The Ballons des Vosges Regional Natural Park Houses several reception areas to communicate with inhabitants and visitors alike, to raise their awareness, and to be understood by them. These are wonderful dynamic and open starting points to explore the Southern Vosges Mountains. They provide specific documentation and propose assorted temporary exhibitions.

The Park House

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Nestled in the heart of Munster, in the “Prélat” Building located in the Old Abbey, this Park House boasts a façade listed Historic Monument. A free-admission 600m2 exhibition is open all year, to discover Vosgian natural and cultural heritages as well as handicrafts. Children are welcome in the Park House, where they can enjoy the Discovery Trail and the Reading Corner. They can also learn more about the exhibition with a fun Educational Booklet (In French). The exhibition hosts a documentation centre with 3,000 books available for consultation on the premises and by appointment, as well as the Technical Team (In French) offices. Conferences, temporary exhibitions, and activities take place throughout the year around a remarkable living heritage.

The Prélat Building

The “Prélat” Building is the most important vestige of the ancient Benedictine Abbey. Erected between 1682 and 1686 on what remained of the abbey after the Thirty Years War (1618-1648) by Dom Charles Marchand and Dom Louis of La Barn, it has kept most of its original outside features. After 1791, the abbey was closed down and sold as National Asset. Subsequently, the Prélat House became a military hospital, a private dwelling, then, between 1940 and 1988, it housed the Hartmann and Fils manufacture HQ. The city of Munster bought the building in 1988 and refurbished it between 1992 and 1994. Since the 25th of June 1994, it has housed the Ballons des Vosges Regional Natural Park administration offices, the Munster Valley Tourist Office, and a restaurant.

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Que faire aux alentours ?

Walks and Hikes

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  • The Petit Ballon Trail – Steinberg Starts from the path at the foot of the Petit Ballon. Natural menhirs and blueberries border the trail, among cows. Stunning view of the Munster Valley and the Alsace Plain. Telluric site. The Petit Ballon is surrounded by numerous farmhouse-inns.
  • The Hohrodberg-Le Linge 1914/1918 Historical Trail. This walk will take you along the many remaining relics of the Le Linge Battle, to better understand the events behind this human tragedy (brochure available at the Tourist Office in Munster and at the Hohrod Townhall; download at www.cc-vallee-munster.fr)
  • The Galtz Trail. Starting from the Ammerschwihr Church, along the Castle of Wineck and through the forest, it offers a breathtaking view of the Alsace Plain and the Vosges from the Galtz Monument.
  • The Aspach Valley Botanical Track. One hour’s gentle walk starting from the La Forge forest house, along the cycle path then through the forest and its wide variety of aromatic notes.
  • Walks from the Holandsbourg, toward the Château of Pflixbourg or Husseren-les-Châteaux, many walks are available for every taste and physical aptitude.
  • A Farm, a Hike The Ballons des Vosges Regional Natural Park created a range of hiking trails in partnership with the Haut-Rhin Farmhouse-Inns Association. Easy and not exceeding one hour, these are ideal before or after mealtime walks, offering great viewpoints on natural and cultural sceneries, as well as on agricultural activities in the area.

Sites to Discover

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  • The Linge Battlefield.A very varied hike accessible in all weathers, first crossing the Linge battlefield to discover the geographical features and vestiges of one of the deadliest World War I sites. A memorial stands on the heights of Hohrodberg, towards Orbey, in remembrance of the harsh battles that took place there in 1915, killing 15,000 French hunters. The Linge Memorial Museum and its World War I Battlefield are open from April until November from 09:00 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 18:00.
    www.linge1915.com
    Also worth visiting: the German Cemetery on the Linge Road.
  • La Maison du Fromage (Cheese House). The famous Munster cheese now has its own house in Alsace! Follow every manufacturing step with films, exhibitions, educational workshops, cowshed visits, cheese-making demonstrations, tastings… along the visit, you will be seized by what makes the beauty and originality of this valley.
    +33 (0) 389 779 000
    info@mdf-munster.fr / www.maisondufromage-munster.com
  • The Route du Fromage (Cheese Road) and the Farmhouse-Inns. Travel along the Alsatian “Route du Fromage” to discover cheese production and manufacturing processes in an original way, and enjoy local specialties – including the farmhouse Munster – at cheesemongers, inns and farmhouse-inns.
    routeducheese-munster.com/
  • The Rothenbach / The Permanent Centre of Initiatives for the Environment in Rothenbach. Located at an altitude of 1,200 metres on the Rothenbach high stubble, the Nature and Environment Initiation Centre welcomes visitors during the high season. Located half-way between the Col de la Schlucht and the Markstein, this building is an ideal starting point to discover and observe the Hautes-Vosges Mountains.
    cpie-hautes-vosges.com
  • The Haut Chitelet High-Altitude Garden. Nestled at the heart of the Vosges Mountains in an outstanding natural environment, near the Crest Road, the Haut Chitelet High-Altitude Garden is totally devoted to mountain flora. Thematic rocky grounds shelter plants from major mountains in France, Europe, as well as North America and Asia. More than 2,500 species flourish in harsh and mountainous weather conditions. The Vosges flora is put to the fore : plants from forests and stubble fields, peatland flora, fern, mountain shrubs, medicinal plants… a lush flora fond of cool and damp climates develops along the Vologne, which takes its source in the Garden. The reception chalet regularly proposes small exhibitions.
    website
  • Parc Accrobranche (Treetop Adventure Park) : Form’Aventures. Form’Aventures proposes 9 different Treetop Adventure Courses – levels ranging from easy to advanced – for physical endurance aficionados. Throughout your adventure course you will have to suspend yourself from cables, walk on tightropes, throw yourself into the void, and gather all your strength at the end to cling to lianas without falling onto the safety net…
    +33 (0) 781 900 357
    www.formaventures.com
  • Hohlandsbourg Château. Built in the 19th century, the Hohlandsbourg Château practically sank into oblivion 500 years later. Today, this partly restored historical Wintzenheim Monument is really worth going out of your way to see. It offers a breathtaking view, and is a great tourist site for family outings. Take the time to participate to the many activities on offer. Guided tours, historical re-enactments or medieval banquets will immerse you into the heart of the Middle Ages.
    +33 (0) 389 301 020 – info@chateau-hohlandsbourg.com – chateau-hohlandsbourg.com

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