Ain (river)

Overview map

The Ain at Pont -du- Navoy

The Ain is a river in France, which runs into the regions of Franche-Comté and Rhône -Alpes. It crosses the departments of Ain ​​and Jura, for which he also acts as a namesake.


Source de l' Ain

The Source de l' Ain (Eng. source of Ain) is a powerful karst spring from the karstified rocks of the French Jura. The Quelltopf lies in a narrow, wooded valley on the edge of the municipality of Conte and Nozeroy, at about 680 m altitude. It can house up to 60,000 l / s pour, but also completely dry. When it comes to heavy rain or snow melt to the maximum fill, the observation deck at the source is often completely under water. Only in absolute dryness of the source, the large cave entrance can be committed on the basis of the Source de l' Ain up to 35 m. Depending on the water level also changes the color of the spring water. After drying up the source of the first water-bearing tributary of Ain ​​is about 11 km long serpentine, which flows about a kilometer below the Source de l' Ain from the northeast in the valley.


The Ain flows essentially in the direction southsouthwest, takes on numerous streams and rivers, the Jura cut deeply. In Syam it is passed abruptly to the northwest and reached behind Champagnole an approximately 20 km long high valley in its original flow direction through which he runs into powerful meanders. Southwest of Poncin leaves the Ain his gorge to strive towards in hilly terrain of the Rhone, in which he claimed a total distance of 190 kilometers at the boundary of the municipality of Saint- Maurice -de- Gourdans and Loyettes (about 40 km upstream from Lyon) as a right tributary opens.

Places on the river

  • Sirod
  • Syam
  • Champagnole
  • Crotenay
  • Pont -de- Poitte
  • Moirans -en- Montagne
  • Thoirette
  • Poncin
  • Neuville- sur- Ain
  • Pont- d'Ain
  • Priay
  • Châtillon- la -Palud
  • Chazey -sur- Ain
  • Saint -Jean -de- Niost
  • Saint- Maurice -de- Gourdans


The Ain reached on his way to the valley a maximum gradient 12 to 18 per thousand. It is dammed in its course 15 times for energy in reservoirs, such as in the Lac de Coiselet and Vouglan. The Vouglan used not only to power generation, the taming of high water events that occur preferably in the spring and fall.


The Ain about 100 meters after the source

A TGV Duplex on the Cize - Bolozon Viaduct over the Ain

The Lac de Coiselet