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The Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park

Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in Great East

The Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park - Tourism, holidays & weekends guide in Great East
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Created in 1989, the Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park covers the three former regions of Alsace, Franche-Comté and Lorraine, and more precisely, the four departments that are Haut-Rhin, Haute-Saône, Vosges and the Territory of Belfort. Its area of 3,000 km² makes it one of France's biggest Nature Parks. It contains 14 peaks, including the highest, the Grand Ballon d'Alsace, at 1,424 metres in altitude.

This magnificent protected territory offers some beautiful natural and cultural heritage. On the nature side of things, there is a series of mountain landscapes, ballons (rounded mountain peaks) and high-altitude pastures. There are two treasures: the big ridge that forms the Upper Vosges, with its woodland-covered slopes, and the Mille Étangs plateau in Franche-Comté. High stubble fields, peat bogs, lakes and rivers, and oak, beech and pine forests make up most of these natural landscapes. The fauna and flora are abundant, and typical of the massif: lynx, peregrine falcons, deer, chamois, grey wolves (back since 2011), cranberries, mountain pansies, fringed pinks, sundews... and medicinal plants like arnica.

The Vosges Mountains have been shaped by human activity: water, wood and stone have enabled industry and craft to develop, as evidenced by the many sawmills, granite quarries, textile factories and sandstone tiles that cover the roofs.

When it comes to culture, the Park has 350 "Historic Monument" sites, 2 "Land of Art and History" territories, a dozen remarkable villages and some themed routes: the Ridges Route, Alsace Wine Route, Cheese Route, Thousand Ponds Route, etc.

Lovers of memorial tourism will also be satisfied by the many World War-related sites.

Two thermal resorts await spa fans: Plombières-les-Bains in Vosges, and Luxeuil-les-Bains in Haute-Saône.

The beautiful landscapes of the Ballons des Vosges Nature Park can be explored on foot along the many marked paths, by bike, on horseback, but also on snowshoes or by cross-country skiing in winter… Some superb spots await nature-lovers wishing to enjoy the lush countryside: lakes for water sports, thirty or so natural sites with climbing facilities, via ferrata, fishing or hang-gliding sites, etc.

The Park House in Munster has a permanent exhibition and provides visitors with all the information they need to explore the Park.

