I tested the local loop BL 806 entitled “Haguenau, Cité de Barberousse”. It is a 40km itinerary with a little less than 250m of difference in altitude. No big difficulty to report, it will take about 2h30 to complete it. The itinerary is not unpleasant but, I might as well tell you right away, it is not one of my favorites.
On the one hand, I liked it because it allowed me to discover a part of Alsace that I don’t know well: I regularly drive through this area located between Haguenau and the Canal de la Marne au RhinBut riding my bike through it allowed me to explore it more. On the other hand, I didn’t like the fact that most of the itinerary was on roads or on bike paths along the road: a bike ride in these conditions has immediately less charm.
Moreover, there are some nice things to admire along the way but other routes are in my opinion more beautiful: it is not made for those who discover Alsace for the first time but rather for those who want to explore corners a little off the beaten track.
Between apple trees and hop fields
I started from Haguenau but it is of course possible to start from another point of the itinerary, especially from Waltenheim-sur-Zorn. From Haguenau, the route leaves the city to pass through the villages of Nierderschaeffolsheim and Kriegsheim. A long straight line without difficulty awaits you, at the edge of which you will see many apple trees as well as hop fields. Yes, because Haguenau used to be a major center of hop production. Nowadays, there are still some plantations and you can admire some of them during the walk.
When you go through Kriegsheim, you can stop Au Panier de la Ferme and/or at the ferme Baehl which both have stores proposing good local products (completed by products of producers of other French regions for the Baehl farm). They are on the side of the road, you will see them easily: ideal to buy your picnic!
Along the Canal de la Marne au Rhin
The route then continues to Brumath, which has some nice buildings in the city center, before crossing the river Zorn. A small piece of forest is waiting for you in the forest of Brumath, it is very pleasant! At the end, you join the Canal de la Marne au Rhin: this is the part of the itinerary that I preferred, I love canals and it allows to be really quiet since the bike path goes along the canal. It’s really pretty!
For the picnic, I chose to stop at thelock before the village of Waltenheim-sur-Zorn, where you will find a picnic table (in the shade, which is interesting for hot days!). I love watching the locks, and although I wasn’t lucky enough to see a boat go by that day, it was a very nice spot to have a picnic.
We continue to go along the canal: open the eye, there are often storks which eat in the surrounding fields… I’ve seen a lot of them! Arrived at Waltenheim, we leave the Canal to join Mommenheim, where I advise you to make a mini-detour of 2 minutes compared to the itinerary to make a new greedy stop at the Pâtisserie Bernhard which is famous in the region and has a tea room. Ideal for dessert, just remember to pack a light picnic lunch beforehand as you’ll find some delicious cakes!
The amazing St. Ulrich Spring in Wittersheim
The route then passes through Wittersheim, where there is a curiosity I had never heard of and which I was happy to discover: the Saint-Ulrich spring, known in the past for its therapeutic virtues. It was indeed used against skin diseases and contagious diseases. It is necessary to make a small detour to reach it (a few hundred meters, that is all). You can then park your bike and take the path on foot since a pedestrian circuit has been developed. We walk about 5 minutes in a small wood, it is charming and we find at the end of the way the source Saint-Ulrich and its old wash houses. Amazing and truly timeless!
Finally, the itinerary goes through the village of Winterhouse, which has nice half-timbered houses, before reaching Haguenau again. Haguenau is not the most famous of the Alsatian cities but it is a city that I like: I advise you to take the time to stroll there, it is cute and lively!
- Itinerary that allows you to get out of the well known corners of Alsace
- Along a part of the Marne-Rhine canal
- Gourmet stops 😉
I liked less
- A lot of road
- Not the prettiest loop in my opinion
- Signposting not great: take a map (but it’s very easy)
My photos of the loop “Haguenau, City of Barbarossa
You will find here the page of Alsace à vélo dedicated to this loop, with the itinerary and the GPX route.
Departure and arrival
There are several possible options. Haguenau or Waltenheim-sur-Zorn, for example.
- Distance : 40 km
- Elevation gain : about 240 meters
- Duration: about 2h30 of cycling (without counting the breaks)
It is possible to park in Haguenau (free and paid parking). Haguenau is located in:
- 35km from Strasbourg (about 30 minutes)
- 105km from Colmar (about 1h20)
- 145km from Mulhouse (about 1h40)
By public transport
Calculate your route directly on Fluo.