Strolling through the forest vou may have encountered or taken a GR route without knowing it. But what is a GR route?Long-distance hiking trails are marked hiking routes of a length allowing for hikes of several days or weeks. In this article, we explain in more detail what a GR route is.
- What is a GR route?
- A little history ... How were the first GRs born?
GR trails today
Charlie Paris x FFR
1. What is a GR route?
If you regularly walk in the forest you have surely come across these famous red and white markers5 cm thick and 10 cm wide. You may not know it, but these tags indicate that you are on a route GR ®, a great hiking trail. Today the GR trails crisscross the hexagon and are managed by the French Hiking Federation. 8,500 volunteers are working to maintain some 180,000 kilometers of GR trails and allow you to enjoy the large green spaces without getting lost thanks to the signage below.
2. A bit of history ... How were the first GRs born?
It all started with Jean Loiseau, a passionate about nature and hikingsince his first experiences with scouts around 1910. So as not to live his passion alone, he founded a walking group, the "Traveling Companions" with whom he will survey the many hiking trails in France and Europe.
In 1936, after the election of the Popular Front, the law of the first paid holidays is adopted, and grants workers 2 weeks of paid leave per year. So the French have more time for leisure and more time for hiking.
Very quickly Jean Loiseau wanted to share his passion, but the arrival of the Second World War delayed his project to mark the trails in France to make them accessible to as many people as possible. In 1946 with the help of TouringClub of France, Jean Loiseau sets up a master plan to mark out the paths and trails of the national territory. Signage (now known to everyone) is also developed, the famous red and white lines.
In 1947, the National Committee of Great Hiking Trails (CNSGR) and the first marked trail is born, the first 28 kilometers of the GR 3 route between Orléans and Beaugency have just been marked for the general public.
Quickly many marked trails emerge, among them the route GR® TMB in 1951, the hiking route around Mont Blanc. In 1952 the Grandes Randonnée Committee already managed more than 1000km of GR trails. 20 years later, 10,000 km of long-distance hiking trails are marked and 25,000 GR Topo-guides are sold! Speaking of topo guide, the first was created in 1944. This guide, owned by the CNSGR, lists the different GR routes in map form.
In 1978, the CNSGR became the French Hiking Federation (FFR); this sports federation now has more than 250,000 members.
3. The GR trails today
Today the long-distance hiking trails, the GR trails, stretch over more than 180,000 kilometers. They are maintained by some 8,500 volunteers and passionate trail markers who work on the gps, brush or pruner in hand to continue to bring this activity to life and guide hikers. The markers of the FFRandonnée are the first protective ramparts of a living and fragile network.
4. Charlie Paris x FFR
GR® is a registered trademark of the French Hiking Federation with which we have established a partnership.This collaboration was born when we wanted to develop a more "sporty" watch than our other models. Our men's watch GR therefore has needles with Super-Luminova which allows the time to be read even at night. Don't know what Super-Luminova is? No worries, we've written an article to learn all about this substance.
So as not to lose sight of the GR Sentiers beacons, we had them engraved on the casebacks of our GR sports watches.
The GR is part of our collection of men's automatic watches. With this in mind, we are also developing our collections of ladies watches, whose automatic watch womanInitial 36. All our watches are Made in France watches, and assembled with care near Besançon.