The « route des crêtes » ( peaks road), 77km (252 feet) long, crossing the Vosges mountains from Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines to Cernay, avec altitudes flucuates between 825 meters (2706 feet) to the Amic mountain path and 1325 meters ( 4347 feet) to the foot of the Grand Ballon.
Even if the human presence on the Vosges summits is confirmed since the 9th century with the mountain agriculture, the actual road had been constructed during the First World War by the high French command. From a strategic point of view, it allowed to insure logistics and communications between the north and south mountains.
During the 30s, the « route des crêtes » became a touristic road, a junction between Alsace and the Vosges. Its easy accessibility and numerous viewpoints, offer an unrivaled panorama on the Alsatian plains; its numerous trekking paths contribute to its success.
Apart from the captivating sights, the notoriety of the « route des crêtes » depends on the farmhouse inns and their famous farm meals. But the « route des crêtes » is also a fragile environment where a delicate plant life rubs shoulders with discreet wildlife. Ballon des Vosges Nature Park and the Lorraine conservatory sites watch over the preservation of this fragile ecosystem.
In summer, the Navette des Crêtes allows you to travel without a car on Grande Crête and even to come from the Kaysersberg valley (unfortunately this year in 2020 it will exceptionally not run).
In winter, far from the buzzing of the summer fête, the « route des crêtes » was covered with snow. This white powder becomes the field for cross country skiers and snowshoe trekkers.