Germany’s highlight: outdoor adventures

Germany’s highlight: outdoor adventures

by Anna Leigh Bagiackas
Stripes Europe

As we turn the calendar from May to June, there is so much promise—summer vacation, days and evenings filled with sun, colorful flowers and blissful blue sky—what we ache for in the dreary months of winter. With June arrives the first taste of summer, and with it, all the joys of the great outdoors.

You’ve probably heard about all of the hiking and biking opportunities if you are living in Germany, between the Palatinate Forest (Pfälzerwald) and the German Wine Route (Deutsche Weinstrasse). But have you ever experienced a German “draisine,” or trolley? Or maybe you love the hiking, but need a change of scenery? How about getting into the treetops with a high-ropes course?

Trolley rides

Draisine are light, four-wheeled rail vehicles that were used to control routes and transport personnel and equipment to maintain the railways. No longer in use, you can ride these trolleys on unused tracks as a way to explore an area, town or series of villages. Or, you can use it to relax with your friends and family on a sunny June day. Routes and distances vary depending on where you go, but you can make a day of a draisine ride, traveling the course of 20 kilometers with stops in different towns and outlooks along the way. Draisinentour in Kusel and Südpfalz-Draisenenbahn near Landau are two locations to check out.

Both companies have a range of different types and sizes of trolleys available; you can go out with another couple for a 4-person ride, expand your group to closer to 8 or even book a large group of 20. You can also choose your level of exercise with either manual pedaling or electric trolleys. Whether you’re excited to get onto the railroads, looking for a fun new picnic spot or want to discover some new food and wines along the way, these trolleys will give you a new experience in your own backyard.

High-ropes courses and adventure parks

With so many forests, trails and parks, it is no surprise that this region of Germany has found so many creative ways to get outside and enjoy what’s around us. One great way to spend the day is at a high-ropes course or outdoor adventure park. These courses offer something for the young, young-at-heart and families, with varying levels of risk and exhilaration awaiting you. Courses differ wherever you go, so there is always something new to explore!

The Adventureforest in Traben-Trarbach, near the Mosel River, is a favorite of many, as well as Kletterwald Bad Marienberg, less than an hour’s drive from Koblenz. In Bad Kreuznach, you can also find the Hoch Seil Garten course. What awaits are vertical climbing walls, partner courses, ziplines, ladders from tree to tree and clever routes to exercise both the body and mind. Afraid of heights? Choose courses lower to the ground, or park yourself at the picnic area with a pint of beer or glass of wine to watch others take on the treetop heights.

Take advantage of all that June and summertime in Germany have to offer and mix up your usual outdoor activities with these opportunities!

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