Canal du Midi towpath

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
nirakaro
Posts: 1126
Joined: 22 Dec 2007, 2:01am

Canal du Midi towpath

Postby nirakaro » 19 Jul 2015, 1:08pm

I've got a trip lined up next month between Narbonne & Toulouse, and I'm looking for detailed advice on which bits of the towpath make decent riding for a hybrid, and which bits best avoided?

jk49
Posts: 117
Joined: 6 Apr 2013, 7:51pm

Re: Canal du Midi towpath

Postby jk49 » 20 Jul 2015, 2:14pm

Rode Carcassone past Toulouse last year. All fine, surface wise except for short section just west of Carcassonne. Perhaps 10 k from city centre. Easily by-passed on quiet wide roads. Detour lasted 10km, when rejoined path, the surface was fine again. Sorry, don't know exact length of rutted, bumpy bit.

Nareloc
Posts: 103
Joined: 5 Oct 2008, 9:21pm

Re: Canal du Midi towpath

Postby Nareloc » 21 Jul 2015, 6:37pm

Did Carcassonne - Toulouse in May. In fine weather most of it should be rideable but there had been quite a bit of rain prior to my trip and lots of it were very unpleasant, making it very slow going. Even if it were dry, there are some sections that are deeply rutted. I gave up on the towpath after a few miles and rejoined around Lauragais where it is hard surfaced all the way into Toulouse. Roads running parallel to the canal are great and you see more of the villages that you would bypass on the canal.

nirakaro
Posts: 1126
Joined: 22 Dec 2007, 2:01am

Re: Canal du Midi towpath

Postby nirakaro » 21 Jul 2015, 9:21pm

That's really helpful, thanks. Anyone know anything about the stretch between Carcassonne and Narbonne?

matt_twam_asi
Posts: 287
Joined: 29 Apr 2008, 10:56am
Location: West Sussex

Re: Canal du Midi towpath

Postby matt_twam_asi » 22 Jul 2015, 11:23am

All of the track east of Carcasonne to Narbonne is a dirt/gravel surface which can sometimes be quite bumpy and you will need to watch out for tree roots across the path at times. It should be fine on a hybrid but be prepared to take it slowly. There are plenty of minor roads that roughly follow the canal if you prefer a smooth ride.

neilob
Posts: 646
Joined: 31 Jan 2008, 3:58pm
Location: Notts/Lincs borders

Re: Canal du Midi towpath

Postby neilob » 23 Jul 2015, 12:47pm

matt_twam_asi wrote:All of the track east of Carcasonne to Narbonne is a dirt/gravel surface which can sometimes be quite bumpy and you will need to watch out for tree roots across the path at times. It should be fine on a hybrid but be prepared to take it slowly. There are plenty of minor roads that roughly follow the canal if you prefer a smooth ride.


+1 for this advice. I saw a Dutch lady go head first into the canal along with her bike after she hit an (unseen) tree root near Carpestang - between Caracassone and Beziers. I jumped onto the roads that run parallel with the canal but came back to the canal for coffees, beers, food, and sometimes accommodation.
Using a car to take an adult on a three mile journey is the same as using an atomic bomb to kill a canary.

maxglide
Posts: 178
Joined: 19 May 2013, 5:35pm

Re: Canal du Midi towpath

Postby maxglide » 23 Jul 2015, 5:29pm

I saw a Dutch lady go head first into the canal along with her bike after she hit an (unseen) tree root


Was the bike ok?

neilob
Posts: 646
Joined: 31 Jan 2008, 3:58pm
Location: Notts/Lincs borders

Re: Canal du Midi towpath

Postby neilob » 25 Jul 2015, 7:47am

Yes, the bike was fine but the baguette she had on her rack didn't look good. I waded in to help her out but then the rest of her group turned up so my chivalrous act was quickly over!
Using a car to take an adult on a three mile journey is the same as using an atomic bomb to kill a canary.

goosegog
Posts: 32
Joined: 3 Mar 2009, 3:30pm

Re: Canal du Midi towpath

Postby goosegog » 27 Jul 2015, 10:12pm

There was another enquiry about the canal a few months ago. If you use the search you should get more information. I have cycled from Carcassone to Narbonne. As with other posts the towpath is narrow with tree-roots, it is best to follow the canal by the adjacent quiet roads and to cycle along the canal when possible. The branch to Narbonne is rideable as it is wider with no trees. When I rode it the path was being repaired on the outskirts of Narbonne so I had to detour.