This part of the Loiret by the water can be explored by bike (it is a "Voie Verte") and on foot.
By boat for some parts (near Orleans, at Combleux or at Vieilles Maisons sur Joudry aboard a Flûte Berrichonne called Belle de Grignon).
Canoeing is also possible, but be aware that there are many locks to negotiate...
A little anecdote: it is not named after the city of Orléans, but after Duke Philippe d'Orléans.
Brother of Louis XIV, it was he who initiated its construction in 1676, mainly to transport wood and coal. The canal was inaugurated in 1692.