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Family hiking AleksandarNakic/iStock

Hiking in autumn – the finest routes in Germany

Hiking is the trend of the year for young and old alike! Whether with family, friends or alone, we show you the finest hiking regions in the whole of Germany.

Hiking in the north: Lüneburg Heath

The biggest connected heath area in Central Europe stretches between Hamburg and the royal seat of Celle: Lüneburg Heath inspires hikers with its moors, birch trees and glacial erratics, the biggest blocks of stone from the Ice Age. 

The Heidschnuckenweg is a hiking trail that winds some 223 kilometres through Lüneburg Heath and is also suitable for inexperienced hikers: at a height of 169 metres, the Wilseder Berg is the highest point. Instead of mountains, you will find raised bogs, dense forests, rivers and little villages with thatched houses. You can expect car-free conservation areas, floodplains with herds of Heidschnucke sheep and forests. The good thing is that Lüneburg Heath is a fantastic hiking destination all year round – when the heath is in bloom in August and equally when the frost covers the landscape in winter.

Hiking in the east: Uckermark

In the state of Brandenburg is the region of Uckermark, one of the most diffusely populated areas in the whole of Germany. Hiking trails extend across the region, passing through the Mecklenburg Lake District until they reach the Oder on the Polish border.  

One of these trails is the Märkische Landweg, along whose 217 kilometres wildly romantic waterways and expansive lakes alternate with dense forests and picturesque towns. Overall, you can expect a relaxed, undisturbed hike with no particularly steep inclines through landscapes formed by the Ice Age. Vast, hilly landscapes, tranquil forests, glistening lakes and quaint villages extend across three National Natural Landscapes – Uckermark Lakes Nature Park, Schorfheide-Chorin Biosphere Reserve and Lower Oder Valley National Park.

Hiking in the south: the Black Forest

The Black Forest, Germany’s highest and biggest connected low mountain range, is situated in the south-west of Baden-Württemberg and forms a mountain chain with dense forests as well as glacial lakes, skiing regions and hiking trails. 

The 119-kilometre-long Schluchtensteig offers you a hiking trail through fabulous spruce forests and wildly romantic valleys, surrounded by sunlit mountain peaks. However, you can also expect to find narrow trails and steep pathways, which require a certain amount of hiking experience as well as a head for heights and sure-footedness, but will nonetheless reward you with canyons, tunnels and waterfalls. The highest point is the Krummenkreuz Hütte at a lofty height of 1,148 metres. With its deep canyons, its terraced upland pastures facing the sun towards the south, and its many friendly villages with the roofs on the typical Black Forest houses that sweep right down to the ground floor, the Black Forest landscape is simply unique.

Father and son hikingImgorthand/iStock

Hiking in the west: Eifel

The Eifel region can be found in the west of Germany, between Aachen, Trier and Koblenz. It covers the High Fens raised bog area, the Eifel National Park and the Volcanic Eifel. 

On the 313-kilometre-long Eifelsteig, which stretches from Aachen Cathedral to Porta Nigra in Trier, you can discover the moor and heath landscape of the High Fens, the rugged Rur valley with its reservoirs and Eifel National Park, the Chalk Eifel, the cones and maars of the Volcanic Eifel, the Lieser and Kyll rivers and the red sandstone rocks to the north of Trier. All perfectly in keeping with the motto of the trail: ‘Just you, the rocks and the water’. The pathways are mostly left in their natural state and a 30-metre-long suspension bridge is just one of the highlights of the trail. In the summer, the sun creates a Mediterranean climate on the rocky slopes, while the cool and clear air in the winter is all the more fitting with the sometimes rugged landscapes. 

Hiking in the heart of Germany: Rhön

The Rhön UNESCO Biosphere Reserve is a National Natural Landscape situated at the point where Bavaria, Hesse and Thuringia all meet. Here you will find a mix of meadows and pastures, beech forests, basalt lakes and raised bogs.  

The hiking trail known as the Hochrhöner® winds 180 kilometres along the highest elevations of the Rhönpassing the Kreuzberg, HeidelsteinWasserkuppe and Ellenbogen summits. Along the way, you can expect some breathtaking views and extraordinary flora and fauna. It is a composition of raised bogs, basalt lakes, beech forests and meadows and pastures, featuring rare orchid species, globeflowers, and spear thistles. On the unforested peaks with their expansive views, it tends to be rather fresh in the summer, but it is all the sunnier in the autumn, while you can see wonderful snow-covered landscapes in the winter.

You hike – Persil Service washes!

Persil Service will wash your hiking clothes so that you can concentrate fully on hiking and relaxing. You can find further information on the laundry service at www.persil-service.de

Tip: During the coronavirus outbreak, you should always check the rules governing travel and social distancing before setting off on a hiking trip. It is also recommended that you make enquiries with local experts (such as the tourist information office) about how busy the popular routes are in order to avoid overcrowding.