Throughout the Touraine there is a network of tracks, giving public access to forests, agricultural land and riverbanks. These tracks are unpaved, and often hundreds of years old.
In Australia they would be called dirt tracks, but here they are les chemins blancs, because the calcareous rock and soil they are made from is white. Much of the famous pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, which runs through Tours, is via chemins blancs. Occasionally you see them referred to as les pistes blanches.
Respect it! Motorists - drive slowly!'
They are very popular with mountain bikers (les vététistes in French, from vélo tous terrains or VTT) and in September every year there is a 30km night bike ride known as la Piste des lucioles (the firefly trail) from Mont-près-Chambord, so called because the riders career through the forest lit only by head torches.