Saône (sōn) [key], river, 268 mi (431 km) long, rising in the Vosges Mts. near Épinal, E France, and flowing SW past Gray, Chalon-sur-Saône, and Mâcon to join the Rhône River at Lyons. An important transportation link between Paris and Marseilles, it is connected by canals to the Moselle, Marne, Yonne, and Loire rivers. Because of its even and gentle flow, the Saône carries more traffic than the Rhône. There are famous vineyards along its course.