Trench interpretation trail, GénelardTrench interpretation trail, Génelard
©Trench interpretation trail, Génelard|Lesley Williamson

The Génelard trench

and its interpretation trail

Take a stroll and discover the history of the Canal du Centre.


A former cargo port

Built at the end of the 18th century, the Canal du Centre has played an important role in the economic development of the Saône-et-Loire region, particularly in the towns and villages it passes through. Such is the case of Génelard, located on the borders of the Charolais region and the Montceau-Blanzy mining basin.

The canal was used to transport the many raw materials extracted from the region’s subsoil (ore, coal, stone, etc.). The port of Génelard was also the point of departure for the cut stones used to pave the streets of Paris .

A starting point

for walking

Reconverted into a stopping place for pleasure boats, the old port is ideally situated. It’s a relaxing place for fishermen and cyclists. Campervans can also take a break here before hitting the road again.

From here, walkers have several options: visit the Centre d’interprétation de la ligne de démarcation, a place of remembrance of the Second World War, or stroll along the Trench Interpretation Trail and discover the history of the village.


an interpretation trail

When the canal was dug at the end of the 18th century, it was decided to create a trench that avoided the loop in the river near the village of Génelard, in order to shorten the route of the canal, which followed the course of the Bourbince.

In the village, on the banks of the canal, a two-kilometre-long footpath has been laid out along this structure, which is entirely covered in ashlar. Interpretation panels provide an entertaining introduction to the history of the village and the role played by the Canal du Centre in local development.

Accessible to all, the interpretation panels are translated into English. Texts in German and Dutch can be consulted on smartphones or tablets using QR codes.

Perfect for an enjoyable family outing!