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The German population of today may mostly live in high-rise, high-density apartment buildings in metropolitan cities, but they’re still forest explorers at heart. This fact is evident from the 200,0000 kilometers of well-maintained and accessible hiking trails across the country.
Needless to say, if you’re a hiking enthusiast, a trip to Germany will be no less than a paradise for you. With trails ranging from beautiful valleys to breathtaking mountains, you can easily find an excursion that fits your expertise and stamina.
From the scenic Baltic Coast to the dense Black Forest, here are the eight best hikes in Germany to include in your next trip.
Best Hikes In Germany
1. The Westweg Black Forest Trail
The Black Forest is one of the most popular hiking trails in Germany. Stretching from Pforzheim in Germany to Basel in Switzerland, it is a well-known long-distance trail for seasoned hikers.
Marked with the red diamond, the forest is scattered with lush vegetation and exotic wildlife. Although well-marked and maintained, the trail is also known for its eerily mysterious legends and landmarks that can excite any true nature lover.
Secretly known as the enchanted forest, attributing to local folklore, The Black Forest Westweg ranges over 280 km. Some of the highlights you’ll encounter during the hike include the steep Murg Valley, Titisee, and Feldberg.
2. Painters’ Way
For those who want to appreciate nature’s serene beauty truly, this is one of the best hikes in Germany. The trail runs across the magnificent Elbe Mountains, displaying picturesque rock formations and a tranquil environment; all that’ll make the experience worthwhile.
As the name suggests, many popular artists like Caspar David Friedrich incorporated this romantic natural backdrop for his famous artworks. If you’re a movie junkie, you’d be excited to know that the cult-favorite The Chronicles of Narnia were also shot here, providing a testimonial of its otherworldly beauty.
Most importantly, the trail is very well maintained, with carefully defined maps and fancy inns along the way. This makes it an ideal outdoor excursion for families.
Stretching to around 112 kilometers, it would take approximately eight to nine days for experienced hikers to complete the trail. However, it is ideal for beginners and moderate-level hikers alike.
3. The Heidschnuckenweg Trail
If mountainous terrains covered with unique flora and fauna come to your mind when imagining the perfect hiking session, the Heidschunuckenweg is one of the best hikes in Germany for you.
Apart from carrying robust hiking shoes to keep you going through the scenic mountains, make sure to take along a pair of binoculars as well. This trail is rich, full of impressive wildlife.
You can either take your time to spot exotic birds and wild animals in their natural habitat across the 220-kilometer hike or enjoy the fragrant flowers. The trail is known for its large lilac and heater blossoms come spring, making for an unmatched treat for the senses.
4. The Rhine Castles Trail
Another fascinating trail that fuels the imagination is the Rhine Castles Trail. If you have children intrigued by stories of kings, princesses, and mythical creatures, this hike in Germany is the ultimate option for you.
This 200-kilometer trail located near the Rhine Valley meanders around more than fifteen different medieval time castles. That’s enough to transport you into the fairytales of your childhood.
Besides that, you can even book a guided tour through this trail. This can help you to get hands-on knowledge about the historical heritage of these monuments.
Filled with artifacts of world history and local folklore, the stories combined with the breathtaking views are enough to keep both adults, and young children hooked.
5. The Partnachklamm Hike
This short 700-meter trail runs beneath one of Germany’s tallest mountain ranges. It is one of the most popular hikes in Germany, so if you’re visiting during the peak season, you’ll be pushing against huge crowds through the narrow passageway.
Dividing Garmisch from Partenkirchen, the Partnachklamm Gorge is built between high limestone walls. These walls let hikers walk through picturesque waterfalls while beholding the astounding beauty of the mountains above.
During the winter season, the waters freeze into striking stalactites that would transfer you to a scene from the movie Frozen.
If you’re traveling with your significant other, you can also book a guided tour through Partnachklamm and take a romantic torchlight walk.
Most importantly, it takes only 40 minutes to complete the hike. This makes it ideal for beginner-level hikers looking for a relaxing getaway.
6. King’s House Hike
The King’s House Hike is easily one of the most exciting outdoor excursions you can take while visiting Germany. This moderate-level trail takes almost a whole day to complete and is ideal for active adults and even children.
Those who take up the challenging trail can visit the castle of King Ludwig II as a reward. You can start your hike from Schloss Elmau, walking along the well-marked and mapped trail.
Apart from regular hiking gear, you will need robust hiking shoes and trekking poles. These will help you move safely through the mountainous terrain.
Besides that rustic fairytale castle, the trail also leads to an alpine botanical garden. It sports more than a thousand plant species from the Himalayas and the Alps.
Altogether, this hike can be a fun and educational experience for those traveling with families.
7. Lüneburg Heath
Located in Lower Saxony, the Naturpark Lüneburger Heide is one of the oldest nature parks in Germany. Across the park, you will find dense pine forests teeming with wildlife and flora dotted with quaint medieval villages.
It offers several hiking trails for those looking for relaxing, beginner-friendly excursions. Most sections of the hike are flat and easy to walk upon. So, you don’t have to carry any dedicated gear.
However, you should choose shoes that keep your feet comfortable while walking for several hours at a stretch. If you’re traveling during summer, take a jacket and raincoat along with you, just in case it starts raining during your excursion.
8. The Ahrsteig Trail
The Ahrsteig Trail, located near the Ahr Valley, is a versatile combination of rocky terrains, high plateaus, and peaceful meadows. It is also one of the most popular hikes in Germany.
The trail goes through multiple wine villages, which you can explore along the way.
The trail stretches for around 84 kilometers adjacent to the Ahr river. It is easy to navigate, attributing to the customized Ahrsteig trail logos etched on trees throughout the way.
Besides that, you can also find comfortable seats to rest your feet. Similarly, there are small inns to get some refreshment along the route.
But remember, this is an intermediate-professional level trail that requires ample stamina to complete. So, if you’re a beginner who has seldom taken challenging hikes, you should give this one a pass.