The Swiss Jura Belchen, the Alsatian Belchen (Ballon d'Alsace) and the Black Forest Belchen all form the peaks of a right-angle triangle, mystical sunrise observation point dating back to Celtic times (Belchen comes from "Belenus" the celtic god of sun). You'll gain access to this exceptional viewpoint through the "Devil's" gorges lined with steep walls, waterfalls, caves and caverns. The way back, along the "military path" is full of vestiges and ends with typical Jura landscapes.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
(D) Start from the car park next to the Coop shop, 4614 Haegendorf Eigasse 9, an alley located at the corner of Bachstrasse. At the other end of the car park, a path leads to Schluchtweg (The Gorges Trail).
Take a left, following the signs indicating "Tufelsschlucht". You'll get to the gorges after a picnic area and a small pond.
(1) 1km further, leave the bridge to the right which will be the way back. Continue from one bank to the other of Cholersbach along a narrow canyon with waterfalls, caves and gaps carved into the rock. After about 2 km of this fascinating trail, take a few steps leading to a 2 way crossing. Cross over to the left on the Oberi Schlucht trail which heads through a forest, uphill towards Allerheiligenberg (2).
When you get to a clearing, the trail leads to a paved sector, Allerheiligenstrasse, heading towards the Bergwirtschaft restaurant. You can also get there along a path on the left (3) over 200 m then right heading up to the terrace.
Head back on the path to the left, alongside a clinic getting to a forest trail heading for the Belchen (4).
After 300 m, take the gate to the right (5) leading you on a pathway through a clearing to the Gwindemflue ridge (alt. 1000 m).
Then head down to the Gwidemhöchi crossing (6) and take the trail on the left which leads up towards the Belchen. You'll be following the "Chemin des Crêtes du Jura" (Jura ridge path). It's a tough climb but the trail is well laid-out.
(7) When you get to the crossing, leave the path on your right, which will be the way back, and continue towards Belchenflue. After 100 m, a small track to the right takes you up to a stunning 360° panoramic view. (8). Start heading back down (7) and steer left.
The way back starts along the old military path. The rocks are covered with blazons and inscriptions recalling the Swiss defence during World War I. After 2 km of a mild downhill slope, you'll catch a glimpse of the Chambersberg hamlet on the right-hand side of the valley.
(9) Now take the downhill paved road to the right heading to the path that leads to Bergrestaurant where you can have a drink and a meal. Take the track behind the restaurant through a meadow which can be wet here and there leading to a wooded area then a small road and heading down to the right of a rocky wall. Head towards Rickenbach flowing to the right.
(10) At the crossing, keep going straight ahead. The Rickenbach is on your left. 500 m later, near the A2, make your way uphill through the forest to the right towards Hägendorf and Gnöd. When leaving the small village Gnöd, a sign will indicate the Tüfelsschucht direction. 1 km further, cross Allerheiligerstrasse getting to the forest and leading to the gorges.
You'll find the path you took at the beginning of the hike at point (1), keep going left towards Oeliweg (11) which you need to take to the right and which leads to the car park.
D/A : km 0 - alt. 442m
1 : km 1.48 - alt. 604m
2 : km 2.52 - alt. 694m
3 : km 3.62 - alt. 818m
4 : km 4.26 - alt. 906m
5 : km 4.51 - alt. 957m
6 : km 6.22 - alt. 997m
7 : km 6.46 - alt. 1052m
8 : km 6.72 - alt. 1042m
9 : km 8.77 - alt. 927m
10 : km 11.4 - alt. 658m
11 : km 14.39 - alt. 463m
D/A : km 14.69 - alt. 442m
Waymarks provided by signs indicating places or sites and also "Wanderweg" diamond shaped markings.
Work on the tunnel entrance blocks access to a path which follows Rickenwald to the left-hand side from point (10). When given the chance, it provides a beautiful trip back through forests along the stream up to the first houses of Hägendorf.
Restaurants: Bergwirtschaf and Chamberberg.
Shelter: after the Allerheiligerberg clinic to the right of point (4).
Several resting areas with barbecue opportunities along the gorges.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
This is a small nature trail made by the city of Saint-Louis. It passes through the 3 of drinking water catchment points in the city where 535 cubic metres of water are pumped every hour and then stored in a 6000-metre-cubed tank.
The trail has a dozen panels explaining the difficulties of supplying drinking water and the surrounding environments.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.