The coastal path that leads you by gently gurgling Mediterranean waves along the shore of the French Riviera (actually, through a portion of coastal France altogether), also meanders through human squabbles.
Much of the time, the coastal path or "sentier des douaniers" sits on private property. According to French law, a path must be maintained by property owners all along the coast. The original idea was protective in nature: coast guards had to be able to patrol on foot all along this giant stretch of seaside land. The law remains today, albeit with a more democratic interpretation: seaviews belong to everyone, especially hikers (ok, that last part is mine).
Problem is, in some areas private properties want more privacy.
Take St Tropez, for example. For years now, some seaside property owners have tried to chop off the coastal path from their land. They've encountered resistance from local groups. As of recently, a tall gate stretches across the path between the Canoubiers and the Graniers bay. You can still get to the other side, by heading down towards the sea and getting your feet wet.
This affects hike #11 in the hiking guidebook: 26 Gorgeous Hikes on the Western Côte d'Azur.
If this latest path restriction makes you feel like walking the plank as is does for us, keep in mind that the port of St Tropez includes some of the longest plushest planks to walk from. All is not lost :)