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La Coulée Verte

Viaduc des Arts

La Coulée Verte or the Promenade Plantée is a 4.5 kilometer trail on what was once an elevated railway track that was decommissioned in 1969. The trail begins at Bastille and continues on to Bois de Vincennes. The Promenade has been planted with trees, shrubs and flowers. Every section has a landscaping theme such as the bamboo grove or the fountains. There are vine covered trellises and enough benches for those who wish to read their newspapers or chat with friends or just hang out.  

Of the flowers on the trail, I saw white roses and dark pink double impatiens. There were many shrubs with tiny flowers - one which I noticed looks similar to jasmine but minus the scent. And I was delighted to see holly, so perfect for this season. It's amazing to find many blooming plants this late in the fall. 

 Bamboo grove

I met several joggers along the trail which promises to be a good, long run all the way to Vincennes and back. But walking has its rewards. The path is flanked by 17th century and modern style architecture. It's nice to see that private balconies in the neighborhood are filled with greenery as well. The trail sometimes passes under a building. I wonder how the residents can sleep in summer when the crowds drop in.

Vertical garden

There are stairs and an elevator strategically located along the way if you wish to get on or off the trail.  One of these stairs has an attractive vertical garden.  I pas d by two gardens during my stroll and I stepped into Jardin de Reuilly with its patch of green that is traversed by a footbridge. The trees are stunning at this time of the year in all its golden glory. Interesting nude female statues are silent sentinels of the garden. 

Jardin de Reuilly Paul Pernin

La Coulée Verte was designed by Philippe Mathieux and Jacque Vergeley and was opened in 1993. It precedes New York's Highline which opened in 2009 by sixteen years. Plants that thrived along the old railway track have been thoughtfully planted on the Promenade.

 Modern architecture along La Coulée Verte

The arcades below the track are occupied by galleries, boutiques, and cafés. These shops face Avenue Daumesnil and is a short walk to Gare de Lyon.  The closest metro stops to La Coulée Verte are Bastille (the beginning of the trail) and Gare de Lyon. The trail is open weekdays from 8 a.m. and 9 a.m on weekends. Closing times vary depending on the season.

Have a nice walk!

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Images by TravelswithCharie


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