Want to go for a bike ride in Mulhouse? I tested the BL 835 loop ‘”Urban art and industrial heritage”, proposed by Mulhouse Alsace Agglomération andAlsace à vélo. This 30km loopThe trail, with 160m of positive difference in altitude, passes through different districts of Mulhouse as well as through some surrounding communes and allows you to discover two interesting facets of the city. Mulhouse is indeed a city with a rich industrial past, which has beautiful museums on this theme, but also a city in which art is everywhere: sculptures, painted walls, street art… You can admire a lot of works during a walk in the city. This bike route is a good first approach of these themes, knowing that we can of course deepen them by adding some ideas of activities (for the interested ones, I speak to you about it below!).
You should not take this bike tour as a starting point for a discovery of Mulhouse: I think it completes a visit of the city center, by allowing you to go to places where you would not have necessarily gone spontaneously and which are nevertheless interesting. This is not a loop that is generally bucolic, nor is it particularly pretty. It sometimes passes through corners that are not particularly interesting, but it has the great merit of linking together several interesting places to visit and of offering beautiful artistic discoveries along the way. All this while being mostly on bike paths or roads with relatively little traffic (except for a few stretches). For an urban course, I think it’s a good base!
The walk step by step
The itinerary starts (and ends since it is a loop!) at the Mulhouse train station. We start by going along the Rhone-Rhine canal before passing near the former SACM foundry, which has become the Fonderie district, which now houses an industrial and digital center in its rehabilitated buildings. Then, we enjoy a little shade and greenery by passing to theIllberg, a very pleasant green space. You will then pass through different districts of Mulhouse, with several old industrial sites and working-class cities, before gradually reaching the city center, passing by the Covered Canal where you will find the Mulhouse Market on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
My favorite is the former DMC factory, a former textile industrial site that is really huge and whose buildings are gradually being rehabilitated. This is where you can find the Motoco artistic creation place, or the climbing gym Climbing Mulhouse Center, which has the highest climbing wall in France (25m high!). The brick buildings are beautiful and here and there you can still see chimneys that testify to the past.
Finally, the itinerary leaves Mulhouse to reach Rixheim, where the Musée du Papier Peint is located, before returning to Mulhouse via a beautiful hill. The itinerary is globally flat and easy but this climb will test your breath and your calves 😉 This part of the itinerary is interesting to visit the Musée du Papier Peint (which I recommend, it’s a beautiful museum), but is not particularly bucolic either.
Interesting visits for further study
To complete this itinerary, here are the visits I suggest you make along the way. They are on the itinerary or only require a small detour while allowing you to deepen your discovery of the themes ofurban art and industrial heritage: it would be a shame not to take advantage of some of them!
- Visit the museums through which the itinerary passes: the Cité de l’Automobile, the Cité du Train, the Musée EDF Electropolis, the Musée du Papier Peint, the Musée de l’Impression sur Etoffes or the Musée d’art contemporain (Kunsthalle)
- Reserve a Motoco Box to do a workshop with one of the artists in residence at Motoco, the creative space on the former DMC site
- In downtown, complete the loop by adding the street art trail of the Mulhouse Tourist Office, to be done on foot or by bike
- Go see the street art at Quai des Pêcheurs… And maybe even see an artist at work!
- Have a bite to eat or a drink at the Nomad, located in an old industrial building in the Fonderie district
- Discover the different facets of Mulhouse by bike
- Numerous museums and points of interest along the route
- Easy walk (except the last climb!)
I liked less
- Course not necessarily very pretty all along
My photos of the “Urban art and industrial heritage” loop in Mulhouse
You will find here the page of Alsace à vélo dedicated to this loop, with the itinerary and the GPX route. You will also find here the document published by the Agglomération de Mulhouse, which mentions the points of interest to see along the way.
Departure and arrival
Mulhouse train station
- Distance : 30 km
- Elevation gain : about 160 meters
- Duration: about 2h15 of cycling (without counting the numerous breaks to be made along the way)
Mulhouse is located in:
- 42 km from Colmar (about 40 minutes)
- 117 km from Strasbourg (about 1h20)
By public transport
This route is easily accessible by public transport thanks to the Mulhouse train station. Calculate your route directly on Fluo.