Walk around

A walk in the forest and along the Rhine: La Wantzenau

Set off on a nature walk in La Wantzenau, through the forest and along the Rhine, only a fifteen-minute drive from de Strasbourg.

Starting point: La Wantzenau, 12 km from Strasbourg 

There are several parking options in La Wantzenau: by the river Ill (quai des Bateliers, by the bridge across the Ill) and faubourg du Capitaine d’Alençon (on the other side of the river).

To start your walk, follow the signs to Parc animalier, étang Stangenkopf, pétanque. Enter the forest via the paved path, which is lined with a wide array of different trees (beech, oak, maple…). 

The track passes by the local pétanque club. (You can also park your car on the little parking lot just after the boules pitches). Continue straight on to the little animal park run by the local birdlife protection office, the SRPO (Station Régionale de Protection des Oiseaux), where you can watch different species of birds (peacocks, black swans, geese, mandarin ducks…) and animals (goats and a pig).
You can often hear toads croaking in the marshes by the aviaries. 

Carry on straight ahead on the path through the forest. The leaves dance with the breeze and the trees creak in the wind. The birds sing and twirl through the air, going from branch to branch. The sound of a woodpecker drumming against a tree trunk resonates through the woods. As you continue along the track, a pond appears behind the lush greenery on the right.

When you reach the edge of the forest, follow the asphalt road, and cross the green footbridge. Go up the stairs to the top of the dike, and you’ll be at the Rhine

Take a left and walk along the dike towards Gambsheim, where you’ll see the peaks of the Black Forest in the background – which is what we recommend – or walk right, towards Strasbourg. Germany is right across from you, on the opposite bank. You’ll almost certainly spot a barge or two sailing on the Rhine during this portion of your walk.

Turn back where you came from and cross the green bridge again. Take a left right after the bridge, then right onto the first paved path into the forest. Continue until you reach the elevated bike path and turn left at the old bunker. Walk back along the embankment, and don’t miss the deer enclosure a little further along on the left. 

Turn right at the crossroads by the animal park, where you’ll find yourself back on the path through the trees where you began, so you can easily find your way back to your car.

This walk is easily accessible at any time of the year, but we have a few recommendations:

– If the path by the animal park is muddy, turn back and take a right (at the intersection where the path you took when you entered the forest is right in front of you). The paved embankment will allow you to keep your shoes dry.

Walk a few hundred meters along the track, before turning right again (a sign on a large tree will point to Gambsheim-Le Rhin) and take the green bridge mentioned above to reach the Rhine.

– If you don’t want to be eaten up by mosquitoes, avoid this walk at dusk in the middle of summer.

If you feel like continuing your hike, continue straight ahead instead of turning right (towards your car) on the embankment when you reach the intersection by the animal park. This will lead you through the fields and all the way to Robertsau forest and the parc de Pourtalès.

21 replies on “A walk in the forest and along the Rhine: La Wantzenau”

What a beautiful walk. That picture of the swan on the water framed by the trees is just lovely. You are wonderful ambassadors for this part of the world!

Liked by 1 person

Such a lovely collection of summer and autumn pics Steph!

In April when my family visited we cycled this route from home which is fortunately near by. We did have an immense chuckle when my stepmom arrived at her bicycle only to admit it’s been 20 years since she’s been on a bike. As a result we could have walked faster through the forest!
But it did mean we could cycle up to the barrage at the Gambsheim bridge which serves endless fascination to the South Africans- watching the boats queuing and waiting for the drawbridge to rise 😀, not to mention the ‘fish bridge’ built to allow the salmon to head back up-river in safety.
What would have been a 2 hour journey for us ended up being a day outing after a light Alsacienne lunch at the restaurant there.

Liked by 1 person

Thank you Laura! It’s a great place with the best of both worlds – dense forest, and open views around the Rhine. The swan photo was such a lucky shot, we’re glad you like it 😄


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s