Discover Germany: Beautiful hiking trails
The “Entdecke DE” series by Deutschland.de takes you on a tour through Germany. This time we travel along impressive hiking trails. Get to know four of the nicest German trails – on the island of Rügen, in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains, alongside the river Mosel and on the Hermannshöhen.
The trail along the cliff tops of Rügen from Sassnitz to Lohme combines the raw charm of the chalk cliffs with unsurpassed views of the Baltic Sea. If you walk directly along the chalk cliffs of the Königsstuhl, following in the footsteps of the artist Caspar David Friedrich, you are certain to gain new insights into the uniqueness of this natural setting. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Ancient Beech Forests of Germany are among the last untouched forests in Europe. The combination of forests, meadows, marshes and chalk cliffs ensure the 13.5-kilometre trail in the Jasmund National Park never becomes boring.
The story of this trail goes back to the 18th century when painters from the Dresden Academy of Art were inspired by the bizarre rocky landscape of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. Their travelogues and sketches attracted hikers to Saxony from all over Europe. Today, visitors are still captivated by the colossal rocks, wild and romantic ravines and majestic table mountains along the 112-kilometre path. The Malerweg hiking trail is relatively new, only celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2016. Following the route of its historical predecessor, which had fallen into disuse, the modern trail was first signposted as a long-distance route with eight stages in 2006.
The length of this trail alone is certain to make hikers’ hearts beat faster: 365 kilometres, divided into 24 stages. The Moselsteig begins in the Franco-German border town of Perl on the Upper Mosel. The breadth and openness of the landscape fascinates visitors and allows them to see into Luxembourg and France. Further downstream the city of Trier is worth a visit. The trail then passes steep vineyards and countless picturesque villages. Koblenz, the German Corner and the mouth of the Mosel mark the end of the Moselsteig trail.
Hiking in North Rhine-Westphalia means variety: from the flat expanses of northern Münsterland to the forested mountain ridges of the Teutoburg Forest and the Egge Hills. The Hermannsweg and Eggeweg trails link fascinating castles, rock formations and panoramas. The 226-kilometre route celebrated its 10th jubilee in 2016. During this anniversary year each of the 13 stages was dedicated to a special topic, such as “Benedictine Nuns and Canonesses” or “Mystical Sites in the Egge”..
Back to nature – why hiking is back in vogue in Germany
Hiking has long been looked on in Germany as a stuffy hobby for older people who stomp around the mountains sporting felt hats and hiking sticks while singing folksongs. Recent years, however, have witnessed German attitudes towards this outdoor leisure pastime change radically: today, everyone is out there hiking!