Between nature and heritage: the most beautiful cycling itineraries along the water in Alsace-Lorraine

vue depuis le chateau de Lutzelbourg

Want to explore the Grand Est region on two wheels? Then discover the most beautiful cycling itineraries along the waterways of Alsace-Lorraine.

Between the mountains of the Vosges and the banks of the Rhine, Alsace-Lorraine offers an ideal setting for cycling tours. The area abounds in cycle paths winding along canals, rivers and lakes. They also offer breathtaking views of rolling hills and verdant forests.

Between cultural heritage and unspoilt nature, these routes will take you to discover must-see tourist sites such as the old town of Sarralbe or Sarreguemines. So get on your two-wheeler and follow us along the river!

Discovering biodiversity along the Mittersheim canal

Canal de Mittersheim

Photo credit: Terres d’Oh

Enjoy a unique experience in Alsace-Lorraine, combining nature and heritage, with a cycling tour along the water. Start your ride at the entrance to the Mittersheim harbor, where you can rent electric bikes. Then let yourself be guided through the ponds of Mittersheim and Stock, as well as through forest landscapes and stretches of water. When you’re feeling peckish, don’t hesitate to take a refreshing break: a picnic area is at your disposal.

Along the way, you’ll pass no fewer than 13 locks. You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about how they work. It’s also a good time to observe the flora and fauna of the region. Fifteen photographs illustrating plant and animal species will parade before your eyes, with a detailed description thanks to a QR code.

Tour of Sarreguemines on the Saar Canal

Sarreguemines

Shutterstock – Bernhard Klar

Discover the jewels of Alsace-Lorraine by cycling theEuroVélo 5, which runs along the Saar and Marne-Rhine canals. You’ll pass through varied landscapes and charming towns such as Grosbliederstroff, Sarreguemines and Zetting.

The canal takes you as far as the Sarre Valley, Alsace Bossue and the Lorraine Regional Nature Park. Along the way, you’ll discover must-see sites such as the Casino des Faïenciers, the Moulin de la Blies, the jardin des faïenciers, the Musée des Techniques Faïencières and the majestic Eglise Saint-Martin, nicknamed the « Cathedral of the Sarre » in Sarralbe. The beautiful baroque church of Saint-Innocent in Grosbliederstroff is also well worth a visit.

The canal from the Marne to the Rhine and its ancient salt-making villages

Mares salées en Alsace-Lorraine

Photo credit: Laurène Philippot

Set off on a peaceful 10 km two-wheeler ride along the Marne-Rhine canal. From Lagarde to Maizières-lès-Vic, this greenway takes you through the old salt-making villages of Marsal, with its Salt Museum, salt meadows and ponds. You’ll also pass through Dieuze and its Salines Royales, just off the route.

And if you’d like to extend your cycling adventure, this route in Alsace-Lorraine can be combined with the Meurthe-et-Moselle tour. It follows the V52 Paris-Strasbourg and the Paneuropa Radweg (Paris-Prague).

The loops of Alsace Bossue as a family

le canal Marne-Rhin dans les Vosges

Shutterstock – Leonid Andronov

ExploreAlsace Bossue with the whole family by following one of the four cycle routes. The green, blue, yellow and red loops will take you through the region’s varied scenery, including wooded areas and pond country. You can start your adventure in Harskirchen and rent bikes there, or in the surrounding areas of Waldhambach, Keskastel or Ratzviller.

The 10 km green loop is the easiest. It allows you to discover the communes of Sarre-Union and Sarrewerden, the historical heritage and the local flora and fauna. For a longer experience, opt for the 20 km yellow loop, where you’ll find the ruins of Bonnefontaine castle, orchards and landscapes intersected by the river Sarre. The 22 km red route takes in the churches and Jewish heritage of the region. You can then return to Harskirchen through fields and woods to complete your family outing.

An adventure in the valley of the lock-keepers

Vallée des éclusiers

Photo credit: Laurène Philippot

Discover the valley of the lock-keepers in Alsace-Lorraine on a pleasant and easy two-wheel ride. This bucolic 8.2 km trail links Guntzviller to Hofmuhl. Along the way, you’ll learn about the engineering history of the Marne-Rhine canal. Take a look at the old Arzviller-Henridorff lock ladder, once comprising 17 locks, replaced by the inclined plane commissioned in 1969, which now allows you to negotiate a 44-meter difference in height.

Don’t miss the must-see sites in the Vallée des É clusiers, such as the village of Arzviller and the Lehrer crystal glassworks. Take a refreshment break at the Brasserie des Éclusiers in Henridorff, which brews its own beer. You can also visit an aquaponics greenhouse at Lock 3 on Sundays. Pick up your cycle in Lutzelbourg and enjoy an unforgettable day on the St Louis alpine toboggan.

