This treasure offers great natural environment diversity thanks to relief, geological variations, and above all climatic conditions, in an outstanding environment: moors, high stubble lawns, beech woods and altitude peatlands, well-developed forests (close to a natural state, without the intervention of Man), maple groves on scree slopes, primary formations of high glacial cirques.

No less than 67 plant species and 19 vertebrate animal species are considered very rare, like the Capercaillie, a wild forest symbol. Beech and pine trees dominate the wooded sides. At a lower level, the climate allows for oak and beech development. These jewels, nestled in a fragile environment recognized at European level, are protected according to regulation: 5 National Nature Reserves, 4 of which are managed or co-managed by the Ballons des Vosges Park; 3 Regional Nature Reserves were also created. Most Hautes-Vosges summits have German-sounding names – reminiscent of an old crest colonisation by pastors and marcaires from Alsace and Lorraine, led by the Dukes and their herds across vast territories owned by the Alsatian abbeys of Munster and Murbach. (Find out More). Started as early as the nineteenth century and developed in the Seventies, mountain agriculture suffered a massive exodus. The marcaires made ends meet with hiking programmes under the impetus of the Vosgian Club as early as 1870. The roads grant easy access to summits in these mountains. The farmhouse-inn concept appeared, and relaunched pastoral activity. Hautes-Vosges landscapes and peace attract many visitors. Today, the Crest Road – historical road built during WWI – is a tourist route that provides easy access to the mountains’ natural heritage and emblematic landscapes. Therefore, the Ballons des Vosges Park aims at welcoming visitors while ensuring heritage preservation.