The Rheinhalde is a Rhine bank area along the Grenzacherstrasse and is located in the east of Basel, in the nature reserve of the same name on the right bank of the Rhine. In 1913, the Rheinhalde was established as the first Swiss nature reserve by the cantonal government of Basel-Stadt. It is a narrow, elongated strip of riverbank on the southern border of the Hirzbrunnen neighbourhood and lies between the Black Forest Bridge and the border with Germany (Grenzach-Whylen). The Rhine embankment is only about 1.6 kilometres long and a maximum of 50 metres wide.

The upper half of the nature reserve lies in the area of the reservoir of the power plant Birsfelden. There is dense vegetation with almost 500 recorded plant species. Meanwhile, open gravel areas can be found in the lower part. Paths lead through the slope to small fishing huts. There is also a nature trail through the Rhine dump. Due to heavy scrub encroachment and the resulting shade, as well as the introduction of alien plant species, there is currently a danger that the Rhine dump will lose its special ecological value. For example, heat-loving species such as the otherwise rare green lizard have already disappeared. The Municipal Garden Department of Basel is trying to counteract this development by means of targeted maintenance operations.

For various animal species, the area is an important migration corridor and a stepping stone biotope during their migration, for example for salmon, beavers and other animals. In addition, the slope forest is a true bird paradise.


The area can be explored from both sides, with the possibility of walking in one direction along a good footpath at the upper edge of the slope and returning in the opposite direction along the shore. The turning point is at the Birsfelden weir. Views of the gravel-covered banks and of the mouth of the Bir river opposite are always possible. A series of information boards provide information on the specific, heat-loving flora and fauna of the area as well as on special topics such as migratory animal species. The small access points lead to the traditional fishermen's huts to cross the area. Upstream in the direction of the power plant Birsfelden, the area close to the riverbank is heavily overgrown and it is difficult to move forward.

This walk is not suitable for wheelchairs or buggies. On rainy days there is a risk of slipping in the riverbank area due to gravel deposits.


Apart from a kiosk on Grenzacherstrasse, there are no refreshment facilities in the immediate vicinity. Picnics are possible in the nature reserve, but fires are prohibited, which is why there are no barbecue areas.

Other greenbelt sites in the vicinity

Power plant Birsfelden 


Further information

Here you will find further information from our partner on the Rheinhalde nature reserve.


  • By the water, Excursion with animals, Excursion with children, Viewpoint, Walk

  • Bicycle, Car, Public transport

  • Food must be brought along, Kiosk / Café, Picnic area

  • Amphibians, Birds, Cultural landscape / meadows, Fishes, Insects, Reptiles, Specific fauna, Waters, Wetland

  • Tour

  • Families, Groups (< 10 persons), Groups (> 10 persons), Pets, School classes, Walkers


The area is easily accessible on foot or by public transport to the "Allmendstrasse" stop. Those arriving by car can park at the car park on the corner of Grenzacherstrasse and Rankstrasse.

Calculate route


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