9

of the Most Beautiful Hiking Trails in Germany

LISTICLE | 10/20/2021

Autumn time - hiking time! ISPO.com presents the nine most beautiful hiking trails in Germany. Between Lower Saxony and Bavaria, between Saarland and Thuringia - either suitable for a whole hiking vacation or a single day trip. Because all hiking trails offer one-day stages - from medium to difficult.

1

Hiking trail Bavaria: SalzAlpenSteig

On the panoramic terrace of Chiemgau

Many paths lead to one of the most beautiful panoramic mountains of the Chiemgau, the Hochfelln - which is part of the third stage of the SalzAlpenSteig. The long-distance hiking trail runs from Bavaria to Upper Austria. Along the way, hikers learn interesting facts about the history of salt extraction in the area and about the traces the salt has left in towns and sights. From the highest point of the route at 1674 metres, there is a magnificent view over Lake Chiemsee. The Hochfelln is also known for its mountain run. The summit cross is usually busy but the great view compensates for that. On a clear day, the view extends to the 3000-metre mountain ranges in the south.

2

Hiking Trail Rhineland-Palatinate/North Rhine-Westphalia: Eifelsteig

Between rock and water

The Eifelsteig beckons with 313 kilometres - its motto: "Where rock and water accompany you". Natural paths, with a high proportion of earth-covered trails, alternate with grandiose views and a variety of rock formations. A landscape created by the clash of the elements. Fire and water have shaped the region, the wind has polished it. And the long-distance hiking trail makes its way through the middle of region in 15 daily stages. High dolomite rocks, for example, tower above the town of Gerolstein and invite you to take a detour. From the flat lands in the north near Aachen, the route passes the largest intact high moorland, the Hohe Venn, the Eifel National Park, through the limestone and volcanic Eifel to the Roman city of Trier.

3

Hiking Trail Lower Saxony/Saxony-Anhalt: Harzer-Hexen-Stieg

Steep cliffs and mystical legends

Dense mixed and coniferous forests, steeply rising cliffs, rocky gorges and quietly babbling brooks: the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg (Harz Witches' Trail) offers wonderful views, especially in autumn when the leaves change colour. Hikers cross the low mountain range on the direct route (94 kilometres) - in five stages from west to east. Two highlights on the Harzer-Hexen-Stieg are the hike up the legendary Brocken and through the spectacular Bodetal Gorge. Here, themes from nature, geology, history and culture come together to form an exciting cross-section of Germany's northernmost low mountain range. Evidence of more than a thousand years of mining history can be found at every turn; for example, the narrow trenches of the UNESCO World Heritage "Oberharzer Wasserwirtschaft" (Upper Harz Water Management)a water collection system created for mining in the 16th to 18th centuries.

4

Hiking trail Bavaria, Hesse, Thuringia: Hochrhöner

Through the land of distant views

The award-winning Hochrhöner long-distance hiking trail (Kuppenrhön variant) leads across three state borders from the spa town of Bad Kissingen to the brine spa town of Bad Salzungen. The trail is steeped in history and includes a visit to the Franciscan monastery on the Kreuzberg with its centuries-old brewing tradition, the cradle of gliding on the Wasserkuppe or the legendary rocky ridge of the Milseburg. Other highlights are the Red and Black Moors, both of which delight visitors with their very special flora. The unwooded heights with their wide views make the Land of Open Distances unmistakable and an Eldorado for hikers - and that for 180 kilometres, spread over nine stages.

5

Hiking trail Rhineland-Palatinate: Felsenland legend trail

The mystical world of the Palatinate Forest

A small ghost leads the hiker in five stages through the mystical world of the Palatinate Forest. The cross-border long-distance hiking trail has everything to offer that makes a hiker's heart leap: fabulous views as well as a multitude of castles and castle ruins in the Dahner Felsenland and Alsace. A sea of red sandstone rocks lines the 86-kilometre-long trail. The third stage is considered the king's stage - and not just because of its metres in altitude. The sights, such as the Wegelnburg - the highest castle ruin in the Palatinate or the famous Fleckenstein Castle in Alsace, also make this part of the hike an unforgettable experience.

6

Hiking trail Baden-Württemberg: Schluchtensteig in the Black Forest

Challenging tours with spectacular views

Exposed paths along steep rocky gorges and gurgling streams, rest areas with spectacular views, mossy trees and glistening drops of water - the Schluchtensteig in the Black Forest offers it all. Wutachflühen, Wutachschlucht, Schleifenbachfälle, Haslachschlucht, Windbergwasserfall, Hohwehraschlucht and Wehraschlucht are the destinations for all those who are drawn to water. Over a distance of 119 kilometres, there is a difference in altitude of around 6500 metres - ascent and descent are more or less equal. Depending on your physical condition, five or six stages are possible. In between there are always magnificent views over the southern Black Forest to the distant Alps.

7

Saarland hiking trail: Saar-Hunsrück Climb

Over the most beautiful suspension rope bridge in Germany

The Geierlay is not only Germany's most beautiful suspension rope bridge, but also one of the longest of its kind in Europe - in the middle of the Hunsrück. It is 360 metres long and 100 metres high. It can be reached via an alternative route on the 19th stage of the Saar-Hunsrück Climb. In total, this 410-kilometre, 27-stage trail leads from Perl on the Moselle in the Saarland via Idar-Oberstein and the Hunsrück to Boppard on the Rhine, as well as a branch to the Roman city of Trier. The Saar-Hunsrück Climb is characterised by a particularly high proportion of natural paths and avoids towns as far as possible. It leads almost exclusively through unspoilt countryside.

8

Hiking trail North Rhine-Westphalia: Way of St. James

On the trail of historic paths through Münsterland

Centuries ago, many pilgrims travelling from the north or east passed through what is now North Rhine-Westphalia. Their destination: the tomb of the Apostle James in Santiago de Compostela in Spain. Around a dozen historic routes have now been reconstructed, one of which runs right through the Münsterland. The start of the route, which is a good 200 kilometres long, is the cathedral in Osnabrück. From there it goes over the Teutoburg Forest through Lengerich, Ladbergen and Münster to Herbern in the Münsterland and then on via Lünen and Dortmund to Wuppertal. The route is lined with historic sights, including numerous castles, palaces, churches and museums.

9

Hiking trail Hesse/North Rhine-Westphalia: Rothaarsteig in Sauerland

In the land of 1000 mountains

In the middle of the Sauerland - rightly called the "Land of 1000 Mountains" - lies the Rothaarsteig long-distance hiking trail. The sporty, ambitious hiker simply makes six of the eight stages of the "Path of the Senses". The total distance of around 155 kilometres is not only dog-friendly, but also offers wild forests, wide meadows, many mountain hills and picturesque half-timbered houses. In the middle of Germany, the Rothaarsteig leads through quiet and scenic landscapes - and also up the highest mountain in North Rhine-Westphalia, the Langenberg (843 metres). Another highlight is the 40-metre suspension bridge near Kühhude, part of the "Forest Ecosystem" experience point.

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