The Chelles canal is parallel to the Marne, in Ile-de-France, between Vaires-sur-Marne (77) and Neuilly-sur-Marne (93). It is called as such because it flows through Chelles in the southern part of the city. There can only be one boat at a time on the canal. It is the perfect place for walking and fishing!
The State dug this canal, from 1848 to 1862, with help from the employees of the “Ateliers Nationaux”. Ateliers Nationaux was an organization created to supply work to the unemployed Parisians after the revolution of February 1848. The State intervened directly by supplying, organizing and paying for the work. Completely overtaken by the demand of the workers and the lack of work, this organization only lasted a few months in 1848. Work on the Chelles canal was abandoned for lack of finance and was taken up again during the Second Empire. The Chelles Canal was put into operation in 1865.
It was under the reign of Napoleon III that the Marne was converted for canal transport to avoid considerable and expensive bends to reach the Seine in Charenton. The lock keeper’s house at the entrance to the canal was built at the same time as the canal in 1848/1849. It is an inseparable element and a necessity to the correct functioning of this waterway.
Lock n°16 in Neuilly-sur-Marne is open from 8 am to 6 pm. The lock keeper is present to help cross the boats over which cannot navigate this part of the Marne. The distance between both locks in Neuilly-sur-Marne (93) and Vaires (77) is 9 kilometers; duration almost 1h30 (you cannot exceed 6 kilometers per hour).
The Chelles canal allows for peaceful navigation because in the Southern of the departmental park 'haute Ile' the river Marne flows with its dangerous bends and a vertiginous 'fall' – of almost 2.5 m, impossible thus to navigate on this part of the Marne. After crossing lock N° 15 in Vaires (Seine-et-Marne -77) you come to a natural river and back to more peaceful waters on the Marne.
Neuilly-sur-Marne is a commune in Seine-Saint-Denis (93) approximately 15 km East of Paris in the Southeast of the department Seine-Saint-Denis. There is a wide river (the Marne) to the south of the town, the Haute Ile departmental park and the only municipal campsite of the 93 department. Neuilly-sur-Marne is partially crossed by the canal of Chelles (confluence) sometimes called Vaires canal.
Vaires-sur-Marne is situated in the department of Seine-et-Marne (77) in the region Ile-de-France. It is bordered by the river Marne (from which the Chelles canal takes its the source) and by an artificial lake (usually very busy). Vaires is situated 22 km East of Paris, and 20 min by train (Gare de l’Est). Vaires-Torcy station is in the city center - line Transilien Paris - Meaux via Chelles - line P Transilien.
Attention: it is forbidden to go fishing near a lock, a marina or a water detention structure.
For authorized fishing points, do not forget your fishing license!
Address of the lock in Neuilly-sur-Marne: “chemin de l’écluse”