If you want to discover another side of Paris, take this long, unusual and bucolic walk.

Everyone has heard of the crazy American project of High Line Park in New York, a linear green promenade built on an aerial portion of a disused railway line which crosses the Chelsea district of Manhattan. It is punctuated with permanent and temporary works of art, generating unprecedented tourist attraction. Since then, this “High Line effect” has spawned similar projects in other cities in the United States, in Philadelphia, Chicago, and Atlanta. But did you know that it is one of the most beautiful walks in Paris that inspired the New York High Line? Set off to discover this amazing green path above our capital.

It is an entirely pedestrian green promenade which extends in eastern Paris, from Place de la Bastille to Bois de Vincennes, at Porte de Montempoivre on the ring road. The Coulée Verte René-Dumont, a veritable green lung of the capital with a length of precisely 5,838 kilometers, pays homage to the French agronomist René Dumont, the first environmentalist candidate in a presidential election in 1974. Inaugurated in 1993, it extends on the former route of a railway line from 1859 which was abandoned in the 1970s: the “Vincennes line”, whose steam locomotives formerly connected the Paris-Bastille station to Marles -en-Brie, in Seine-et-Marne (77).

This old railway line has given way to a succession of gardens with wild vegetation, where a vast rehabilitation and development operation was undertaken in 1988 by the city, led by the landscaper Jacques Vergely and the architect Philippe Mathieux with, for example, the restoration of the arches of the Viaduc des Arts, the creation of the Reuilly garden… The route is unique in France, oscillating between viaduct and footbridge, green paths, tunnels and trenches. The surrounding landscape allows you to fully enjoy the Haussmannian facades of the 12th arrondissement and the architectural elements of other sometimes surprising buildings, the works of the street artists who have taken over the area, while strolling among the wild poppies and plants. climbers, lime trees, hazel trees, rose bushes and other trees in flower in spring. 

To get to the Coulée Verte, several access points are possible. To take the start of the route, you start from the Viaduc des Arts (Bastille station by metro lines 1, 5 or 8 or buses 29, 91 or 87) which starts behind the Opéra-Bastille. Let yourself be carried away by the bucolic atmosphere in the heart of Paris! If you are by bike, take the Reuilly tunnel located under rue de Reuilly in the 12th arrondissement of Paris, to begin the second part of the walk, with a cycle path. This walk sheltered from the hustle and bustle of Paris, like a long slide that you take on foot or by bike, will take you to the Bois de Vincennes, not far from the castle.