Information about the 122km long Canal des Vosges

Canal des Vosges France map

In previous editions this waterway was listed under its original name as the ‘southern branch of the Canal de l’Est’. It connected with the Canal de la Marne au Rhin at Toul, 20km east of the junction with the northern branch at Troussey. Since 1979 it has been super­seded by the canalised river Moselle over a distance of 26km to the steel works at Neuves-Maisons, accessible to Rhine barges and push-tows, although now the only traffic to this port is scrap metal. Renamed the Canal des Vosges, the waterway now extends 122km from Neuves-Maisons to the Saône at Corre. It follows the Moselle valley to Épinal, then rises sharply to a summit level at an altitude of 360m, the second highest in France after that of the Canal de Bourgogne. The descent towards the Saône, following the steep-sided Coney valley, is picturesque.

The canal has two branches: the Nancy branch (see below), and the Épinal branch, extending 3km to the town of Épinal from the main line at the foot of the Golbey flight of locks (PK 83).Canal des Vosges region map

History – Public works were at a standstill after the Franco-Prussian War, but one canal project was immediately promoted as essential, to interconnect west of the Vosges the canals that were now intercepted by the border. The ‘Canal de l’Est’ was authorised by laws voted by the Assemblée Nationale in 1872 and 1874, and works began immediately. The canal was completed in 1880. Its southern branch, renamed Canal des Vosges, is now essentially devoted to tourism, with very little commercial traffic.

Key Waterway Dimensions

  • Max Beam: 5.20m
  • Max Height: 3.50m
  • Max Draught: 1.80m


Locks – There are 93 locks, of which 47 fall towards the Moselle and 46 towards the Saône. The locks are of standard ‘Freycinet’ dimensions, 38.50 by 5.20m, except for locks 34 to 47 on the Moselle side, which are slightly longer (41.30m).

Draught – The maximum authorised draught is 1.80m throughout.

Headroom – All the fixed bridges leave a clear headroom of 3.50m above normal water level.

Towpath – There is a towpath throughout, but it may be overgrown if not impassable in the summit level.

Authority – VNF – Direction interrégionale du Nord-Est (transfer pending)
–    52 rue Charles de Foucauld, 54000 Nancy (PK  26-60)
–    1 avenue de la Fontenelle, 88000 Épinal (PK 60-147)


Embranchement de Nancy

The Nancy branch is a 10km long junction canal between the Canal des Vosges at Messein (PK 28) and the Canal de la Marne au Rhin at Laneuve­ville, a short distance upstream of Nancy. It has a short summit level between the Meurthe and Moselle valleys.

Locks – There are 18 locks, of which 13 fall towards the Meurthe and the remaining 5 towards the Moselle. They are all 41.30 by 5.20m.

Draught – The maximum authorised draught is 1.80m.

Headroom – The bridges leave a clear headroom of 3.70m.

Towpath – There is a towpath throughout.

Authority – VNF – Direction interrégionale du Nord-Est
–    52 rue Charles de Foucauld, 54000 Nancy

