The 12 Most Beautiful Hikes to do in Alsace


Last Updated on 02/09/2022 by Alfred

In the land of the pretzel, nature occupies a more important place than it seems. That’s why we offer you this selection of the most beautiful hikes to do in Alsace!

At the crossroads of three cultures, Alsace is an outer region that stands out. If several countries have conquered it, it is to France that it has offered its heart.

Alsace has a rich and powerful core. Here gourmet culinary specialties and half-timbered architecture rub shoulders in harmony.

This is without forgetting the natural side of Alsace. It is bordered by the Rhine and surrounded by the Vosges massif. It has a stunning natural heritage!

That’s why we have selected the best hikes in Alsace for you. All you have to do is discover it on foot or by bike, through parks, reserves, or valleys!

Here is the list of the 12 most beautiful hikes to do in Alsace:

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You can enjoy the 12 Most Beautiful Hikes to do in Alsace with your family and friends

1. Lake Kruth

Most Beautiful Hikes to do in Alsace

○ Duration: about 1h10

○ Distance: 5.5 km

○ Height difference: 147 m

○ Difficulty: Easy

Lake Kruth is in the heart of the Ballons des Vosges Regional, Natural Park. More precisely, at the foot of the Ventron massif and its nature reserve, north of the town of Kruth.

In 1964 on the Thur River, more than 10 million cubic meters of water were retained. And put into a dam. That’s how this artificial lake was born. The lake is bordered by a vegetal belt composed of forests and grassy shores.

To start your hiking route in Alsace, this one is perfect. Its path takes you along the shores of the lake, partly in the undergrowth, the other in the open air.

The route is simple and does not represent any difficulty—ideal for a family walk. It is one of the most beautiful hikes to do in Alsace.

2. The Three Castles of Ribeauvillé

○ Duration : 1h30

○ Distance: 6 km

○ Height difference: 385 m

○ Difficulty: Medium

Ribeauville, a small town of fewer than 5000 inhabitants, is about twenty k.m from the center of Colmar.

Ribeauville has a prosperous historical heritage. The first writing that evokes it dates back to the beginning of the tenth century.

And this is what this hike invites you to discover. You can explore the three emblematic castles located on the heights of Ribeauvillé.

First, there is the castle of Saint-Ulrich, Girsberg, and finally that of Haut-Ribeaupierre.

The view from the castle is breathtaking. However, the sometimes steep differences in the altitude can make the hike a little complicated.

You will discover a panorama of the entire Alsatian countryside, up to the horizon! You can even touch the walls and enter the ancient castles, now in ruins.

3. The Three Lakes Lookout

○ Duration: about 2h30

○ Distance: 9 km

○ Height difference: 401 m

○ Difficulty: Medium

Hiking in Alsace allows you to discover the region rarely seen; this route is an example. In the heart of the Biological Reserve of the Two Lakes, you can find the belvedere of the three lakes.

Through an open-air path, walk the Alsatian nature. Observe the local fauna and flora discreet and at the same time present.

Descend first by a ridge, from where you will see the Lake of Trout. Then, along the plateau on one side and the ravine on the other.

You will get closer to Black Lake, downstream of the Belmont Observatory. Then, go up to Lac Blanc before finally crossing the plateau on the edge of the Biological Reserve. The three lakes lookout is one of the best hikes in Alsace.

4. Lac Blanc, Lac Noir, Lac du Forlet (des Truites) and Lac Vert

○ Duration: about 6 hours

○ Distance: 17.2 km

○ Height difference: 846 m

○ Difficulty: Difficult

Follow the border between the Vosges and Haut-Rhin departments through this fantastic hike. You will meet four emblematic lakes of the Alsatian region: Lac Blanc, Noir, Forlet (or Trout), and Green.

You must cross the Ringelbuhlopf (1,302 meters) to reach the plateaus between two nature reserves. You will then descend to the lakes, alternating ascents and descents.

A mighty hike will require some effort. However, sumptuous landscapes are guaranteed a change of scenery at the key. Also, for foodies, there are many blueberries on the way. It is possible to pick the fruits up to a limit of 3 liters per person per day.

5. The Sentier des Roches

The Sentier des Roches is a great hike to do in Alsace.

○ Duration: about 6 hours

○ Distance: 18.2 km

○ Height difference: 991 m

○ Difficulty: Difficult

Alsace’s hikes are rather technical and require more rigor than the others. For this one, this is the case.

First, go down to the Frankenthal-Missheimle Nature Reserve. Then enjoy the green setting in which you evolve. But it is also this part that is the most technical. Indeed, the presence of many rocks makes the course sometimes steep.

But these efforts glorify the second half of the hike. When you pass by the Little Hohneck (1,290 meters) and Lake Schiessrothried, then you will have to follow the Névés Trail to the Spitzkoepfe (1,290 meters) and the Hohneck (1,363 meters).

Finally, walk along the plateau at the Chaume Charlemagne Biological Reserve border. And secretly observe flora and fauna. The Sentier des Roches is a great hike to do in Alsace.

6. Burgertsmatt in Fischboedle

○ Duration: about 2 hours

○ Distance: 7.1 km

○ Height difference: 329 m

○ Difficulty: Medium

There are two villages in Munster’s great Valley: Mittlach and Metzeral. You will find the small valley at the foot of the Hohneck (1363 meters) of the Wormsa.

