Walk to the Nideck waterfall and the castle ruins

by | Updated on 2/11/2023 | Hiking, On a budget, Open on sundays, With kids | 0 comments

cascade-nideck-alsace

The Nideck waterfall is certainly the most famous waterfall of Alsace, and for good reason: with its 25 meters, it is the highest waterfall in Alsace! It took me a little while to decide to go see it because I was a little afraid of the crowds and of being disappointed, but I actually really liked the place. It’s a nice place to go for a nice walk!

My opinion on the Cascade du Nideck, a must-see place in Alsace

The site of the Nideck waterfall isone of the great spots for walks in Alsace on nice days, especially when the sweltering heat of Alsace falls on the plain and it is good to come to seek a little freshness in the mountains!

I went for a walk to the Nideck waterfall on a beautiful fall day and didn’t have to suffer from the crowds at all. I passed a few people, of course, but nothing embarrassing, and I must say I was really seduced by the place! The waterfall is really impressive, I was not disappointed at all.

The waterfall culminates at 534 meters of altitude and is 25m high. The water flows from a wall of volcanic rock, it is really impressive! It is also said to be beautiful to admire in the heart of winter, when the water turns into columns of ice.

Walk or hike, you choose your walking route!

You can totally adapt the duration of your walk to the Nideck waterfall.

Distance and difficulty of the classic circuit

The classic trail is a 3.3km loop with 190m of vertical drop, starting from the Auberge de la Cascade parking lot. It goes up (necessarily!), but it remains short and does not present any particular difficulty. Ideal if you just want to take a stroll, and great for families.

To go to the ruins of the castle, you will add 2km only. Ideal with children!

Other hiking ideas

If you like to hike, you can easily extend your walk: the nature in Oberhaslach is beautiful and there are many hiking trails. For example, I tested the 3 waterfalls hike (well, the two other waterfalls are really ridiculous next to the Nideck one, but the hike is beautiful!) but you can also opt for this other beautiful hike. There are lots of great ideas for routes in the area!

The ruins of the Nideck castles

After the emblematic Nideck waterfall, just continue to climb for about 1km to reach the ruins of the Nideck castles. A small detour that is worth it: I liked the fact that I could admire these ruins at the same time, they are impressive. It is about two castles dating from the 13th century (the Haut-Nideck and the Bas-Nideck) and which were then abandoned.

I advise you to go up to the top of the dungeon to admire the view on the surroundings, it is really beautiful. And with the fall colors, of course, it was magical!

Access to the Nideck waterfall

Where is the Nideck waterfall located?

The Nideck waterfall is located in Oberhaslach, at the entrance of the Bruche Valley, in the Vosges of Alsace. We are here at 47km west of Strasbourg.

How to reach the Nideck waterfall?

The Nideck waterfall is easily accessible. Just drive through Oberhaslach in the direction of Wangenbourg-Engenthal: after a few kilometers outside the village, you have arrived at the parking lot! It will be enough to walk 1,5km to reach the waterfall.

Parking: where to park for the Nideck waterfall?

The parking lot is located at the restaurant L’Auberge de la Cascade du Nideck.

The legend of the Nideck Giants

Even if you are not Alsatian, you may have already heard of the Nideck because the legend of the Nideck Giants can be found in one of the Brothers Grimm’s story books. It also inspired the German poet Adalbert von Chassimo who composed “Das Riesenfraülein” (The Giant’s Daughter), of which this is the translation:

“The heights where once stood the castle of the giants are now deserted.
The castle itself is now a ruin.
You can ask around: you won’t find any giants there.
However, the legend of “Château de Nideck” is well known in Alsace.
One day, at the whim of her game, the giant’s daughter leaves the castle and, going down the hill, she
arrives in the valley, excited and curious about the discoveries she could make.
In a few steps, she crosses the forest reaching Haslach, land of the common men.
There appearing to his amazed eyes cities and villages, cultivated fields, such a strange world.
Looking around, she sees at her feet a farmer plowing his field.
Of course, the coupling seems strange to him.
Here, what a beautiful toy, she exclaims “I’m taking it home”.
Quickly she kneels down and spreads her apron.
With a gesture she sweeps away everything that stirs, and locks it in her drapery.
By joyful leaps she returns to the castle calling her father “Oh father… dear father, I found in the
Valley a wonderful toy, I have never seen such on our peaks.”
The father, sitting at the table, drinking his cool wine, observes the girl with complacency and asks
“What do you bring so wriggly in your apron?
Let me see that find that makes you jump for joy”.
Unfolding the drapery, she carefully lays out the peasant, the plow with its hitch and beats the
hands, jumps and exults, when the graceful set stands on the table.
But the father, taking his most serious air, said to him:
“What have you done there! It’s a farmer with his carriage and it’s not a toy.”
Take him back to where you took him at once and without reply, do as I command, for without the peasant you
would have no bread. From the labor of the peasantry came the lineage of giants, the peasant is not
a toy, God forbid”.
The heights where once stood the castle of the giants are now deserted.
There’s only one more ruin of that legend to make you dream.”

Other waterfalls in Alsace?

If you like waterfalls but want to go to a lesser known spot, I invite you for example to go and see the Hohwald waterfall or the Soultzbach waterfall.

I liked

  • Really impressive waterfall
  • Castle ruins and panoramic view from the keep
  • Numerous hiking options in the area for all tastes

I liked a little less

  • Very well known: there can be a lot of people

My pictures of the Nideck waterfall and the castles

Practical information

Itinerary

The choice depends on the walk you wish to make. For the small classic circuit of 3km, see this page.

Access

By car

You can park your car at the parking lot located near the Auberge La cascade du Nideck. You have to count:

  • 47km from Strasbourg (about 40min)
  • 80km from Colmar (about 1h5)
  • 120km from Mulhouse (about 1h30)
By public transport

You can calculate your route on Fluo Grand Est.

Laurène

Laurène

Laurène est la créatrice du blog Mon week-end en Alsace. Bretonne installée en Alsace depuis 2014, elle est tombée amoureuse de sa région d'adoption au point de lui dédier un blog et d'acheter avec son mari une maison alsacienne dans un village du Kochersberg, près de Strasbourg. A pied, à vélo, sur ses chevaux ou au volant de sa voiture, elle aime partir explorer les moindres recoins de l'Alsace pour dénicher de bonnes adresses à partager sur le blog.

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