Click to enlarge

Vosges waterway strip

Route description

PK 25.7     Junction with canalised river Moselle at upstream end of industrial port of Neuves-Maisons, turning basin, large industrial quays (limit of navigation by Rhine barges)
PK 25.9     Lock 47, bridge
PK 26.2     Turning basin
PK 26.9     Messein bridge, quay u/s r/b, village 200m r/b
PK 27.9     Bridge (D331)
PK 28.2     Lock 46, VHF 20, bridge, water
PK 28.3     Junction with embranchement de Nancy, turning basin for commercial barges
PK 29.6     Footbridge, mooring for 9 boats u/s r/b, night €4, water, electricity
PK 30.2     Richardménil bridge, moorings u/s r/b, village 500m r/b
PK 31.0     Motorway bridge (A330)
PK 31.5     Lock 45, bridge
PK 31.6     Flavigny quay and turning basin r/b, village 1200m l/b
PK 33.0     Lock 44, bridge
PK 33.8     Lock 43, Moselle aqueduct upstream (length 125m)
PK 34.6     Bridge (D570)
PK 36.2     Bridge, turning basin u/s l/b
PK 38.7     Bridge (D570), disused quay d/s, l/b
PK 39.1     Lock 42
PK 40.9     Lock 41, bridge, Crévechamps 200m l/b
PK 43.9     Lock 40, bridge
PK 44.6     Floating footbridge
PK 45.2     Neuviller quay and turning basin l/b, village 500m
PK 46.8     Lock 39, bridge, commercial quay u/s r/b, Bayon 1300m r/b, moorings d/s r/b
PK 47.9     Lock 38, bridge, Roville-devant-Bayon l/b
PK 49.2     Mangonville bridge, small village l/b
PK 50.0     Lock 37, bridge
PK 51.1     Lock 36, bridge, quay d/s l/b, Bainville-aux-Miroirs l/b
PK 52.3     Turning basin l/b
PK 53.6     Lock 35, bridge
PK 54.5     Gripport bridge, mooring for 3 boats, village 300m l/b
PK 55.0     Lock 34, footbridge
PK 56.8     Lock 33 (Socourt), bridge, quay d/s l/b, village 1000m l/b
PK 58.2     Lock 32 (Plaine de Charmes), bridge
PK 59.3     Basin l/b
PK 59.9     Lock 31 (Charmes), bridge, water
PK 60.6     Charmes bridge (Grand Pont), municipal quay, capacity 20 boats, night €7, water, electricity, shower €1.50, slipway, restaurant, town l/b
PK 61.4     Lock 30 (Moulin de Charmes), bridge, turning basin u/s
PK 63.9     Lock 29 (Vincey), bridge, power station and private quays r/b
PK 65.2     Vincey bridge, quay d/s l/b, village 200m l/b
PK 65.4     Factory and quay l/b
PK 65.6     Skew railway bridge
PK 65.8     Lock 28 (Portieux), bridge
PK 67.4     Lock 27 (Fouys)
PK 68.1     Basin l/b
PK 69.4     Lock 26 (Avière), aqueduct upstream (restricted width 6m)
PK 70.8     Lock 25 (Nomexy), bridge, water, quay u/s l/b, village 500m l/b
PK 72.1     Lock 24 (Héronnière), bridge, turning basin d/s l/b
PK 73.9     Lock 23 (Vaxoncourt), bridge
PK 74.8     Lock 22 (Igney), bridge, quay u/s l/b, village 500m l/b
PK 75.7     Basin
PK 76.1     Lock 21 (Plaine de Thaon), bridge, private quay u/s r/b
PK 77.5     Lock 20 (Thaon), bridge, water
PK 78.0     Thaon-les-Vosges bridge, quay u/s r/b, small town 300m l/b
PK 78.5     Bridge
PK 78.6     Lock 19 (Usine de Thaon), private quays u/s, quay d/s r/b, no services, town l/b 750m
PK 80.2     Lock 18 (Chavelot), bridge, water, village l/b
PK 81.2     Bridge (N57 Épinal bypass)
PK 81.4     Commercial basin r/b (construction materials)
PK 81.6     Lock 17 (Prairie Gérard), bridge
PK 82.4     Lock 16, bridge, quay for restaurant u/s r/b
PK 83.2     Lock 15 (Côte-Olie), VHF 20, water, bridge (D157)
PK 83.3     Junction with embranchement d’Épinal, r/b
PK 83.4     Lock 14 (Golbey), footbridge
PK 83.5     Lock 13 (Golbey), basin u/s
PK 83.7     Lock 12 (Golbey), basin u/s
PK 84.0     Lock 11 (Golbey), skew railway bridge, basin u/s
PK 84.5     Lock 10 (Golbey), bridge, water, basin u/s, town 1000m r/b
PK 84.8     Lock 9 (Golbey), industrial quay u/s r/b
PK 85.1     Lock 8 (Golbey), bridge, basin u/s
PK 85.3     Lock 7 (Golbey), basin u/s
PK 85.4     Lock 6 (Golbey), basin u/s
PK 85.6     Lock 5 (Golbey), bridge, water, basin u/s
PK 85.8     Lock 4 (Golbey), basin u/s
PK 86.0     Lock 3 (Golbey), basin u/s
PK 86.1     Lock 2 (Golbey), basin u/s
PK 86.4     Lock 1 (Bois-l’Abbé), bridge, beginning of summit level
PK 87.0     Skew bridge (Bois l’Abbé)
PK 88.7     Turning basin and quay
PK 89.2     Les Forges bridge, moorings south bank, village 150m r/b
PK 90.6     Bridge
PK 91.1     Sanchey bridge, small village
