The Hunt Cycling is a full service bike-shop, independent journal and collective consisting of three cycling enthusiasts based in Halle Saale. We try to explore, document and share our experiences in the field of cycling and beyond. Besides drinking shandy, lots of riding and intellectual discusses about bike parts and stuff, we enjoy riding with friends and running our showroom and bike-shop located in the center of Halle.
The Traversée du Massif Vosgien (TMV) is a signed and marked 400km MTB bike route through the Vosges suited for all types of riders from Experts, experienced riders to beginner. The route starts in Wissembourg and travels south to Thann following the Vosges low mountain range by it’s complete lenght. We started in Karlsruhe and additonally rode the first stretch to Wissembourg. The bike route is very well signed with the official red TMV symbol showing along the route. Nevertheless you should keep an eye on the signs because they are sometimes are hard to find. There are a few other symbols in different colors mostly showing hiking paths but you should always follow the official red signs. We found out the hard way by riding in wrong directions once or twice which led us off the route and we had to find our way back to the main TMV route.
The route mostly links forest paths with small little towns. You will discover castles, old towns, churches and the rural french life. Resupply was always relatively easy. Most convenience stores and smaller shops are open until noon. A lot of shops are closed in the afternoon so you have to plan accordingly. You will also find many fresh water fountains along the way mostly located in the middle of villages near the town squares. You also want to try the very delicious regional speciality “Tarte Flambée” or “Flammkuchen” which you can find in many different variations. You also should try the “Munster-Géromé” cheese which is kind of iconic in different regions. We did a few shortcuts while riding the complete stretch mostly because of sleeping reasons. We wanted to respect the nature as much as we can and tried to avoid camping in the forests with our group of 9 people. Even though we found 2-3 beautiful wild camping spots on the route we focused on finding nature campsites calles “Aire Naturelle Camping” instead which was easy.
The route is very beautiful, scenic and varies a lot. We always thought about riding a miniature version of the alps. We planned a week for the whole route since we were a larger group of cyclists. You could probably ride the complete stretch to Thann in under 5 or 4 days, if you are a small group or if you are riding alone. It depends on your physical fitness. There are also a lot of guesthouses along the way if you do not want to carry a complete set of camping equipment with you. The next town or food was never far and in a reachable distance. We definitely recommend the route. The route is easy to reach by train via Karlsruhe and easy to left via Mulhouse. Enjoy nice food along the way, delicious Alsatian wines and the “la belle vie” in this remarkable landscape.
All in all the TMV is beautiful gem of a MTB route right next to the German border worth to discover. If you are interested in the route you should visit Alsaceavelo for further information including a free download of the GPX file. Additionally you will find a lot of informations after a quick search in the web. If you like what you see check out the work of our friend and photographer Michel and follow The Hunt Cycling on Instagram.