Florival via Petit et Grand Ballon is a 57.9 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Guebwiller, Grand Est, France that features a great forest setting and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for mountain biking.

Distance: 57.9 km Elevation Gain: 2,074 m Route Type: Loop

mountain biking



The Vosges are much more pristine and wilder than the Black Forest. The forest roads are not gravel forest highways, the trails are easy trails through nature. Sometimes good to drive, sometimes a bit grown. From extreme, technically challenging singletrack trails to panoramic mountain trails and gentle meadow paths everything is in it. In addition to the well-marked trails, the magnificent landscape with its blue-hazy ridges and the view of the Alps, the Black Forest and many lakes make up a large part of the appeal. There is no two-meter scheme and therefore no hikers who could get biker out of the saddle with this argument. Starting point of our tour is the town of Guebwiller (265m). It lies at the entrance of the flower valley (French Florival) on the river Lauch. The route first leads us through the vineyards of the Vorbergzone to Bergholtz-Zell and Orschwihr. Through the Schäferthal we reach the military cemetery Gauchmatt. There we meet a paved road, which we follow to the Col de Bannstein (483m). We leave the tarmac road to the right and, following the signpost (blue cross on a white background), continue on forest roads towards our next destination, Col de Boenlesgrab (865m). The following steep section from Col de Boenlesgrab to Ferme Strohberg (1083m) runs on a very rough surface. There's only one thing, cranking the chain left and meter by meter. After the Ferme Strohberg it becomes flatter again and shortly thereafter we reach the trail parking lot at Kahlen Wasen (1163m). Now it is only a stone's throw to the summit of the Petit balloon (1272m) which we reach after a driving time of about 2:30 hours. At the foot of the Petit Ballon we meet at the Friends of Nature House, Club de Vosges, on the trail GR 532 (yellow bar on a white background) we now, in constant ups and downs, to Col D 'Hahnenbrunnen follow. Shortly after the Naturfreundehaus Bockwasen (1186m), the GR 532 narrows to a singletrack. The path washed away by the rain to the Col du Hilsenfirst is pretty flowy in parts, but then after the next corner again blocked so that it forces average cyclists repeatedly to shift inserts. Also the following counter-increase is not without and demands sliding inserts. Then a good forest road leads without significant gradients to the Col de Oberlauchen (1211m). Now keep left and continue on forest trails to the Ferme Steinlebach (nice rest stop). Then, on grassy paths, we go gently uphill until we meet at Markstein (1180m) on the Route de Cretes. Parallel to the Vogesenkammstraße we now cycle on the GR5 (red rectangle marking) and later on the Route de Cretes to the Grand Ballon (1424m), the highest peak in the Vosges. Alternatively, you can consistently biking on the Route de Cretes to Grand Ballon. From the mountain hotel, drive clockwise to the summit with the monument of the mountain fighters and the dome-shaped radar station. From the Grand Ballon you have views of the Rhine valley with Basel, Mulhouse, Freiburg and Colmar, in addition to the Black Forest and the Jura, as well as favorable weather conditions on a large part of the Alps. The subsequent long descent via Rödelen, Col de Judenhut, Münsteräckerle, Col de Peternit and Bildstöckle back to Guebwiller, runs on original forest trails and single trails and compensates for the efforts of the rise.

mountain biking
Wednesday, May 12, 2010

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