PK 92.4     Aqueduct
PK 92.9     Basin
PK 94.2     Chaumousey aqueduct (over road), basin d/s l/b, village l/b
PK 96.8     Bridge (Gare de Girancourt)
PK 97.2     Lock 1 (Trusey), VHF 20, bridge, end of summit level
PK 97.8     Lock 2 (Girancourt), bridge, basin u/s r/b, village l/b
PK 98.3     Turning basin r/b
PK 99.0     Lock 3 (Barbonfoing), bridge
PK 99.7     Lock 4 (Launois), water
PK 100.9     Lock 5 (Void de Girancourt), bridge
PK 101.5     Lock 6 (Void de Girancourt), basin u/s r/b
PK 102.3     Lock 7 (Void de Girancourt), basin u/s r/b
PK 102.8     Lock 8 (Void de Girancourt), basin u/s r/b
PK 103.1     Lock 9 (Void de Girancourt), basin u/s r/b
PK 103.4     Lock 10 (Void de Girancourt), basin u/s r/b
PK 103.7     Lock 11 (Void de Girancourt), basin u/s r/b
PK 104.0     Lock 12 (Brennecôte), basin u/s r/b
PK 104.5     Lock 13 (Thiélouze), basin u/s r/b
PK 104.9     Thiélouze bridge, small village r/b
PK 105.5     Lock 14 (Port de Thiélouze), basin u/s r/b
PK 106.1     Lock 15 (Thillots)
PK 106.7     Lock 16 (Méloménil), bridge, small village l/b
PK 107.7     Lock 17 (Reblangotte)
PK 108.3     Lock 18 (Uzemain), bridge, basin and quay d/s r/b, village 3000m l/b
PK 109.1     Lock 19 (Charmoise-l’Orgueilleux)
PK 110.4     Lock 20 (Coney), basins u/s r/b
PK 110.8     Basin r/b
PK 111.4     Lock 21 (Pont Tremblant), bridge, water, basin u/s r/b
PK 112.1     Lock 22 (Thunimont), bridge, water
PK 112.9     Lock 23 (Usine de Thunimont), private quay d/s r/b
PK 113.2     Swing bridge
PK 114.2     Lock 24 (Harsault), bridge, basin u/s r/b
PK 115.0     Basins r/b
PK 115.4     Lock 25 (Colosse), water
PK 116.3     Lock 26 (Forge Quénot), basin u/s r/b
PK 116.7     Basins r/b
PK 117.3     Lock 27 (Basse-du-Pommier), basin d/s r/b
PK 118.4     Lock 28 (Basse Jean-Melin), basin u/s r/b
PK 118.8     Basin r/b
PK 119.4     Bains-les-Bains bridge (Pont du Coney), quay d/s r/b, 1.20 m draught maximum, water, small town 2500m l/b
PK 119.6     Lock 29 (Pont du Coney)
PK 120.7     Lock 30 (Montroche)
PK 121.3     Lock 31 (Manufacture des Bains), bridge, quay d/s l/b
PK 122.3     Lock 32 (Grurupt), VHF 20, bridge, quay d/s l/b
PK 123.8     Footbridge (Pipée), quay u/s l/b
PK 124.0     Lock 33 (Pipée), basin d/s r/bFontenoy-le-ChateauPlan
PK 124.6     Lock 34 (Fontenoy Amont)
PK 125.6     Fontenoy-le-Château bridge, boat harbour and Le Boat hire base u/s l/b, capacity for 20 boats, night €10, fuel to order, water, electricity, showers, crane to order, restaurant, village 300m l/b
PK 125.8     Lock 35 (Fontenoy-le-Château), bridge
PK 126.1     Footbridge
PK 126.2     Bridge (D434)
PK 127.7     Lock 36 (Montmotier), bridge
PK 129.9     Lock 37 (Gros-Moulin), bridge, basin u/s r/b
PK 130.2     Basin r/b
PK 130.8     Lock 38 (Ambiévillers)
PK 132.5     Freland château, former swing bridge, quay d/s r/b
PK 134.0     Footbridge
PK 134.2     Pont-du-Bois bridge, quay d/s r/b, small village 1200m r/b
PK 134.4     Lock 39 (Pont-du-Bois), water
PK 136.2     Lock 40 (Bois de Selles)
PK 136.7     Lock 41 (Carrières de Selles), bridge, quay u/s r/b
PK 137.4     Selles swing bridge, village r/b
PK 138.6     Lock 42 (Village de Selles), bridge, dry dock and basin u/s r/b
PK 140.1     Footbridge
PK 140.9     Bridge
PK 141.5     Passavant-la-Rochère basin r/b, village  3000m r/b
PK 142.6     Lock 43 (Basse-Vaivre)
PK 143.6     Lock 44 (Demangevelle), bridge, village  700m l/b
PK 144.1     Private quay r/b
PK 145.9     Lock 45 (Vougécourt), bridge, quay d/s r/b
PK 146.6     Bridge
PK 146.9     Corre bridge, quay and Kuhnle Tours hire base d/s r/b, 12 berths, night €10, water €2, electricity €2, showers, restaurant, village r/b
PK 147.3     Lock 46 (Corre), VHF 20, water, junction with canalised river Saône, Corre port de plaisance 400m u/s (see Saône)CorrePlan

Embranchement d’Épinal
PK 0.0     Junction with main line at bottom of Golbey flight (PK 83)
PK 0.2     Bridge (D157)
PK 0.3     Moselle aqueduct, narrow passage, heavily wooded, proceed with caution
PK 2.2     Bridge (D46)
PK 2.7     Footbridge
PK 3.3     Épinal basin, boat harbour l/b, 30 berths, night €4, fuel on request, water, electricity, showers, restaurant, town centre 800m