Gérardmer is one of the main towns from where to explore the Vosges Mountains. It’s a lovely small town next to a beautiful lake which is perfect for all kinds of watersports. There’s a path leading around the lake, but there are also many more wonderful hiking spots in the area. In this post I want to introduce you to two wonderful hikes which I can both highly recommend!
Perles de la Vologne
This is probably the most famous hike in the area, for good reasons. It’s a rather short (approximately 1.5 hours) hike, which is why we extended it a bit to the viewpoint “Roche du Corbeau” (check maps.me for directions). The hike leads along the beautiful river Vologne and starts near to the Saut du Cuves. You can start the hike from either side of the river and both sides offer a parking lot. The hike is very easy to follow and is suitable for any fitness level. Obviously, if you decide to also continue the hike to the viewpoint, you can count on a bit of elevation, but it’s nevertheless a super easy and enjoyable hike. It’s also a very beautiful hike, along the pretty river and through the lush, green forest. It’s difficult to describe the beauty of this hike, so I’ll let the picture do the work for me.
Cascade de Mérelle & Saut de la Bourrique
This hike is a bit longer and also more strenuous than the previous one. The hike takes about 3-4 hours, mostly through the forest. We started the hike at the lake of Gérardmer, near to the Camping de Ramberchamp and followed the trail along the lake until the small beach. From there we followed the signs to the Cascade de Mérelle.
The hike starts off with a prather steep ascent through the forest which gradually flattens out. Just like the previous hike, this forest is extremely lush and radiant green. The waterfall itself is honestly not that impressive (maybe it has more water in fall or spring), but fortunately there are also many other pretty streams along the trail.
After we passed the waterfalls, we continued to the Observatoire de Mérelle, which is a tower from where you have a view over the lake and the surrounding forests. Unfortunately, there was a huge queue in front of the tower and we didn’t really feel like spending too much time waiting in line. So, we skipped the viewpoint and continued our way to the Saut de la Bourrique which leads out of the forest and offers some different views.
The trail along the Saut de la Bourrique is really a wonderful hike. It leads along the stream, once again in the lush forest, passing by some picturesque bridges. I tried my very best to capture the beauty of this trail, but the pictures really don’t do it justice!
From the end of this trail we made our way back to Gérardmer. On maps.me I had seen a small detour via a viewpoint (La Roche du Renard) and I wanted to make up for the first viewpoint we had missed. Well, the term viewpoint on maps.me is a bit misleading, because there’s not much to see. There are some rocks, but loads of trees in front of them. In case you are tempted to do the same, I’d recommend to skip this viewpoint too. Anyways, there’s no need for any viewpoint during this hike, as it is beautiful enough, with or without viewpoint.