This is a practical guidebook to the trekking possibilities in the Vosges and French Jura mountains. These mountains, which also contain three regional parks and contrasting landscapes and wildlife habitats, are of a relatively moderate height, and have a well-developed network of waymarked paths that provide a wealth of opportunities for the walker. Trekking in the Vosges and Jura will be useful to anyone who plans to explore this lesser-known corner of France on foot, whether by means of short excursions or longer trails. The main part of Trekking in the Vosges and Jura describes a continuous long-distance route (672 km, 418 miles), which traverses the Vosges and Jura ranges from the German border in the north to Lake Geneva in the south, much of it along the GR5 footpath. Walking the entire route is a significant undertaking, amply rewarded by the diversity of landscapes and villages encountered along the way.
"The GR5 is one of the great long-distance walks in western Europe. This Cicerone guide deals with the section down the Vosges and Jura, a total of 672 km, and gives a good overview of an interesting area not much visited by walkers from these islands."
– Irish Mountain Log magazine / Autumn 2006
Map Key Summary Map of the GR5/GR53 Long Distance Route Summary Route Profile of the GR5/GR53 Long Distance Route Summary Map of Other Walks in the Vosges Summary Map of Other Walks in the Jura INTRODUCTION Why visit the Vosges and Jura? Landscape History Wildlife How to Use this Guide When to Visit Location Access Local Transport Accommodation Camping Food and Drink What to Take Maps GR System and Waymarking Safety and Health Language Money Telephones THE GR5/GR53 LONG DISTANCE ROUTE Section 1 GR53 Wissembourg to Niederbronn-les-Bains Section 2 GR53 Niederbronn-les-Bains to Saverne Section 3 GR53 Saverne to Schirmeck Section 4 GR5 Schirmeck to Ribeauville Section 5 GR5 Ribeauville to Mittlach Section 6 GR5 Mittlach to Thann Section 7 GR5 Thann to Hericourt Section 8 GR5 Hericourt to St-Hippolyte Section 9 GR5 St-Hippolyte to Villers-le-Lac Section 10 GR5 Villers-le-Lac to Mouthe Section 11 GR5 Mouthe to Nyon SHORT WALKS ALONG THE GR5/GR53 OTHER WALKS IN THE VOSGES Long Distance Routes in the Vosges Short Walks in the Vosges OTHER WALKS IN THE JURA Long Distance Routes in the Jura Short Walks in the Jura APPENDIX: Contact details
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Les and Elizabeth Smith originally trained as a scientist and a geographer, and spent many years pursuing sensible careers. Their outdoor interests encouraged them to adopt a less secure but more flexible lifestyle, which allows more time for exploring the Scottish hills and travelling further afield. Their trips often take them to less publicised areas, where a walking trail can provide an excellent way of seeing the country and meeting local people. They firmly believe that travelling and enjoying the outdoors does not depend on having a generous budget. The Smiths are easily distracted during their walks by efforts to glimpse local wildlife, photograph the landscape, or make some sense of the history of the area. Home is a Perthshire smallholding, where writing finds a place alongside other projects.