Additional information
The Ballons des Vosges Regional Nature Park

Summit of the Ballon d' Alsace ( © Jean Espirat )
Summit of the Ballon d' Alsace ( © Jean Espirat )
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Our Lady of the Ball - East Summit Ballon d' Alsace ( © JE)
Our Lady of the Ball - East Summit Ballon d' Alsace ( © JE)
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Statue of Joan of Arc - West Summit Ballon d' Alsace ( © JE)
Statue of Joan of Arc - West Summit Ballon d' Alsace ( © JE)
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Roche split - Planche des Belles Filles ( © Jean Espirat )
Roche split - Planche des Belles Filles ( © Jean Espirat )
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First Snow atop Rossberg ( © Jean Espirat )
First Snow atop Rossberg ( © Jean Espirat )
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Crest Rossberg, Head for the Perches ( © JE)
Crest Rossberg, Head for the Perches ( © JE)
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Farm - inn Fennematt ( © Jean Espirat )
Farm - inn Fennematt ( © Jean Espirat )
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Pass the Fennematt viewed from Wissgrutt ( © Jean Espirat )
Pass the Fennematt viewed from Wissgrutt ( © Jean Espirat )
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the Red Grass - ski ( © Jean Espirat )
the Red Grass - ski ( © Jean Espirat )
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Valley Wesserling view of Red Grass ( © Jean Espirat )
Valley Wesserling view of Red Grass ( © Jean Espirat )
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Chaume Querty - Region Ballon d Alsace ( © Jean Espirat )
Chaume Querty - Region Ballon d Alsace ( © Jean Espirat )
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Sunrise on the valley SEWEN, given the Ballon d'Alsace ( © Jean Espirat )
Sunrise on the valley SEWEN, given the Ballon d'Alsace ( © Jean Espirat )
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Summit ball Servance ( © Jean Espirat )
Summit ball Servance ( © Jean Espirat )
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La Planche des Belles Filles - Ski resort ( © Jean Espirat )
La Planche des Belles Filles - Ski resort ( © Jean Espirat )
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Sunrise seen from the top of the Ballon d' Alsace ( © JE)
Sunrise seen from the top of the Ballon d' Alsace ( © JE)
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Etang des Belles Filles - Massif du Ballon d'Alsace ( © JE)
Etang des Belles Filles - Massif du Ballon d'Alsace ( © JE)
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Etang des Belles Filles - Massif du Ballon d'Alsace ( © JE)
Etang des Belles Filles - Massif du Ballon d'Alsace ( © JE)
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Reed Pond - Mountain Ballon d' Alsace ( © Jean Espirat )
Reed Pond - Mountain Ballon d' Alsace ( © Jean Espirat )
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Top Small Pond - Mountain Ballon d' Alsace ( © JE)
Top Small Pond - Mountain Ballon d' Alsace ( © JE)
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Alfeld Lake - Mountain Ballon d' Alsace ( © Jean Espirat )
Alfeld Lake - Mountain Ballon d' Alsace ( © Jean Espirat )
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the Lachtelweiher, massive Ballon d'Alsace ( © Jean Espirat )
the Lachtelweiher, massive Ballon d'Alsace ( © Jean Espirat )
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Lake Perch - Mountain Perches ( © JE)
Lake Perch - Mountain Perches ( © JE)
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Lake SEWEN - Mountain Ballon d' Alsace ( © Jean Espirat )
Lake SEWEN - Mountain Ballon d' Alsace ( © Jean Espirat )
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Lakes Neuweiher - Massif perches ( © Jean Espirat )
Lakes Neuweiher - Massif perches ( © Jean Espirat )
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Lakes Neuweiher seen GR 5 ( © Jean Espirat )
Lakes Neuweiher seen GR 5 ( © Jean Espirat )
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Lake Kruth - Wildenstein ( © Jean Espirat )
Lake Kruth - Wildenstein ( © Jean Espirat )
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Lake Lauch ( © Jean Espirat )
Lake Lauch ( © Jean Espirat )
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Lac du Ballon - Massif du Grand Ballon ( © Jean Espirat )
Lac du Ballon - Massif du Grand Ballon ( © Jean Espirat )
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Lake Altenweiher ( © Jean Espirat )
Lake Altenweiher ( © Jean Espirat )
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Lake Blanchemer from the road crests ( © JE)
Lake Blanchemer from the road crests ( © JE)
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Lac de la Lande, seen from the ridge road ( © JE)
Lac de la Lande, seen from the ridge road ( © JE)
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Crow Lake - Area Pass Bramont ( © Jean Espirat )
Crow Lake - Area Pass Bramont ( © Jean Espirat )
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green Lake ( © Jean Espirat )
green Lake ( © Jean Espirat )
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green Lake ( © Jean Espirat )
green Lake ( © Jean Espirat )
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Pond - bog Chajoux ( © Jean Espirat )
Pond - bog Chajoux ( © Jean Espirat )
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Lake Gerardmer seen from the tower of Mérelle ( © Jean Espirat )
Lake Gerardmer seen from the tower of Mérelle ( © Jean Espirat )
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Lake Retournemer seen rock Devil ( © Jean Espirat )
Lake Retournemer seen rock Devil ( © Jean Espirat )
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white Lake ( © Jean Espirat )
white Lake ( © Jean Espirat )
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white Lake ( © Jean Espirat )
white Lake ( © Jean Espirat )
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black Lake ( © Jean Espirat )
black Lake ( © Jean Espirat )
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black Lake ( © Jean Espirat )
black Lake ( © Jean Espirat )
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Hiking on the trail snowfields, Hohneck ( © Jean Espirat )
Hiking on the trail snowfields, Hohneck ( © Jean Espirat )
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Bog altitude, turf Faing ( © Jean Espirat )
Bog altitude, turf Faing ( © Jean Espirat )
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Rock of Blast Furnace - Region Tanet ( © Jean Espirat )
Rock of Blast Furnace - Region Tanet ( © Jean Espirat )
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Summit Tanet ( © Jean Espirat )
Summit Tanet ( © Jean Espirat )
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Summit Hohneck ( © Jean Espirat )
Summit Hohneck ( © Jean Espirat )
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Rocks Taubenklaffels ( © Jean Espirat )
Rocks Taubenklaffels ( © Jean Espirat )
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Route peaks, seen from Rainkopf ( © Jean Espirat )
Route peaks, seen from Rainkopf ( © Jean Espirat )
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the GR 5 on the ridge, seen from Rainkopf ( © Jean Espirat )
the GR 5 on the ridge, seen from Rainkopf ( © Jean Espirat )
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Cirque du Frankenthal - Hohneck ( © Jean Espirat )
Cirque du Frankenthal - Hohneck ( © Jean Espirat )
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Devil Ball - Region Longemer ( © Jean Espirat )
Devil Ball - Region Longemer ( © Jean Espirat )
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Longemer Lake, seen upstream side ( © Jean Espirat )
Longemer Lake, seen upstream side ( © Jean Espirat )
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Sunrise on the snow Hohneck ( © Jean Espirat )
Sunrise on the snow Hohneck ( © Jean Espirat )
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Trail snowfields, Hohneck ( © Jean Espirat )
Trail snowfields, Hohneck ( © Jean Espirat )
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Rock Fairy - Sod the Faing ( © Jean Espirat )
Rock Fairy - Sod the Faing ( © Jean Espirat )
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