4 fantastic German hikes

by Stacy Roman
Stripes Europe

Now that spring is showing off new buds and blooms, it’s time to dust off those hiking boots and backpacks and head off into the great outdoors. The trail systems in Germany are second to none. Well-maintained paths lead you through vibrant meadows, lush valleys, up rocky hills and along bubbling streams. Here are four hikes in Germany worth checking out:

Almbachklamm – Bavaria

With numbered bridges and overpasses guiding your way, Almbachklamm in southeastern Bavaria is a stunning example of Mother Nature at her best. Complete with thundering waterfalls cascading into crystal-clear emerald pools, this relatively easy 3-kilometer-long trail winds its way from dense, lush forests through a narrow, rocky gorge. While the path is a little steep in certain sections, it is easy for families and pets to navigate. Finish off the hike at Gasthaus Kugelmühle with delicious desserts and frosty beverages.

Vogelsberg – Rhein Main

When you think of volcanoes in Europe, your mind probably wanders to Iceland or Mt. Vesuvius. However, just a short drive from Wiesbaden is one of the largest extinct volcanoes in Europe. Rife with hiking trails, Vogelsberg is home to amazing outcroppings of giant basalt boulders that dot the hilly landscape. There are several loops that take you along grassy plateaus and calm lakes. If you’re feeling more adventurous, carve out a few days in your schedule to tackle the entire 125-kilometer-long Vulkanring, which encircles the former volcanic area.

Ruppertsklamm – Rheinland-Pfalz

Not far from the bustling city of Koblenz, Rupertsklamm is tucked away above the banks of the Lahn River. Gaining more than 235 meters in altitude over 1.5 kilometers, you’ll be rewarded with a fantastic view of the valley below and castles lining hilltops in the background. Small waterfalls trickle along the narrow creek, and the dense forest canopy helps keep the area cool. The trail can become quite rocky and disheveled at times, but there are sturdy ropes affixed to the sheer rock walls to help you keep your balance.

Wutachschluct (Wutach Gorge) – Stuttgart

Known affectionately by some as the “Grand Canyon of Europe,” the Wutach Gorge isn’t quite as grand, but it definitely has breathtaking scenery. Located in the heart of the Black Forest, the Wutach River was once the headwaters for the Danube. Now a tributary of the Rhine River, the Wutach has carved its way through steep hills and vibrant forests. The main trail is a little more than 12 kilometers long and is rated as moderately difficult.

No matter which trail you choose, be sure to wear sturdy shoes or hiking boots. Before you go, check the weather, fill up your water bottle, and pack appropriately for possible changing conditions.

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