Haut-Rhin Valleys Menu Heritage and Tours Sceneries and Men History of Men Geology and Climate Landscapes Hautes-Vosges The “Plateau des Mille Etangs” Fougerolles and Val d’Ajol Valleys Ballons of Franche-Comté Vosgian Valleys Haut-Rhin Valleys Wine-growing Foothills Natural Heritage Forests High Stubble Lakes, Ponds, Peatlands Ravines, Cliffs and Scree Slopes Calcareous Grasslands Orchards Local Products and Craftsmanship Marque Parc (Park Label) Wood Cladding Mineral and Natural Spring Waters Wooden Toys Honey and Fruit Juice Wooden Furniture for Children Products Fougerolles Orchards and Kirsch Fish Farming Vosgian Cattle Breed Cheeses Small Fruit, Aromatic and Medicinal Plants Alsatian Wine Smoked Meats and Andouilles Farm Shops Craftsmanship Textile Granite Lava Sandstone Wood industry Farmhouse-Inns Farm Markets Cultural Heritage Thermal Heritage Industrial Heritage Farms Country of Art and History Religious Heritage Intangible Cutural Heritage Heritage and Memory Castles Thematic Roads and Tracks Treetop Adventure Park Tourist Routes Barefoot Trails Parks and Botanical Gardens Museums and Heritage Sites Thermal Baths Environment Awareness Structures Venues for Shows, Exhibitions and Festivals At the Park Doors Colmar Remiremont Belfort Lure Mulhouse Luxeuil-les-Bains Saint-Dié-des-Vosges Nature activities Guided Walks and Discovery trails Mountain Guides A Farm, A Hike Pedestrian Hikes Club Vosgien / Club Alpin (Vosgian / Alpine Clubs) Reception Centres for Educational Stays Winter Activities Mountain Biking and Cyclo-Tourism Fishing Trail Aeromodelism Water Sports Equine Activities Climbing Skydiving Nature vacations Panda Lodgings and Guesthouses Camping in Nature Hôtels au Naturel (Hotels in Natural Settings) Because of the collapse of the Rhine Graben, the Alsatian Vosges Mountainside was strongly eroded during the last ice age. Therefore, a granite wall towers above 900 meters – which impeded many colons in the valleys. This natural obstacle combined with extreme climatic conditions on the peaks forced many dwellings to remain along the medium-altitude sunny slopes. The crest wall is indented with sharp and rocky glacial cirques. Western winds repelled the snow eastwards to the foot of the crests, where it accumulated to form deep basins. Agricultural work was geared toward milk production. Meadows and pasture lands sprinkled with fruit trees, in vicinity of farms and villages, dominate largely on the low and medium altitude slopes. Higher, old stubble often gave way to uniform resinous tree plantations. The forest only recovers a natural aspect nearer the summits or along the sharp slopes. The high Alsatian valleys starting from Masevaux, Thann, Guebwiller, Munster, Kaysersberg, Ribeauvillé and Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines are very much contrasted. Languages, cultures, landscapes, the economy and even the art-de-vivre vary. To such an extent that in Val d’Orbey – one of the oldest passage points between Alsace and Lorraine along with the Col du Bonhomme – the spoken tongue is a Roman dialect. Whatever their culture or their situation, these valleys are increasingly inhabited by people who, very often, work in big cities nearby. Since the Seventies, this context has led to the valleys’ urbanization. The Park now works alongside neighbouring towns to optimize this rural urbanization with a high landscape impact.