Northern Vosges Regional Natural Park (France)
With an inspired century-old association like The Club Vosgien running the show, the park maintains a superior maze of over 1,650 km of hiking paths. In addition to this, there are over 900 km dedicated to cycling, mountain biking and horseback riding.
The region is also home to many of the finest glass and crystal makers in the world. Activities and workshops dedicated to this art are offered to visitors. The French are also known for their world-class cuisine and the Northern Vosges does not disappoint. Fine restaurants specializing in the region's unsurpassed tastes are plentiful. Culinary classes taught by renowned local chefs are available for foodies.
For museum goers, the park is home to many, such as the popular Clog Museum and the Heritage Centre. The Miesenthal glass site is also nearby as well as a covered market for modern plastic arts and music.
What makes the Northern Vosges Regional Natural Park Special?
In addition to the region's unrivaled local charm, the Northern Vosges is a historical mecca. Word is getting around and tourists from neighboring countries have been flocking to see such notable landmarks as the Fleckenstein Chateau and Wasenbourg Chateau. Since the region is rich in sandstone and crystal making is a regional art, the ruins leave an everlasting trace in time.
With less than 90,000 local inhabitants living in such a broad area, the park retains its quaintness. The French account for nearly 80% of the tourism industry, with many of them venturing less than 2 hours from their homes.
What makes it sustainable?
The Northern Vosges' close proximity to major cities like Paris, Metz and Strasbourg make it an extremely desirable place to visit. High-speed trains from France, Germany and the surrounding Benelux region deliver travelers within 2-3 hours. An emphasis on using public transportation is highly regarded.
Eco-friendly re-designed buildings are an on-going theme in the park. Many older structures are being rebuilt to meet eco-friendly standards as the local French municipalities do their part in ushering France forward into the "green" future.
What to look for in:
- Spring: Glassmakers creating multi-colored ornaments
- Summer: Avid cyclers speeding along dedicated bike paths
- Fall: Food lovers raving about the local cuisine
- Winter: Hikers moving quietly along brisk trails
Highlights of the Northern Vosges Regional Natural Park
- Spend an indulging weekend in food paradise
- Take a class in crystal making
- Wake up at a charming bed and breakfast
- Relax outdoors in a hot spring spa