STS068-246-097 Loire River, France October, 1994 A section of the Loire River, the longest river in France, can be seen traversing the rural landscape of central France as it drains from southwest (bottom center) to northwest. The river is 630 miles (1015 km) long and rises in the Cevennes Mountains of southeastern France. The Allier River joins by the Loire River just off the bottom portion of the image. Silting, shallowness, and seasonal volume fluctuations limit the use of the Loire River for navigation. The darker forested areas to the right (east) of the Loire River are the western portions of the Langres Plateau.