and when you have almost reached the village of Sainte-Colombe, take the road on the left-hand side heading towards Les Landris. Go through the hamlet and keep going 150 m after passing the last houses until you get to the path that turns right.

(6) This path crosses the Loing River and climbs back up to the hamlet of Les Thomas.
Once you get to the road, turn right and immediately take the dirt path on your left (7). This is one of the most beautiful sunken lanes in the Puisaye region; it takes you through the woods and can be muddy in places. Take the time to admire the pollards described by Colette in her novels, mostly hornbeams pruned by removing the upper branches or young coppiced trees, which allow to abundantly harvest wood a few years later. You will get to a small road where you turn right until you reach the Desleaux fountain. Go down to the spring and the wash-house.

(8) Continue on the road until the intersection 100 m further down, cross over to the other side and continue to the next road.

(9) Heading down this path, you will pass the spring and the wash-house of Boutin. A little bit further, near the pond (10), you will pass over a significant underground river which supplies the groundwater of the Parisian Basin. Go uphill until you reach the road, there turn right. On the stretch going downhill, take the open path which will lead to the Fontanelles spring. Go back up this path, turn right onto the road and continue until you get to an intersection with a perpendicular road. Watch out for traffic.

(11) Turn left and after 50 m turn right on the dirt path which will lead you back to your starting point (F).

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 270m - Eglise de Sainte-Colombe-sur-Loing
1 : km 2.21 - alt. 341m - Down the tarmac road to the right
2 : km 2.74 - alt. 318m - Source du Loing
3 : km 4.6 - alt. 304m - First Loing River resurgence - Loing (le)
4 : km 5.89 - alt. 304m - Path on the left outside the village
5 : km 7.19 - alt. 280m - Road to the left towards Landris
6 : km 8.58 - alt. 277m - Path to the right after Landris
7 : km 9.93 - alt. 262m - Dirt path to the left of the D7
8 : km 10.97 - alt. 282m - Fontaine des Desleaux
9 : km 12.07 - alt. 315m - Straight ahead crossing the road
10 : km 12.47 - alt. 292m - Spring and wash-house of Boutin
11 : km 14.17 - alt. 264m - Crossing the D6
D/A : km 15.19 - alt. 270m - Eglise de Sainte-Colombe-sur-Loing

Useful Information

There is a parking lot next to the village hall (route de Sainpuits), 100 metres from the starting point.
A pleasant hike in all seasons, it's really beautiful between April and October. Remember to take some water and a picnic. You need appropriate shoes and sunscreen/hat when the sun is out.
This walk can be done in two separate loops: when arriving at point (6), return 100 m to the village (restaurant) or have your picnic near the Fontaine d’Aubert on your left.

This tour #7 is part of the walks listed by the Office de Tourisme Portes de Puisaye-Forterre.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Here’s a little story about the Desleaux fountain (8) where locals, who regularly went out for some fresh air under the vegetation and met up for an “aperitif”, experienced quite an unusual mishap: one day, a rat came out of nowhere frightening the small group who left without finishing their aperitif. Ever since that day, people say the spring gives off a smell of pastis!

The church of Sainte-Colombe, its altarpiece, statues, relics and stained-glass windows.

At Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye, the Musée Colette, the Tour sarrasine.
Nearby, in Treigny, the cathedral of the Puisaye region, the Château de Ratilly, the medieval Guédelon Castle, the Bois de la Folie and its adventure park in the trees.

Other walks in the area

distance 10.12km Vertical gain +113m Vertical drop -115m Durée 3h15 Easy Easy
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Marked hike N°8.
You will see no less than 8 fountains and 6 wash-houses on this rather easy hike, ideal for family walks. A few picnics spots are available here and there, to take a break and enjoy a relaxing moment (Fountain of the Moon, of the Pisserotte .....) Even though there are some hills along the way, it is a very pleasant walk with a lot of historical heritage spots to be discovered.
Also good for mountain biking.

distance 13.96km Vertical gain +143m Vertical drop -141m Durée 4h25 Moderate Moderate
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Marked hike N°24.
Leaving from the fairground, you will walk along paths that have a mysterious past and are steeped in legends.

Tourist office
distance 9.76km Vertical gain +75m Vertical drop -76m Durée 3h00 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Treigny - 89 - Yonne

Market circuit n°23.
In an hour walking, rendezvous in the 13th century, on a legendary path and meet the middle-age castles builders.

distance 11.64km Vertical gain +81m Vertical drop -74m Durée 3h35 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye - 89 - Yonne

Marked hike N°2.
A hike in the heart of the birthplace of Colette. Through woods and passing by ponds, often described in her work.

distance 5.76km Vertical gain +76m Vertical drop -85m Durée 1h50 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Saint-Sauveur-en-Puisaye - 89 - Yonne

Marked hike N°1.
This trail, dedicated to Colette, was opened in 1993 by the pupils of the Colette college of Saint-Sauveur en Puisaye. Along this trail, everything recalls the works of this author, born in Saint-Sauveur en Puisaye in 1873. The author has described her birthplace so well - that even though she has given other names to the villages and characters, you can sense her literature at every corner.

distance 11.99km Vertical gain +101m Vertical drop -100m Durée 3h45 Moderate Moderate
Starting point Starting point in Moutiers-en-Puisaye - 89 - Yonne

Marked hike N°44.
Across the woods and the fields, passing the ponds, you will discover areas where the earth has been shaped into artistic creations and pottery.

distance 10.19km Vertical gain +53m Vertical drop -53m Durée 3h05 Easy Easy
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Discover the flora and fauna that populate these old swamps that have shaped the environment of this lake, surrounded by woods and forests.

distance 6.75km Vertical gain +47m Vertical drop -43m Durée 2h05 Easy Easy
Starting point Starting point in Saint-Amand-en-Puisaye - 58 - Nièvre

A rather short bucolic walk.
Le Tacot path passes nearby the ochre and clay quarries where a protected species of toad "Le sonneur à ventre jaune", the yellow bellied toad hides away. Easily identified thanks to its yellow and black striped belly, and its heart-shaped pupils, no doubt, remnants of its prince charming days..... Its bright yellow colour, signifying toxicity is a means of protection against its predators.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.