Best practices for hiking

The Regional Nature Park of the Vosges du Nord is an area with varying landscapes, perfect for going on hikes of all kinds (with family or for sport) in any season.

Plan your hike well:

  • Choose a route that is suited to your level of experience and fitness, or go with a professional guide.
    Check the weather forecast before setting off.
  • Bring an accurate enough map (hiking map at a scale of 1: 25000). Feel free to take a compass and/or a GPS with you. Tell a friend that you’re going on the hike (your planned route and expected return time).
  • Set off with good hiking boots and even walking poles. Bring clothes suitable for the weather forecast: warm layers in case it gets cold, sun cream and a hat for sunny weather and a waterproof in case of rain (also consider bringing waterproof protection for your rucksack if it’s not already waterproof!)
  • Don’t forget to bring the essentials for first aid (plasters, disinfectant, Arnica cream, insect repellents...)
  • Don’t forget to bring food supplies! Bring water and something to give you energy: cereal bars, dried fruit, fresh fruit, a picnic... if it's cold a Thermos flask of hot water might be a good idea.
  • Don’t have any hiking equipment? We can lend you everything you need for free! A coat, rucksack, baby sling, hiking boots, walking poles, a special hiking umbrella and much more. Come to the Test Center at the Tourism Office in Pays de Bitche. Call +33 (0)3 87 06 16 16 for more information.


Difficulty levels for walking trails:

The difficulty level (distance and incline) is specified on each trail information sheet. The difficulty levels indicated on the sheets are representative.

  • Easy: Hikes less than two hours long, with opportunities for breaks (benches, picnic tables, towns and villages), not very steep. Routes suitable for everyone.
  • Medium: Hikes less than four hours long, for people who have experience hiking, with sections which require higher levels of fitness and/or a partial incline.
  • Difficult: Hikes longer than four hours, for hikers with a lot of experience in long distances and who feel comfortable with steep inclines and/or some more difficult sections.


Off you go! But don’t forget...

The Regional Nature Park of the Vosges du Nord is a natural paradise but it's also very fragile. The natural environment is delighted to welcome you, but please treat it with respect so it remains untouched...


  • Throw your rubbish... in a bin! Don’t leave anything lying around and remember that a can could take more than 10 years to decompose, that a shard of glass could start a fire and that a plastic bag could decay under a bush for more than a century.
  • No smoke without fire. All it takes is a cigarette butt, the embers of a barbecue or a badly extinguished fire, to dramatically increase the risk of fires that devastate these thousands of hectares each year.
  • Don’t pick flowers. They are certainly beautiful but sometimes protected and it’s forbidden to pick them. If in doubt, do not pick bouquets of wild flowers.
  • Always keep dogs on a lead. Man’s best friend is not always as friendly with wild fauna! By keeping your dog on a lead, you can be sure that it will not disturb other species.
  • It’s fine to be curious but please also be discrete... If you want to observe wild animals, you’re much more likely to see them if you make as little noise as possible.
  • Avoid farmers' fields and private properties or ask for the owner’s permission to walk through their property.
  • Do you like trees? Then please respect them... Did you know that damaged tree bark creates the ideal environment for parasites which can harm the tree?
  • Always stay on marked paths. On the one hand, this will ensure that you don't get lost, but on the other, it’s essential to respect the fauna and flora!
  • Close gates behind you. Chicanes, gates and barriers are there for a reason.
  • It’s a good idea to leave your car at the side of the road. By parking on a dirt track or walking route, you could hinder the passage of rescue workers and nature conservation professionals.


Useful and emergency information:

Regional Nature Park of the Vosges du Nord: +33 (0)3 88 01 49 59
European emergency number: 112
Samu (ambulance service): 15