Beautiful snowshoe trek beneath the Champ du Feu from the Col du Kreuzweg. Pass through the Pelage site, a paragliding centre offering a superb view, then through the Chaume des Beaux, a beautiful open space in which to enjoy the sun.
Some "off-track" sections for the sake of fun in the snow but with the option to stay on the marked trails for those who want it.
Warning : There are some differences between the IGN map and the reality of trails on the ground...
Starting at the Col du Kreuzweg (D425), park near the road in front of the Villa Mathis.
(S/F) Head down the access road to the car park and go back to Villa Mathis. On the left of the road is a forest house.
Take the left path marked with Yellow horizontal crosses and Yellow circles to find your way round the forestry house from the above and, immediately after the house, follow the path right.
“N.B. On IGN maps, this path is drawn straight, but instead, turn right following the signs indicated by the Yellow horizontal crosses and circles.”
After 200 metres, do not miss the fork (1) where you have to take a sharp left (very visible markings). Continue this straight along this road into a steady climb.
Arrive at a Y-junction (not shown in this location on the IGN map) where the Yellow markings separate. Take the path on the right (Yellow horizontal crosses) which continues to rise and pass the right-hand path (Yellow circles) downhill.
Continue and cross a wide forest road. Continue uphill ahead following the signs for the paragliding site (look for “parapente”) to arrive at a place called Pelage (2), a large open area with a steep slope which is the paragliding take-off site. Enjoy the beautiful panorama.
Leave the path and turn right to climb off-road to the summit of Pelage (978 m). At the top, find the paragliding sign (signposted from Chaume des Veaux) and head in the opposite direction to that indicated. Take the path to the right for a few metres and then take a wide path to the left down a slope to the north-west.
Down this path, arrive opposite the Chaume des Veaux. Cut through the meadow to the left of the pond (in safety as the pond is fenced) to reach the houses opposite.
At the first houses, continue on the path marked with blue triangles uphill (reaching a "grand tour 24 km” cross-country ski track). Pass the Auberge du Hochfeld (closed) and continue slightly to the left (still along the blue triangle-marked route).
(3) Near the forest, turn right and cut through the meadow above the last house to reach across the blue horizontal cross-marked trail that descends to the road.
(4) Avoid the road by taking a flat path to the left. At a junction of several trails, turn into the first road on the right, which goes steeply down to lead the forest road to Hochfeld. Turn right for a few metres to reach the road coming from the Col du Kreuzweg.
(5) Follow this road up for around 150 m. After a slight right turn, take a forest road (not shown in the IGN map) slightly to the left, downhill. This path crosses the Blue horizontal cross-marked trail a little further down, then continue downhill ahead to a hairpin bend in the road that goes down to the car park.
Leave it and take the wide path that rises slightly to the right. In a tight hairpin, leave the road and go straight into the forest. Head down more or less in parallel with the main road to find the path that joins the bifurcation a little further on (1).
Quickly reach the starting point at the Col de Kreuzweg (S/F).
D/A : km 0 - alt. 774m - Buchbuckel
1 : km 0.17 - alt. 811m - Fork
2 : km 1.15 - alt. 920m - Le Pelage (paragliding)
3 : km 2.5 - alt. 987m - The forest edge, turn right in the meadow
4 : km 2.85 - alt. 945m - Chaume des Veaux, take left path
5 : km 3.52 - alt. 900m - The Kreuzweg Pass route
D/A : km 4.96 - alt. 774m
Snow tires are strongly advised to access the starting point!
The circuit can be clearly found in other seasons, as a more classic hike on foot. In this case, refer to the variants described and add a further 1.5 to 2 hours to the route.
This hike includes some sections that are off the beaten path, taking into account the fact that the fun of snow-shoeing is to gallivant about in the fresh snow powder and not stick to the well-trodden route all the time.
(2) From Le Pelage: if you prefer to stay on marked trails and not climb off-piste, there is the opportunity to continue here on the Yellow horizontal cross-marked trail and then further along the path to the right along the Green cross-marked path.
Near the forest, heading down from Pelage: instead of going into the field, you can turn left onto the wide path with Blue cross markings. At the first junction, find the Green cross markings coming from the left from Pelage and continue straight ahead. At the second junction, turn right and follow the blue triangle markings.
(3) Go straight on the Blue triangle-marked path, which will cross below the Blue horizontal cross-marked path and then take a right.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
From point (2) there are superb view over the Villé Valley, the entire chain of the Black Forest in Germany and, on clear days, the Swiss Alps.
A pretty walk, alternating between rises and descents following sinuous winds and paths over ridges with magnificent views. ‘’The’’ meeting place for local chamois.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.