hiking trails

Germany’s 10 best

Germans' passion for walking is unrivaled. High-altitude treks in the Bavarian Alps, Black Forest hikes, Rhineland vineyard strolls – it won't take long before you've grabbed your boots.

Germany has 200,000km (124,274 miles) of well-signposted trails, some traversing national and nature parks or biosphere reserves.

Local tourist offices help travelers find a route to match their fitness and time frame. Many offer multiday “hiking without luggage” packages that include accommodation and luggage transfers.

Lutherweg – Schmalkalden

Schmalkalden is the western terminus of a 16km (10 miles) easy-to-moderate leg of the much larger “Luther Way” hiking trail that winds across Thuringia, Hesse, Bavaria and Saxony.

The Lutherweg section ends at Tambach-Dietharz, from where there are bus services back to town (weekdays only; check with the tourist office for times).

Weinkulturpfad – Trier

Panoramic views unfold from Petrisberg, the vine-covered hill just east of the Roman amphitheater in Trier. Halfway up, the Weinkulturpfad leads through the grapes to Olewig (1.6km).

Next to the Petrisberg/Aussicht stop for buses 4 and 85, a multilingual panel traces local history from the first known human habitation (30,000 years ago) through the last ice age to the Romans.

Westweg – Black Forest

Up for an adventure? The 280km (174 miles) Westweg is a famous long-distance trail, marked with a red diamond, stretching from Pforzheim in the northern Black Forest to Basel in Switzerland.

Highlights feature the steep Murg Valley, Titisee and the 1493-meter (4898ft) Feldberg.

Blomberg – Bad Tölz

Southwest of Bad Tölz, the Blomberg (1248m / 4094ft) is a family-friendly mountain with easy hiking and a fun alpine slide in summer and a natural toboggan track in winter.

Unless you’re walking, getting up the hill involves, weather permitting, a chairlift ride aboard the Blombergbahn. To reach Blomberg, take RVO bus 9612 from the train station to the Blombergbahn stop.