It is on the territory of Alsace Verte that the gateway to the Traversée du Massif des Vosges (TMV) is located!
First national pedestrian route to be labeled at European level under the label « Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe ». This hiking trail is also one of the longest on the continent with nearly 430 km of marked paths.
Its route, marked with the red rectangle of the GR® 53 by the Club Vosgien, runs from north to south of the Massif des Vosges starting in Wissembourg, gateway town to the territory of Alsace Verte, and ending in Belfort. The path crosses from one stage to another in a wide variety of breathtaking landscapes and crosses magnificent forest massifs dotted with pink sandstone rocks and fortified castles, fortified towns surrounded by renowned vineyards, farm inns, memorial sites, allowing you to go back in time and go beyond borders!
The 1st step starts in Wissembourg to reach Obersteinbach – 29,8 km.
Located in the Regional Natural Park of the Northern Vosges, the town of Wissembourg has been classified since 1989 as a “World Biosphere Reserve”.
Since 2008, it has also been included in the 100 “Most beautiful detours in France” grouping together charming tourist towns throughout France. Finally, Wissembourg enjoys a place of choice on "The Route of the Castles and Fortified Cities of Alsace" by its status as a fortified city of character.
The Crossing of the Massif des Vosges begins at the exit of Wissembourg with magnificent viewpoints over the plain and continues through welcoming and generous forests. This first stage crosses several ruins of medieval castles, the best known of which is the Château de Fleckenstein in Lembach, which can be visited and tamed and allow a jump to the time of the Middle Ages. The day's walk ends in Obersteinbach, a charming little bohemian village...
The 2nd step leads walkers from Obersteinbach to Niederbronn-les-Bains – 19,3 km.
A little groggy from the sensations, efforts and discoveries of the day before, this new stage will quickly re-motivate the troops. Once again, the path is lined with castles and breathtaking rocks which seem to be the guardians of these unspoilt regions of the Alsace Verte territory. Like well-deserved rewards, the impressive views from their summits will delight deserving hikers who have dared to climb them.
After a good day's walk, Niederbronn-les-Bains, a spa resort labeled "Station Verte" is the nature and relaxation destination par excellence... ideal for getting back in shape before tackling the third stage of the Traversée du Massif of the Vosges.
The 3rd step continues from Niederbronn-les-Bains to Lichtenberg – 19 km.
Fresh and ready after this invigorating stopover, the hiker has now adopted a cruising pace. Through an ocean of forest, he sets out to attack new castles and pink sandstone rocks that never tire. This stage crosses the heart of the Natural Park of the Northern Vosges where the preserved fauna and flora reserve magnificent surprises. At the end of the route, the fortified castle of Lichtenberg dating from the 13th century looms on the horizon.
An unmissable hike, a one-of-a-kind experience!
The Traversée du Massif des Vosges, which combines the GR®53 long-distance trail and the famous GR®5, owes its creation to the Club Vosgien in 1897.
On leaving the territory of Alsace Verte, of course, the adventure continues! In 19 or 28 days depending on the pace and desires for discovery of each, the hiker reaches Belfort, the final stage of this journey of excellence, eyes full and head empty!
For thrill seekers who want more, the HexaTrek experience is a must: this 3034 km long trail connects 14 of the most beautiful Natural Parks from the Vosges to the Pyrenees and also starts in Wissembourg, the gateway to Alsace Verte.