A walk in the forest of Illwald in Sélestat

A Sélestat walk posted on 29/07/13 by virgule. Update : 09/05/16

This is a lovely walk in the plains of the river Ill, which will let you to escape for two hours from the bustle of this area popular with tourists. In summer you'll be nice and cool, thanks to the many streams and towering trees.

Technical sheet
Calculated time Calculated time: 2h30[?]
Distance Distance : 8.65km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 12m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 12m
Highest point Highest point : 183m
Lowest point Lowest point : 166m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Sélestat (67600)
Starting point Starting point : N 48.246444° / E 7.459053°


Leave the cars in the small car park near the roundabout (the crossroads of the D424 and the D159 on the south side) (1).

Follow Sentier de l’Ill, marked with a red ring towards the south, across the fields. It runs along the Hollockgraben, which is a drainage ditch of the river Ill.
At the bridge, we reach the course of the river Ill (3). Do not cross the bridge, but stay on the marked trail that veers left.
The trail then enters the Ill Forest. You can admire the vegetation that is unique to this the alluvial forest: alder, ash, unusually tall oak trees.
We pass a hut where the trail starts out at right angles to the right. (4) Do not try to take the shortcut through the woods, it leads to wooden bridges in poor condition. Always follow the markings (red rings).

In the woods, after about 600 m, the path heads off at a right angle to the left (5) and crosses several rivers and drainage ditches (6).
After a kilometre, arrive at a crossroads indicating Illhausern to the right and Sélestat to the left. (7) Turn left, then continue straight.
We pass the Chapelle du Chêne (shelter) where you can take a break (8).
Then take the path back to Sélestat.
The way out of the forest, pass opposite the pumping station on your right and reach the D424. Reach the car park turning left and taking the bike path for a few hundred metres. (9)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0
1 : km 0.02 - alt. km 0.02 - Car park. Starting point.
2 : km 0.49 - alt. km 0.49 - Sentier de l’Ill along the Hollockgraben
3 : km 1.53 - alt. km 1.53 - Bridge over the Ill. Do not cross.
4 : km 3.08 - alt. km 3.08 - Hut. Take the right fork.
5 : km 3.7 - alt. km 3.7 - Change of direction. Turn 90° to the left
6 : km 4.15 - alt. km 4.15 - Cross rivers and drainage paths
7 : km 4.83 - alt. km 4.83 - Intersection. Turn left.
8 : km 6.54 - alt. km 6.54 - Chapelle du Chêne.
9 : km 8.45 - alt. km 8.45 - intersection with the D424.
D/A : km 8.65 - alt. km 8.65

Useful Information

This is an alluvial forest and can be flooded in winter. In summer, the roads are passable because they are gravelled.
The entire route is well marked (red ring), which helps not to get lost.

Learn about the tree species of the Illwald before leaving so you can recognise them. This forest is of particular interest for lovers of beautiful trees.

Even in the month of August you will barely see anyone meets during the two-hour walk, maybe one or two joggers. It is an exceptional spot in this very touristy region. There are other variants in the same area. See tourist offices.
If it has rained there will likely be mosquitoes - bring repellent.

We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 3718OTR.

Click here to see how to reach the starting point.

Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

Download sheet and map

During the walk or to do/see around

Visit Sélestat with its beautiful Romanesque church.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.