The 9 Best Hikes In Strasbourg
Hiking trails in and around Strasbourg, France are some of the most scenic in the world. The area around Strasbourg is littered with medieval castles, vineyards, and crystal clear streams and rivers. Even the city itself is full of trails that will take you past some of the most historic buildings in all of France.
Strasbourg is one of those magical cities that can take you back in time to when the world was simpler and not so crowded. Lush mountains and foothills and ancient forests encircle the city in such an inviting way, you can't help but want to explore it. This is truly a place where you want to just strap on your boots and hit the trails.
Pulling into Strasbourg Station? Before you go trudging around the country hauling your backpacks or extra gear with you, store it safe and secure in a Strasbourg luggage locker. With a lighter load, you'll have more energy for hiking!
Our Top Hiking Trail Picks in Strasbourg
So where to begin? What trails are best for you? With so many trails to choose from and so many different attractions to see along the way we thought we would help you out. Here is a list of the best hiking trails in, and around, Strasbourg.
Strasbourg World Heritage Loop
You will find a fair amount of traffic on this trail as it is easy and takes you through some of the forest areas within Strasbourg. Slightly over 6 miles long, the trail will take you past beautiful 12th to 21st century architecture. While in the forest areas, it is mainly a Bridle path that switches to medieval passages when going through the La Petite France quarter of Strasbourg.
This circular loop makes for an excellent summer evening walk or a run when the sun is setting. It is a dog-friendly trail, but your furry friend must stay on the leash. The route starts and finishes on Rue Richard Strauss just behind the Palais de Musique. The time it takes will vary depending on how often you stop to rest or admire the historical buildings along the way.
Canal de la Bruche
This point-to-point trail goes between Strasbourg and Soultz-les-Bains. If you start the journey from Soultz-les-Bains you will be following along the nicely shaded banks of the Bruche Canal. About a third of the way, the trail turns north and heads into the foothills of the Vosges and goes through the Alsace vineyard in Molsheim before ending in Strasbourg.
The 13.5-mile trail is rated as moderate and requires some physical fitness and will take about 4 hours to complete. Getting to or from Soultz-les-Bains takes about 30 minutes by car, or around 1 hour and 45 minutes by public transit (we've got an informative guide on how to get around Strasbourg here). Be aware that this is a popular cycling trail, so you will have to share it with quite a few cyclists.
The Orangerie Park Loop
If you are looking for more of a romantic or leisurely stroll with very little elevation gain, this trail will be perfect for you. Only one and a half miles long, the trail is nicely paved and will take you past a lake with a waterfall. You will also find multiple children's play areas (including a vintage car track), a miniature farm, and a free zoo.
Along this nice walk, you will more than likely see the storks that have become the symbol of the region. The family-friendly trail is also dog-friendly, but they must be kept on a leash. Located on the Southeast outskirts of Strasbourg, the park is easily accessed by car or public transport.
A fun hike that will get you out of Strasbourg and into the Vosges Mountains is the Bischenberg, a double loop hike that starts at the tourist office in the old medieval town of Rosheim. The 5-mile loop section is called the "Local Circuit" and the 3-mile section is the "Know-How Circuit".
As you hike the loops, also known as "The Green Path", you will discover vineyards and beautiful sweeping views. Although this hike is rated as moderate, they have something special for younger hikers, such as signs with riddles about the world of grapes. This makes it an excellent activity for kids, especially those who love the outdoors. There are some side trails as well to enjoy, making a full day of hiking trails through breathtaking landscapes. Getting there is easy too, as it is only a 25 minute ride from the train station in Strasbourg.
Pourtalès Park and the Robertsau Forest Massif
To the north of Strasbourg is the Robertsau Forest, a national nature reserve along the banks of the Rhine. The 4.5-mile loop will take you around the Pourtalès Park and the nature reserve where you will see the incredible castle of Pourtalès. The hike crosses a few small rivers as it winds through one of the most beautiful parks in Strasbourg.
The easy hike through this alluvial forest with its special ecological flora and fauna will take you about 2 hours. You can take public transit to get there, a combination of bus and train, but it is much faster to take a car. It's even faster to get to the park by walking from downtown Strasbourg than it is to take public transit.
