A day at the Geierlay Suspension Bridge

A day at the Geierlay Suspension Bridge

by Anna Leigh Bagiackas
Stripes Europe

Depending on your affinity for heights, this destination might send your heart racing or may simply suggest a pleasant summer outing. Less than two hours from Kaiserslautern and just over an hour from the Wiesbaden area, you can make an afternoon, day trip or full weekend adventure to visit one of Germany’s more unique hiking experiences: the Geierlay Suspension Bridge. Experience the thrill—or a little terror—of suspending high above the treetops while exploring this mountainous region of Rheinland-Pfalz.

Inspired and modeled after Nepalese suspension bridges, the Geierlay is located within the Hunsrück mountain range of the Rheinland-Pfalz. The bridge ends connect the cities of Mörsdorf and Sosberg and has been a popular destination for hikers since it opened in 2015. It is 360 meters long and 100 meters high, and it can hold 50 tons of weight, which is about 600 people weighing approximately 175 pounds. While hiking through this area is enough reason for a trip, the bridge provides a unique vantage point that you can’t experience elsewhere.

The bridge is only accessible by foot or bike (but bikes need to be walked across the bridge, not ridden), although there are a couple different options for getting there: a longer hike or a shorter footpath. These paths are also perfect options for individuals who may choose not to venture across the bridge, preferring to remain on more solid ground. The longer route, Geierlayschleife, begins and ends at the Mörsdorf Visitor Center, covering about 6.4 kilometers and taking about 2 hours and 30 minutes.

This is one of many hikes in the region that crosses over the Geierlay, and many routes begin and end at the visitor center, making it easy to choose your preferred distance and hit the trail. The region is also home to three “Traumschliefen” or dream loops—day or half day hiking tours. In addition to hiking, the Mörsdorf Visitor Center makes e-bikes available to rent and explore the region more extensively.

Fun fact: According to calculations, the Geierlay bridge can withstand winds up to 200 kilometers per hour or 125 miles per hour—but let’s leave that calculation with the mathematicians and not test that theory ourselves!

After checking out the suspension bridge, you can spend some time in the town of Mörsdorf. Grab a bite to eat at one of the local restaurants or try out the interactive village tour, which presents short films via QR code to learn about different parts of the area. After a few hours here, you’ll be ready to be a tour guide yourself.

Things to know

Parking information can be found at the bridge’s website, as it is easy to mistake residential parking areas for public lots. The bridge is accessible to wheelchairs and strollers, as long as they are narrow enough to let other pedestrians pass. Be sure to review the website’s updated guidelines, opening times and instructions for which direction to hike the bridge, as things continue to evolve. At the time of writing, access to the bridge is only available via the Mörsdorf entrance.

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