Located on the municipal bench of Ligsdorf in the national forest of Saint-Pierre-Lucelle, the Allée des Hêtres is made up of a remarkable alignment for several reasons: number (about 40), age (more than 150 years), shape and dimensions beech trees (28 m high and 3 m in circumference on average) as well as the regularity of the alignment.
A marked "yellow ring" circuit makes it possible to complete a 6 km loop for 160m of elevation gain. Allow 1 hour 30 minutes from the parking lot of the quarry.
Landscape and historical interest of the site. Without doubt also one of the most beautiful views of the Alsatian Jura on the neighboring Swiss jura.
Text: Philippe MERCKLE
Here, to the authors' knowledge, the largest and oldest oak in the Haut-Rhin. Despite its exceptional dimensions (almost 7 m in circumference), it is in a fairly average health condition due to the age and growth of a spruce forest around it.
Its great age and its initial spread shape shows that this oak was born and lived in a context of open pasture which turned into a forest a few decades ago. This oak is found on private forest land but it is clearly visible from the forest path.
This tree knew the Peasants War and was already vigorous during that of Thirty Years. To note in the immediate vicinity of the site, the beautiful ruins of the Château du Morimont.
The one hectare garden is a succession of scenes and perspectives that awaken the senses, evoke emotions and reflect the seasons. The current result is the fruit of 28 successive acquisitions and exchanges in 30 years ... Starting from bare ground, like assembling a puzzle, the garden has germinated, evolved and matured between our perseverance and our complementary skills. The design and the realization are the fruit of our imagination and work.
Designed in 2009 by the Friends of the Château de Ferrette, the medieval garden of "Courtil de St Fiacre" consists, as in the Middle Ages, of squares, each of which has a very specific vocation: square of aromatics, medicinal plants, legumes or even magic plants ...
The organization of the garden scrupulously respects the indications provided by the Capitulary of Charlemagne or even by the plan of St Gall.
The rocks of the Cave of the Dwarves form an impressive gorge about 25 meters high called Erdwibalaschlucht (the parade of small women of the earth) and formed by the work of water in karst limestone. According to legend, these little women of the earth lived with the Erdmanala (little men of the earth) inside the Cave of the Dwarfs. Located at the bottom of the gorge, the cave takes on the appearance of a slit which opens into the rock wall and is continued by two hoses, all developed over fifteen meters.
Above the gorge, you can access the Plateau des Nains. From there, there is a beautiful view of the Ill valley and the villages of Bouxwiller, Werentzhouse. The place also bears the name of Erdwibalafelsen (Roche aux Fées).
2 possible accesses:
- park in the community of Ferrette car park (3A route de Lucelle) and take the red diamond trail along the road towards Sondersdorf. Allow 30 to 35 minutes to access the cave (1,8km).
- park in the Keucht car park located in the forest. Take the direction of Sondersdorf and, a little before the exit of the village, take on your left the forest path indicated by a wooden sign "Sentier des Nains". Continue to the car park located a few hundred meters further. From the car park, allow 15-20 minutes of walking on a beautiful path accessible by 4X4 stroller.
In the heart of the Alsatian Jura, the Wolschwiller State Biological Reserve is a real open-air laboratory. Remote limestone cliffs, rare species, breathtaking view of a magnificent landscape.
Its geographical location allows for cross-border management with Switzerland, giving it a much greater ecological importance than the 67 ha located on the municipal district of Wolschwiller.
It concentrates quite original environments for Alsace, in particular cliffs and exceptional limestone rocky outcrops. The fauna, and in particular the avifauna, is represented by rare species including the eagle owl, the peregrine falcon and the common raven.
No less than 350 plant species have been identified to date. Several are protected at the regional level: Mountain Alysson (Alyssum montanum), Athamante of Crete (Athamanta cretensis), Sheathing Coronilla. Other species without protection status are remarkable, in particular a moss, Grimmia teretinervis which had never been recorded in the region.
Careful silviculture is carried out around these cliffs to avoid cover closures. The conservation of many dead and hollow woods, essential in terms of biodiversity and good environmental balance, has already been practiced for many years.
The reserve is also home to remarkable trees including a Scots pine at least 200 years old stands on a steep cliff overlooking the village of Wolschwiller. Clinging directly to the rock, this twisted pine with the appearance of Bonzaï has, in living memory, not changed a branch.
Under this cliff is a cave which, it is said, housed the village priest Joseph Enderlin, a refractory priest who continued to exercise his ministry clandestinely in the region after the French Revolution. Attention, unsecured site, do not approach the edge!
The Ill is born in the heart of the Alsatian Jura, in Winkel, in the middle of the Illensprung, at an altitude of 600m. True spine of Alsace, 217 km long, it flows into the Rhine at GAMBSHEIM, north of STRASBOURG.
Since May 2003, a work by Anne Rochette has served as a backdrop for the emerging river. For the Artist, the roundness of the sculptures evokes the neighboring hills as well as femininity, often associated with sources in popular art. Above, 10 large "pebbles" symbolize the drops of water which, like so many resurgences, remind us that the birth of a river is always diffuse.
The Ill source site, accessible by car, is ideal for walks and hikes. You can also take advantage of your visit to discover the beech alley of Winkel, the Saint Laurent church and the Warth chapel.
To the right of Hirtzbach Castle, Charles de Reinach had landscaped, in the 19th century, an English garden, populated by beeches, ash trees, pines and other rarer trees under our skies including a pedunculate oak registered in the additional inventory historic monuments. A stream and three ponds where swans and ducks frolic give it a pleasant note of freshness.
Open to the public, the complex houses several constructions including, to the left of the entrance, the last Sundgau cooler, where the ice cut from the frozen surface of the ponds was stored.
Opposite the entrance to the park, on the islet called Sainte-Hélène, there is a chalet, the pyre, used as a wood reserve. Beyond the cooler, another chalet, to the right of the alley, was used for drying the boards, while the one copied from a model from the canton of Lucerne, at the end of the road, allowed the accumulation of the revival.
A natural reserve in the canton of Jura, Lac de Lucelle invites you to discover the fauna and flora that make it up. You can contemplate duck, mallard and other palmipeds thanks to the gentle and peaceful half-hour walk accessible to all (including people with reduced mobility), which is offered. This path is embellished with educational panels that will allow you to understand and above all to discover this magnificent site nestled in lush greenery between France and Switzerland.
Possibility of accommodation and catering on site.
Today, the Rhine Island is a mosaic of land and water spaces, very diverse and conducive to the development of biodiversity.
On the 100 hectares formerly dedicated to the cultivation of corn, a large-scale ecological renaturation has been carried out including the restoration of an arm of the river over more than seven kilometers, thus giving birth to a new river in Alsace. A set of natural, wet and dry environments has been restored and allows the maintenance or return of certain species of amphibians, birds and mammals.
The map of the walks is downloadable, the routes can be done on foot or by mountain bike. :
Circuit 10: "Grand tour of the island of the Rhine" of 12 km.
Circuit 9: 3,5 km "Petit-Rhin" to "Vieux-Rhin" path on the southern tip of the island. To do this little circuit of the renatured Rhine Island on foot only, the Access by car is via the Märkt dam, from the German side, so you have to cross the Palmrain cross-border bridge and take the street named "Alte Strasse" to the Märkt car park (see map).
Circuit 7: "Rhine escapades trail" 3,5 km north of the island. To discover the northern tip of the island and its pretty "Istein bar" made up of small rapids in the rocky bed of the Old Rhine, the circuit is accessible by Kembs-Loechlé.