Circuit BL478 - At the Bend of the Ill-Rhin
For a hike that offers more of a challenge, try hiking the Circuit BL478 which will take you on a great trek around France's Alsace region. The 20.5-mile loop begins in the Parc de l'Etoile and will take you through the heart of Strasbourg before heading out towards some of the small villages. Rolling hills, forests, and historic castles will all be part of the adventure.
It is a long hike and can take 6 or more hours depending on breaks and stops to admire the sights. The trail gets a moderate to difficult rating mainly due to the distance but there are some hills to climb so you need to be in decent physical shape. If you have the time and the drive, this is one hiking trail worth the effort.
Circuit BL551-Discovery of the Strasbourg Forts Belt
This is a moderate trail that will take you up to 524m above sea level and it is mainly used as a mountain biking trail. The itinerary is all about beautiful landscapes you get to witness from start till finish. Located near Strasbourg, Bas-Rhin, France, the Circuit BL551-Discovery of the Strasbourg Forts Belt is a 22 miles loop trail that is best enjoyed from February to November.
The Strasbourg Fortress Belt was a defensive ring made of 19 forts that surrounded the city of Strasbourg. This trail will take you on a trip back in the past while you discover the military forts that used to protect Strasbourg from invaders. A few of the natural marvels you get to see are the Bruche Canal, the Marne-Rhine Canal and the River Ill. Get your mountain bike or put your comfy shoes on and make the most of the Circuit BL551.
Route du Vin (Wine Route)
For those who love a hiking holiday, hiking the famous Route du Vin in France's Alsace region is a must. It is a point-to-point multi-section trail that will take you through the beautiful Vosges Mountains that run along the border of Germany. It's five days of hiking trails that will take you through quaint villages, stunning vineyards, and lush forests.
Averaging about 5 hours of hiking each day, you will be climbing a few steep inclines but overall not too strenuous. And when you stop for the night, you don't have to think about sleeping in a tent as there is plenty of accommodation available in each village. Booking hotel rooms or a B&B is the best choice. When doing a hike like this, the knowledge of knowing there are hot meals for dinner and a healthy breakfast in the morning makes the adventure a little nicer.
This one-way trek is a GR (Grande Randonnée) route which means it is well maintained by the French Hiking Federation, and can be started from Strasbourg or Calmor. Getting to or from Calmor is only a 35-minute train ride. You can save a couple of dollars and take a bus if you don't mind a one hour ride. You can also have a look at a ride-share website if you really want to save money.
Whatever you do, make sure to sample the wine, the Alsatian region produces some of France's best wines.
This is a six day trek through the Northern Vosges Mountains that will take you past several castles, many that you can still enter and explore. Dense forests, picturesque villages, and mountains views that are simply breathtaking, all of this will greet you on one of the best hiking trails in France. The trails are rated between moderate and difficult. They are fairly well maintained but be prepared for long uphill climbs and some tricky areas.
You may not see a lot of other hikers on the trails due to the distance and rating, but when you do a hike like this you are more interested in communing with nature rather than socializing. The trail runs between Wissembourg and Saverne, either can be the starting point, and both towns have easy train access from Strasbourg. Accommodation in the village hotels is a great choice for a little extra comfort and excellent local food and wine.
Easy Hikes in Strasbourg
There are many easy hikes and walks in Strasbourg, in fact, if you take one of the walking tours you will find yourself on one of these easy routes. The tours are great for seeing all the best sights Strasbourg has to offer as well as getting in some exercise. And there are plenty of free walking tours, so if you are on a budget they are even better.
Intermediate Hikes in Strasbourg
For hikes that give you a little more of a challenge you need to get yourself out of the city. The length of hikes like the BL478 and BL551 is what makes them a challenge. They do have a slightly higher elevation gain, but you are not climbing mountains.
Difficult Hikes in Strasbourg
Experienced hikers and those in good physical condition will appreciate any of the GR routes in the Alsace region surrounding Strasbourg. These trails will take you on treks where you will discover beautiful sweeping mountaintop views and the absolutely stunning countryside of France. The GR trails are multi-day excursions but the effort is worth it.
Strasbourg Hiking Trails
Strasbourg and the Alsace area are great places to go hiking, whether you are staying in Strasbourg or heading out to the mountains to do some longer hikes. You will always find historical sites, beautiful scenery, and great wine and food. So next time you are going on a hiking trip vacation think of Strasbourg, it will give you the best of all worlds.