It's a nice walk that visits the three castles of Ribeauvillé at a slightly different angle from the traditional walk.
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.
(S) The start is the sports field at the top of Ribeauvillé (take Rue Klee and Rue de Lutzelbach up to the small car park where you can easily park).
Leave the car park by the vehicle accessible road that runs along the sports field and runs north into the Valley of Lutzelbach. Follow the path along the stream without changing direction. Pass the Lutzelbach Fountain (drinking water) (1).
Soon after the fountain, the road makes a hairpin bend to the right and leaves the bank of the stream.
At the crossroads following (2), do not head towards Schluesselstein, instead turn left and stay on the trail with Red-White-Red markings to Taennchel - Three castles (variant of the GR).
Reach a place with a nice view of the valley and the back of the Haut-Ribeaupierre. Cross the RM5 leading to Thannenkirch on the right and heading out after 50 m on your left towards the three castles at the Quatre Chênes crossroads (3). Continue straight to a picnic table where there is a nice view of Taennchel (4). Take a break here or continue a few tens of metres to the Dusenbach cross (a stone calvary).
At the picnic table, turn left and follow the Red-White-Red marking that lead to castles. Take care to leave the dirt road onto a path to the left after about 300 m. Follow the path through the woods. Cross a path and continue opposite.
Arrive at a crossroads (5) where you can either choose to climb to the Haut-Ribeaupierre (Red and White arrows of the RM5, head opposite) or avoid it (follow the Red-White-Red arrows) to the right. My preferred itinerary avoids the castle because it can’t be visited.
A steep path leads to the largest of the three castles: Saint Ulrich (6).
It joins the GR5 which descends from Haut-Ribeaupierre. You can visit the well restored castle, and enjoy a magnificent view of the valley.
From this point, it’s only a few minutes walk to see the 3rd castle, Girsberg. Then head down to Ribeauvillé by a very steep path (RM5). Pass a gazebo where you can take a break (7).
Arrive at the rear of the school, turn left onto the concrete slab path that brings us back to the car park.
D/A : km 0 - alt. km 0
1 : km 1.59 - alt. km 1.59 - Fontaine du Lutzelbach
2 : km 2.44 - alt. km 2.44 - Crossroads towards Schlusselstein
3 : km 3.89 - alt. km 3.89 - Carrefour des Quatre Chênes
4 : km 4.39 - alt. km 4.39 - Picnic table
5 : km 5.23 - alt. km 5.23 - Crossroads
6 : km 5.76 - alt. km 5.76 - Château Saint Ulrich
7 : km 6.86 - alt. km 6.86 - Gazebo
D/A : km 7.14 - alt. km 7.14
Take the precaution of bringing proper shoes, some sections are difficult.
Drinking water at the fountain of Lutzelbach.
Picnic area at the Dusenbach Cross and the castle of Saint Ulrich.
We advise taking IGN maps with you on this walk. Click here to buy : 3718OTR.
Hikideas and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Visit nearby villages: Ribeauvillé, Riquewihr, Kaysersberg. To be avoided in the tourist season, there are too many people.
More adventurous walkers can continue walking beyond the Dusenbach cross to Thannenkirch or Taennchel.
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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.