The Nurtschweg, a long distance trail along the German-Czech border, promises to be a great hiking adventure. On seven stages, you walk through sparsely populated areas in the Upper Palatinate Forest, enjoying only the essentials of life. Carrying everything you need on your shoulders, including food, you can feel what is really important in life. In the endless forests, you can rediscover yourself in nature.
The tranquil villages along the 140-kilometre (86-mile) trail reveal the border region’s interesting culture. Although you only hike on German soil, the Czech Republic is often only a few metres away.
Along the way, you discover enchanted castle ruins, magnificent sacral architecture, and plenty of traditional beer from the region. Several viewpoints afford spectacular views over the surrounding landscape too. The trail is named after Johann Baptist Nurtsch, who was a postman in Weiden around 1900. He marked the route for the first time in the colours yellow-red-yellow, which you can still follow today.
The stages are neither short nor long, and you never have to overcome many metres in altitude. This makes the trail an ideal long-distance hike for beginners and families. The routes are designed for gentle walking, allowing plenty of time to stop for breaks and visit places en route. The rippling streams, moss-covered rocks and forest create a mysterious atmosphere. Look up and watch the tree tops swaying in the breeze and keep your eyes peeled for inhabitants of the forest.
In this Collection, the trail runs from from north to south, but you can walk in either direction. The Nurtschweg is most beautiful during the warm months: from spring when nature slowly awakens again, to summer when the plants bloom in their splendour, and autumn when the Upper Palatinate Forest comes alive with colour. The individual stages are also wonderfully suited as day hikes.
It is best to book your overnight stays in advance. Sometimes, accommodation isn’t available directly at the end of the stage, but you will find a bed close by. Hosts in the region are helpful and often happy to pick you up at the end on request. They can also prepare takeaway meals and snacks. The stages often run through remote areas so make sure you bring enough food and drink with you. You’ll spot regional bakeries and butchers to purchase a treat for your hike. Bring cash as you may not be able to everywhere by card.
Take the train to Marktredwitz and Wiesau. From there, you can take the BAXI bus to the starting point in Kappl. You can find more information, here: fahrmit-tirschenreuth.de/baxi. There’s a station in Waldmünchen, where you finish the hike, too.
The Nurtschweg begins with a bang: before you even set off, you can visit the magnificent baroque Trinity Church in Kappl. But then it is time to start hiking and you enter the first piece of forest south of the Kappl. Now you have already got to know the leitmotif for your first stage on the Nurtschweg. This creates a smooth transition from civilization to nature before you advance into more pristine regions over the next few days.
On the second stage, the Nurtschweg runs along the border with the Czech Republic through a sparsely populated area. So it's best to pack a decent snack for on the go. It can also be a little more, because there is no inn at the stage destination in Mähring.First you walk east straight to the Czech Republic. You will …
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On the third stage, dreamlike landscapes and places steeped in history await you. Today the Nurtschweg leads only a little through the forest and more over fields, so you have a nice unobstructed view. You leave Mähring in the south and then turn to the southwest. The forest through which the border to the Czech Republic runs is always in view. You cross the village of Griesbach and then dive into the forest for a short distance.
On the fourth stage you can enjoy the essence of the Upper Palatinate nature again: The Nurtschweg leads you between trees through a landscape in which the next places seem far away. Only the first two kilometers run over fields.In the forest you will soon pass a rustic log cabin, which invites you to have a second breakfast with …
The fifth stage is one of the longer routes on the Nurtschweg. Today the forest thins out more often and the varied path makes the hiking day entertaining. First over fields and then through the forest you hike up to the Sulzberg. Numerous springs arise here, some of whose water also flows down to Waidhaus, where it feeds a bathing lake in the Bäckeröd leisure center.
On the sixth stage, a lively up and down between forests and fields awaits you. From Eslarn you go south towards the Stückberg. At the foot of the mountain you will be greeted by friendly forest dwellers. In the wildlife park you wander between the enclosures of mouflons, deer and wild boars, and then go via Lindau to Friedrichshäng.In …
As the last stage, a longer hike is waiting for you. So you can enjoy the Upper Palatinate nature with its dense forests to the full and bring your Nurtschweg to a worthy end. A short piece of forest brings you to Charlottenthal, another to the foot of the Kleeberg. Here you can make a detour to the pretty pilgrimage chapel of Steinlohe, which stands lonely above the meadows.