Forest hike with some stunning view points over the foothills of the Vosges. Visit the ruins of three castles: Haut-Barr, the large and small Geroldseck and the Brotsch tower (built in 1897 honouring the 25th anniversary of the creation of the Vosges Club in Saverne), and the cave.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
After parking your car in the Haut-Barr castle car park (S), enjoy a free visit of the 12th century castle ruins (1) and its chapel, not to be missed. With is imposing 470 m height, it was nicknamed "the Eye of Alsace" for the spectacular views overlooking the plains of Alsace and the Vosges.
Leaving the castle, we take a right as far as the small path at the end of the car park to the left which will take you to the practical semaphore telegraph tower, designed by Claude Chappe (1794) (2).
We continue on the path for 400 m passing close to the D171 and then take the path that climbs to the right (Red cross markings) (3) to Grand Géroldseck (13th century) the name of the German noble family that ruled the area. The ruins of this castle are currently (at time of writing) undergoing restoration work.
We then resume on the path down and cross another path on the left (4) which we will take on the way back. 100 m further on, at a crossroads we take the middle of three paths (5) (we will come back via the one on the right) that heads up veering left to reach the ruins of Petit Geroldseck (13th century), where there is not much left to see.
The path continues down to the forest road where we come to the witches’ table (6) (signposted as Hexentisch). We continue, after crossing the forest road, on the road opposite that rises slightly (red rectangle markings) and 350 m further on, we head to the left (the return route comes back by the road opposite).
We go up the road keeping right as far as the Brotsch tower (7) that you can scale using its small spiral staircase. From the top there is a beautiful view of Saverne. There are also views of the Haut-Barr castle and Grand Geroldseck.
Return to the road and head right (with the tower behind you), which leads to the Brotsch Rock from which there is a beautiful view and the cave of the same name just below. To do so, we must take the winding path down to the cave (8).
: retrace your steps from the cave to the tower of Brotsch. Arrive at the tower, and instead of taking the path to the right (the outbound route), continue straight to Huck Rock, from which there is a view of the massif. Leave the Rock by turning right and going around it to reach the forest road on the right of the green railing that leads to the path leading right up to the witches’ table. From there, we cross the road and take the path left to bypass Petit Geroldseck. Take the outbound route back at (6) then at (5), then take a right to bypass Grand Geroldseck. Then take the road to get to the car park.
D/A : km 0 - alt. 426m
1 : km 0.02 - alt. 428m - Château du Haut-Barr
2 : km 0.74 - alt. 431m - The Claude Chappe semaphore telegraph tower.
3 : km 1.11 - alt. 436m
4 : km 1.68 - alt. 442m
5 : km 1.76 - alt. 442m
6 : km 2.43 - alt. 432m - The Witches’ Table (Hexentisch)
7 : km 3.35 - alt. 536m - Tour du Brotsch
8 : km 4.26 - alt. 494m - Grotte du Brotsch
D/A : km 8.28 - alt. 426m
No drinking water refill point.
At the Haut-Barr castle, you can enjoy lunch at the restaurant but picnics are prohibited.
There is a toilet at the Haut-Barr castle.
Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Many route options are available with trails that are perfectly marked by the Vosges Club.
The GPS track and description are the property of the author.