Sports & Outdoors

Hike in the hills of Le Hohwald

Explore the hiking trails of Le Hohwald that are fun for the whole family!

Hiking doesn’t have to be a strenuous expedition about conquering great peaks, and surviving on nothing but Kendal mint cake for three days. It can be just as enjoyable going for a more leisurely stroll that only takes a couple of hours, leaving plenty of time for a well-deserved, long lunch.

Not too far from the border with Germany is the bucolic village of Le Hohwald, nestled in the French hills like something out of a fairy tale. It’s a relatively easy scenic drive from Calais, and will make the perfect basecamp for the whole family to hit the trails and explore the great outdoors without the need for an oxygen tank!

Le Hohwald

Where in France: Bas-Rhin, Alsace
Drive from Calais: 578km / 6h 15m

The main attraction of Le Hohwald is its location amid the trees at the base of the Vosges mountains. There are numerous walking and cycling trails leading into the forests and up and down hills starting from Le Hohwald. But before you leave the town, it’s definitely worth having a quick look around first.

The village of Le Hohwald may be small, but it’s perfectly formed
The village of Le Hohwald may be small, but it’s perfectly formed

The architecture of the houses is gorgeous. They look like something that you’d see on a box of chocolates or fudge, with their pretty painted shutters, timber details, and pleasing symmetry. The Notre-Dame-de-la-Nativité church is particularly charming and worth a visit for its peaceful atmosphere and lovely frescoes.

It won’t take very long to explore, as Le Hohwald really is very small, but it’s the perfect place to stretch your legs after a long drive. Once you’re feeling refreshed, head back to your accommodation, put your boots on, grab your map and bag of supplies, as it’s time to set off on an adventure.

The Col du Kreuzweg hike

Just because a hike is easy, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s short or boring. The Col du Kreuzweg hike is proof of that. This route starts and ends in the same place, making it great as a morning or afternoon loop. It’s about 5.5 miles long, or just less than 9 kilometres, so you’ll definitely feel like you’ve achieved something, without completely wearing yourself out, making it ideal for younger children as well. In total, it should take you around 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete, or a little longer if you like to stop for snacks or rests.

Hiking is the best way to make the most of Le Hohwald’s stunning location
Hiking is the best way to make the most of Le Hohwald’s stunning location

Depending on which direction you go, you will either face a long, slow ascent with a shorter, steeper incline on the way back, or a shorter but more challenging hike up hill to begin with, and a more leisurely walk back downhill. For the sake of your thighs the next day, we’d recommend starting off gently, and taking advantage of gravity’s helping hand with the steeper homeward stretch!

The Champ du Feu hike

If you’re after an easy route that will take you and the family the whole day to complete, then hiking from Le Hohwald to the Champ du Feu is the trail for you. Again, this route is a loop, which saves having to drive or organise public transport for getting home again. Coming in at around 10.3 miles, or 16.6 kilometres, you will definitely need to make sure that you are well stocked with supplies before setting out. As well as lunch, make sure you have plenty of snacks and drinks to keep you going, as you’ll be hiking for at least 6 hours to complete this route.

At the summit of the Champ du Feu route, look out for the interesting sculptures
At the summit of the Champ du Feu route, look out for the interesting sculptures

Whichever direction you decide to walk this trail, your journey will be pretty similar. As far as trails go, this one is quite symmetrical with its ascents and descents. If you set off anti-clockwise, you’ll reach the highest point slightly quicker, at 4.6 miles or 7.4 kilometres in.

Attractions to look out for en route

In the local area, there are a couple of great attractions to look out for. Plus, it’s always nice to have a goal or a marker to aim for at different points along your hike to break the walk up a little.

About 2 miles outside of Le Hohwald, hidden amongst the trees, you’ll find the beautiful Cascade du Hohwald. There is a viewing area with a picnic bench where you can sit and admire the waterfall whilst having a spot of lunch or just a rest. It’s definitely worth pausing here for a short while, though, to appreciate the natural beauty of the place.

The beautiful waterfall just outside of Le Hohwald
The beautiful waterfall just outside of Le Hohwald

In the middle of the Champ du Feu region, and actually in the middle of a roundabout, is the iconic observation tower, which has become the local emblem. The tower stands at 1,099 metres above sea level, and is the highest point of the area, making the views from the top really spectacular.

You will also notice signs in the local area for the Parc Alsace Aventure, which is the local adventure park. If you fancy visiting on another day, it’s a short 8-minute drive from the centre of Le Hohwald. There are loads of fun activities here for the whole family, including an assault course through the trees, zip lines, paintball and archery. All of the activities have different admission rates and opening times, so check the website before you go.

If you’re feeling inspired to get back to nature and make the most of the great outdoors, an adventure holiday in Le Hohwald will tick all the boxes. Just remember to book your tickets with us early to take advantage of the best fares.