Germany's best hiking trails

Germany's best hiking trails

As an adventure travel blogger, nothing makes me happier than the great outdoors. Be it hiking, cycling or kayaking, if it's outdoors in nature I'm happy. So, when I was invited to experience 3 of Germany's most beautiful hiking trails, I was in. I was a guest of Tourism, to explore the Swabian Alb; a 220km mountain range stretching across the region. It's a destination I was yet to visit, but it was on my radar since a German friend told me about some of the stunning hiking on offer here.All 3 of these hikes have been listed as some of the best hiking Germany has to offer, all are around 3-5 hours and are well signposted 'loop' trails - starting and finishing in the same spot. There are however a lot of other hikes in and around each of these areas, but these routes have been designed to give the best one-day hiking experience. For me personally, 10-15km (6-9 miles) is about right. It's an enjoyable distance. Each of these trails are also marked on the App, where you can follow the exact trail via GPS. It has all the points of interest marked, along with plenty of useful facts about the hike. I've also marked the points of interest on my map above, with the trail starting points in yellow.After picking up my hire car in Stuttgart, I drove for around 35 minutes to Bad Urach, a town just a few minutes from the start of my first hike. This is the one I'd heard most about, and that's for one simple reason, the Urach Waterfall. The hike was voted Germany's most beautiful hiking trail in 2016 in the annual vote by 'Wandermagazin'. It was easy to see why. Right at the start of this 3-4 hour hike, you're hit with a waterfall that wouldn't look out of place in South-East Asia. Seriously did you know Germany had a waterfall like this?In fact, from the starting point and car park the waterfall is only around a half hour walk. If you are short on time and want to just see the waterfall you can do it in a couple of hours. You’ll be missing out on the rest of the hike though. After taking some stunning photos of the waterfall the Wasserfallsteig trail continues to climb and passes one of my favourite spots on the trip. It’s one place that’s not marked on the Outdooractive route, but there is a photo spot Aussichtspunkt (on my map on google above, along with each of the starting points). It’s a small viewpoint off the main trail, you can often spot these little pathways and if you have time, I recommend exploring them. This is where you find the hidden gems. The final stage of the hike passes through a couple of smaller waterfalls, forests, meadows and local farmland.My second hike was right next to the town of Mössingen, and as you can see from the map, it might make sense to do this hike first. But as the Waterfall hike is shorter, I wanted plenty of time to go to the Lichtenstein Castle. So it’s your call how you play that one. The Dreifürstensteig hike is a little longer at 13.3km. It starts in the apple orchards before leading uphill through the forest, to the viewpoint “Dreifürstenstein”. From here there are fantastic views over the valleys and the picturesque village of Beuren. Next you head along a stunning mountain pass to Bergrutsch Hirschkopf, the scene of Baden-Württemberg’s largest recorded landslide. To get a real sense of the scale of the landslide I recommend viewing it from the bottom too, following the signs slightly off trail. It will only add 20 minutes to your walk.

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