Germany’s best hiking trails near Bavaria and Stuttgart

Germany’s best hiking trails near Bavaria and Stuttgart

by Amanda Palumbo
Stripes Europe

There is nothing like a stroll or a brisk hike in the woods to clear the mind and recharge the soul. The word ‘hiking’ might bring up visions of overly stuffed backpacks, walking for hours on end and fighting every bug imaginable. That is partly true, but you don’t have to be the die-hard expert to enjoy some of Germany’s beautiful trails. Here are some of our favorites.

Easy & Family Friendly

Trail: Eibsee-Brücke Loop

Location: Eibsee

Length: 2.27 miles

Elevation: 75 feet

The Garmisch area is home to breathtaking hikes with alluring backdrops. Lake Eibsee is no different. This is a really great trail for little ones since it’s fairly flat and most of the path is either paved or gravel. This trail starts at the Eibsee bus station and winds around the northeastern side of the lake which gives you views of emerald green waters and Zugspitze, Germany’s highest mountain. In the summer, take a pit stop by hitting the water for a swim or a boat ride.

Trail: Blautopf - Historic Schmiede Loop

Location: Blaubeuren

Length: 3.11 miles

Elevation: 125 feet

About an hour southeast of Stuttgart, Blaubeuren is a small picturesque town that seems to fly under most tourist’s radars. The trail starts at the city’s train station, quickly leading you to what the city is most known for, The Blautopf which translates to “Blue Pool.” Thanks to light scattering on lime particles, this karst spring is a gorgeous turquoise color, similar to what you would see off the coast of Capri and no, that’s not an exaggeration. The trail ends with stunning rock formations and castle ruins.

Intermediate

Trail: Olympiastadion Garmisch Loop from Kainzbad

Location: Garmisch

Length: 6.32 miles

Elevation: 1,625 feet

Another Garmisch gem, this steep trail takes you through Partnachklamm or Partnach Gorge. There’s a reason this site brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors, as you walk through pathways of rock more than 250 feet high. This gorge is magical no matter the season but, in the winter, you can gaze upon bizarre and stunning ice formations. Before the gorge, the trail brings you along Kaiserschmanalm, an adorable restaurant where the “Kaiserschmarrn,” a chopped up Austrian pancake, is highly recommended. 

Trail: Massendorfer Schlucht Loop

Location: Wernfels

Length: 10.7 miles

Elevation: 1,100 feet

This trail starts at the castle-turned-hostel Jugdendherberge Burg Wenfels, 40 minutes southeast of Nuremberg. The main event is Massendorfer Gorge, a narrow path that surrounds you with moss-covered rock formations. Just before you loop back to the hostel, stop at Biergarten Pflugsmühle, a great spot for a beer and even minigolf.

Hard

Trail: Edelfrauengrab-Wasserfälle-Herrenschrofen Loop

Location: Ottenhöfen

Length: 7.81 miles

Elevation: 2,075 feet

Skip leg day this week and hit this trail known for waterfalls and ridges in the northern Black Forest. With a 2,075 foot climb, this trail is not for the faint of heart. Oddly enough, there’s a drink station that sells alcohol right before one of the steepest parts of the trail. Definitely drink responsibility because you’re about to climb the Karlsruhe Ridge, which is a hike that will take all your strength but worth it for the stunning views.

Trail: Aussichtspunkt am Josefsplatz Loop

Location: Walchensee Lake

Length: 12.9 miles

Elevation: 4,225 feet

This hike’s steepest moments are at the start of the trail, which I prefer. Given the elevation level and terrain, this is definitely for more experienced hikers. The trail includes climbing part of Herzogstand, a mountain in the Bavarian foothills. The final part of the trail takes you along the lake which is a magnificent shade of blue. It’s a great spot to relax after that insane hike you just conquered.

Good to Know

Download the hiking app, “Komoot”, to help you pick out new trails, guide you along the way and even has tips and pictures from other hikers on the trail.

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