Thus, follow this loop that runs along the valley by its flanks to the water point of Fischboedle. As preserved in its green setting, timidly hidden by the dense forest, it is a pleasant place to relax.

Mainly in the undergrowth, the view emerges in places. In harmony with nature, you can pass under rock arches, climb trees, and span the stream via wooden bridges.

7. Mont Sainte-Odile and the Ottrott Castles

○ Duration: about 4 hours

○ Distance: 11.7 km

○ Height difference: 600 m

○ Difficulty: Difficult

Discover one of the best hikes in Alsace – Mont Sainte. This will teach you a little about the region’s history and spiritual dimension. To begin with, climb the mountain at the foot of which is the town of Ottrott.

You will quickly come across the ruins of two castles: Rathsamhausen and Lutzelbourg. Their astonishing remains allow you to get an idea of the daily life of the time. Then continue to the Hohnenburgerberg plateau, where nature unfolds, richly wooded. Take the time to observe the surroundings and especially the horizon.

Now head to Mont-Sainte-Odile, where you can embrace a magnificent and panoramic view of the Vosges Mountains.

The mount has a powerful spiritual dimension as it is the place of pilgrimage for more than 1.3 million people each year.

It houses the convent of Mont-Sainte-Odile. A beautiful building overlooking the entire plain of Alsace. There is also a basilica, a chapel, and a few hotels.

8. The circuit from the Hohwald waterfall to the Chaume des Veaux

○ Duration: about 2h45

○ Distance: 10.5 km

○ Height difference: 568 m

○ Difficulty: Medium

The Hohwald waterfall is a well-known natural monument in the region. It is frequented because of its accessibility, and we suggest you go a little further. You will first have the joy of observing the waterfall and, why not, refresh your feet.

Discover a little more scenery as you continue your journey to the Zundelkopf (882 meters) and the Chaume des Veaux. The wooded path crosses spruce and fir forests, to be seen in summer as in winter.

Finally, descend to the Andiau Spring. The river that comes after it flows and forms the Hohwald waterfall downstream! It is one of the best hikes in Alsace.

9. The battlefield of Old Armand

○ Duration: less than 1 hour

○ Distance: 3.4 km

○ Height difference: 135 m

○ Difficulty: Easy

The Hartmannswillerkopf massif is in the south of the Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park. It was the scene of bloody battles during the First World War. Causing the deaths of more than 30,000 French and German soldiers.

Today, it is a veritable open-air museum. It offers hikers miles of trenches and many remarkably well-preserved concrete shelters. If hiking in Alsace is generally focused on nature, it will take you back more than a century.

Start by walking along with the military cemetery and its thousands of white crosses. Then, climb the mountainside to the more remote corners where the hairy have built trenches and shelters.

You will visit strategic posts, a former barracks, a memorial, and a stele. Besides, you can observe a beautiful view of the town of Wattwiller and its surroundings.

10. Schiessrothried Lake and the Hohneck

Schiessrothried Lake and the Hohneck are among the most beautiful hikes to do in Alsace.

○ Duration: about 4h10

○ Distance: 12.2 km

○ Height difference: 612 m

○ Difficulty: Difficult

Explore this loop trail from The Gaschney, home to a winter sports resort. During this trial, start by bypassing a peak to Schiessrothried Lake. A tranquil place you can rest or even enjoy a picnic, not forgetting to pick up your waste.

The trail, somewhat steep and very rocky, continues to the west. You can have a beautiful panorama of the valley, especially that of the Wormsa. Then, go up to the Hohneck (1,363 meters), following the Sentier des Névés.

On the way, don’t miss the Spitzkoepfe (1,290 meters). A 360-degree view awaits you from this summit on the plateaus, plains, and other Alsatian mountains. On the final stretch, you can contemplate the Petit Hohneck (1,290 meters).

Schiessrothried Lake and the Hohneck are among the most beautiful hikes to do in Alsace.

11. The Tour of the East Donon

○ Duration: about 1h45

○ Distance: 6.6 km

○ Height difference: 330 m

○ Difficulty: Medium

The Donon (1,009 meters) is a summit near the town of Grandfontaine, a commune in the Bas-Rhin department. It has been considered a sacred mountain for a long time because it is visible from afar.

The Romans dedicated it to Mercury and built a temple still standing today. Some other traces of human passage are found there. Such as tools or millstones dating from the Bronze Age.

From the Cold du Donon, you can climb the mountain. From there, discover many historical remains and enjoy the panoramic view of the horizon lined with beautiful fir forest.

Then descend to the Col d’Entre Deux Donons, aptly named. Finally, return to your starting point via a path bordering the Donon.

12. Lake Michelbach

○ Duration: about 1 hour

○ Distance: 4.5 km

○ Height difference: 125 m

○ Difficulty: Easy

Lake Michelbach is an artificial lake located west of Mulhouse. It was created in the 1980s. The reason was to construct a dam at this place to draw drinking water from the surrounding cities.

Lake Michelbach was classified as a Nature Reserve in 1997. The lake allows many birds to live in peace, far from the hustle and bustle of human lake activities.

Today, it is possible to discover all this fauna through a route around the lake. It is one of the most popular hikes in Alsace because it is easy, fast, and accessible to children.

This makes the lake ideal for families, who can spend some time in nature and breathe fresh air.

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Alfred

Alfred is the author behind the Travelvibe travel blog and is always searching for the quieter, less-visited corners of the world.

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