The Rhodes ponds circuit in Réchicourt

Etang de Mittersheim

Photo credit: Un Monde à Vélo

If you’re an avid cyclist looking for a cycling route in Alsace-Lorraine, look no further! Le Pays des Étangs is the perfect place for nature and heritage lovers. This route links several communes around the two large ponds of Stock and Gondrexange, with gently undulating landscapes and attractive greenways. What’s more, you’ll be close to well-known tourist sites such as the Château de Réchicourt-le-Château and the church of Guermange with its surprising frescoes.

Here, you can take one of three routes. The first (31 km) takes you to Bisping. Here you can admire old timber-framed buildings and the Clément house in Belles-Forêts. The second tour takes you to Tarquimpol on the banks of theEtang de Lindre, a huge bird sanctuary belonging to the Moselle département. But for a complete discovery of the pond country, opt for the largest of the circuits (68 km), which links virtually all the communes.

Cycling to Lutzelbourg Castle

Lac panoramique de Gondrexange

Shutterstock – Traveller70

The heritage wonders of Alsace-Lorraine are waiting for you with the Lutzelbourg bike ride! This 17.8 km route, starting and finishing in Lutzelbourg, takes you through the villages of Hultehouse and Stambach. From the castle, you’ll also enjoy exceptional views over the valley. With an ascent of 290 m, this moderately-difficult loop is nevertheless accessible to all. During your outing, you can also discover fascinating places such as the Vauban fountain in Hultehouse or the Petit Moulin rock.

Your journey begins with a road climb to the chateau, before continuing on a long forest track on a gravel road, then asphalt. Before finishing your outing gently on a cycle path near the canal. This route is ideal if you want to combine nature and history.

The charming town of Sarralbe and the stork circuit

vue depuis le château de Lutzelbourg

Shutterstock – Hjochen

If you’re a cycling enthusiast, Alsace-Lorraine offers you a 39 km loop via the Stork Circuit. The route starts in Sarralbe, where you can visit the Porte d’Albe, the Maison des Têtes, the Grand Moulin, the Sarre Cathedral and the Ligne Maginot Aquatique museum. The route then takes you through picturesque towns and villages such as Bissert, Kirviller, Hazembourg and Schweix. What’s more, you’ll ride alongside the magnificent Albe River and enjoy the greenway with its panoramic views over the surrounding forests and villages.

Historic sites also litter your tour. Don’t miss the Canal Bridge, the former Maginot Line defences or the Sainte Trinité chapel in Eich. To top it all off, birdwatchers can also admire the 31 stork nests on the town’s rooftops thanks to the dedicated tour.

Assaulting the banks of the Saar River

Fortifications au nord de Sarrelouis, ancienne rivière Sarre, vue depuis vers l'île VAUBAN et la statue de Michel Ney.

Vauban Island, Saarlouis – Wikimedia – Jacquesverlaeken

The Sarreguemines to Saarlouis route is an ideal option for two-wheeler enthusiasts wishing to discover the magnificent banks of the Saar. This 34 km route is easy to follow and will allow you to enjoy the scenery while soaking up the surrounding nature. What’s more, you’ll have the opportunity toexplore the region’s heritage treasures, such as the earthenware factory and the Vauban fortress.

The route starts in Sarreguemines, where you’ll discover historic and cultural sites such as the Casino des Faïenciers and the Blies mill site. Take time to admire the Baroque church of Saint-Innocent in Grosbliederstroff. Once in Saarbrücken, you can explore the castle and architecture around the Ludwigskirche church, or the Stiftskirche collegiate church of St. Arnual. At the end of your trip, take advantage of the many restaurants in downtown Saarlouis to enjoy a Currywurst, a typical local dish.

Saddle up for the Sandstone and Forest Mysteries tour

Couple VTT à travers la forêt

Shutterstock

Discover this must-do 31 km cycling route and immerse yourself in the nature and heritage of this charming region. A beautiful 3-hour ride from Lorentzen, exploring the « Vosges » part of Alsace Bossue, passing through the picturesque villages of Ratzwiller, Volksberg and Weislingen, where you’ll be welcomed for a well-deserved break.

Along the way, you’ll be fascinated by the secrets of the sandstone forest and learn about traditional building techniques in sandstone, a material emblematic of local architecture. This colorful itinerary is suitable for all levels, and will take you on a discovery of the unexpected water cycle of the Eichel watershed and immerse you in the mysteries of the sandstone forest and its unique ecosystem.

Now that you know the most beautiful cycling routes along the waterways of Alsace-Lorraine, all you have to do is get on your bike and set off to explore this area rich in heritage and nature. Don’t hesitate to share your experiences and suggestions in the comments below. So, are you ready for an unforgettable cycling adventure?