This is a beautiful valley crossed by the river Thur: this bike route goes along this river, from near or far: we ride around it. Theitinerary goes from Cernay or Thann to the Kruth Lake, sometimes taking on the way back common road portions with the outward journey (but not systematically). Globally, we pass on a side of the river to the outward journey and on the other one to the return (schematically because it is not exactly the case!) and we are most often on cycle tracks, which is very pleasant.
This loop has a little bit of difference in altitude (about 450m in total if you start from Cernay). If you are afraid of it but want to go for a ride, you can for example rent an electric bike from Culture Vélo in Cernay. I also suggest a shorter walk in the region here: a loop in the valleys of the Thur and Doller rivers.
Discover the landscapes and villages of the Thur Valley
On the vineyard side…
Whether you start in Cernay or Thann, you must take the time to stop at Thanna pretty little town that marks the end of the Alsace Wine Route (which goes from Marlenheim in the north to Thann in the south) and which has a magnificent collegiate church, the collegiate church of Saint Thiébaut. With its roof of glazed tiles, it is superb and original in addition to being very imposing. Thann has some nice buildings in general, it is nice to take the time to have a look.
In Thann, you should not miss the Grand Cru Rangen vineyards, famous in Alsace. Can you guess why by looking at them? What should strike you is the inclination of the slope on which the vines are planted… It is so steep that some plots require that the grape harvest be done by rappel! Incredible, isn’t it?
You will go along the vineyards if you start in Cernay. If not, it’s worth checking out anyway! Admire also theEngelbourg, or eye of the witch, an old overturned tower that you will see on the top (and which can be the object of a beautiful walk by the way!).
… And on the mountain side!
Then, the walk continues by alternating crossing villages and discovering the surrounding countryside. The villages are all built in a similar way: on the river bank with an imposing church in the middle. It is impressive to see such buildings in such small villages! The architecture is that of the Vosges mountain villages: nothing to do with the half-timbered houses of the Wine Route, but charming too.
Between two villages, we walk in the pretty landscapes of the valley: fields, meadows, Vosges mountains… it is really peaceful! At the bottom of the valley, there is the Lake of Kruth where it is very pleasant to take a break before setting off again.
On the way back, the itinerary goes through some roads allowing to take height and to admire the villages and the landscapes from above: there are beautiful points of view to admire! And if this makes you want to come to the area, the Traits Anes farm offers nice accommodations.
Break at the Wesserling Park
On the way, it is possible to stop at the Park of Wesserling. I really advise you to visit it, it is certainly one of the most beautiful gardens in Alsace!
The Wesserling Park is installed on the site of a former textile factory, so you can both admire a industrial wasteland rehabilitated, visit the Textile Museum to learn more about the history of the place and of the region (the Mulhouse region in general held an important place in the textile industry) and enjoy the beauty of a walk in the park as well as a possible lunch break.
Picnic tables are available in the park, and there is also a restaurant before the entrance. You can also eat a crepe or an ice cream in the park, but I don’t recommend the lunch box which is very expensive for what it is.
A buckle that can be adjusted according to your desires
In total, the loop is about 65km from Cernay (with about 450m of difference in altitude), but you can shorten it by starting from Thann (you will already gain a dozen kilometers) or even by doing the outward journey by train and the return journey by bike. This is one of the great advantages of this valley: it is crossed by a railway line which serves the villages, it is really practical!
- Discover the beautiful Thur Valley
- Stop at the Wesserling Park and the Kruth Lake
- Possibility to reduce the length of the journey by train
I liked less
- Perhaps a little repetitive by doing the whole itinerary because, even if it is a loop, we often pass almost at the same place at the outward journey and the return.
My photos of the Loop 154 “Along the water, be Na’Thur”
You will find here the page of Alsace à vélo dedicated to this loop, with the itinerary and the GPX route. I put my GPS on and personally arrived at a total of 65km from Cernay, instead of the 57 announced… I can’t tell you why!
Departure and arrival
Cernay or Thann
- Distance : 65 km
- Elevation gain : about 450 meters
- Duration: about 4h30/5h of cycling (without counting the breaks)
Cernay is located in:
- 18 km from Mulhouse (about 25 minutes)
- 37 km from Colmar (about 35 minutes)
- 113 km from Strasbourg (about 1h15)
By public transport
This route is easily accessible by public transport: the very practical tram-train serves the Thur Valley from Mulhouse station. Calculate your route directly on Fluo.