Thanks to our cottages’ location, you can take 18 different loop circuits specially designed for biking in order to visit the Loire Valley castles. Four of these circuits are less than 5 kms from the GÎtes de l’Epinglerie, including one called "Shadows and Light," which passes right by the entrance to the cottages.
Biking from the cottages to the Loire Valley castles...
We can also show you a route not found on any official maps that starts at the Gites de l' Epinglerie and takes you through an enchanting path through forest trails and country roads to reach the castle of Chambord.
Rent a bike !
LOOP N° 5 : SHADOWS AND LIGHTS Departure: in front of the cottages. Length of the trail: 10 miles - 1h10 - Easy.
You will see : Cour Cheverny, Cheverny AOC vineyards, private castle La Sistière.
Tour-en-Sologne: 17th c. Castle Villesavin.
Bracieux: 17th c. Market Hall Everything is steeped in history and traditions, from the Arian bridges dating from Roman times; the Tour en Sologne where the Villesavin Castle is located, built during the reign of the French king François I; and the village of Bracieux, famous for its cattle fairs at the beginning of the century and its magnificent market hall in the village centre.
LOOP N° 6 – IN THE KINGDOM OF DEER Length of the trail: 13 miles - 1h30 - Easy. You will see the 17th c. Cheverny castle and its exhibition of Tintin comic books and its church with its sculpted conservation chair ; Fontaines-en-Sologne, a typical historic Sologne village famous for its strawberries ; and the AOC Cheverny and Cour-Cheverny vineyards.
Walking or jogging
Our forests are perfect places for walking or jogging. Whether you prefer slow strolls or running marathons, you will you will enjoy the well-made trails and discover beautiful landscapes. It is for this reason that the organizers of the Cheverny Marathon chose this location: for several years now, every April there is a full marathon, a half marathon or 7 mile hike around the castle of Cheverny.
The Gîtes de l' Epinglerie can boast of being located at the crossroads of four forests: three immense national forests open to the public, and one private forest with public paths.
The Russy forest extends over almost 12 sq. miles, only half a mile north from our cottages as the crow flies. The forest used to belong to the Count of Blois, then was sold in 1391 to the Duke of Orleans. The forest became royal property when his grandson ascended the throne.
The Boulogne forest lies east of the cottages, and has 38 square miles of wooded forest. It is a wilder forest and has long been used for hunting. The Chambord forest is an enclave of 18 square miles, a walled area within the Boulogne forest, which was used in the past for royal hunting parties.
Only 3 miles south of the cottages is the forest of Cheverny, stretching over 8 square miles. It is a privately owned forest, but fortunately, it is filled with public pathways through the woods.. Welcome to our forests!