Christo Foerster | Raus und machen

Lowest to Highest (L2H) in Germany

Christo Foerster | Raus und machen

Lowest to Highest (L2H) in Germany

From the lowest natural landmark to the highest – when I heard about this idea, I was keen to test it out in Germany’s 16 states. Of course, the Tours in Germany are not quite as tough as the Badwater Ultramarathon in the USA, which leads from Death Valley to Mount Whitney and is based on the Lowest to Highest principle. However, that depends on how you plan them.

I've laid out the 16 routes as walking itineraries. They can be completed on consecutive days or in several small adventures. Except for the Zugspitze, all destinations are also accessible by bike. I’m curious how you interpret this idea for yourself.

To help you to plan your route individually, you can find the landmarks separately in this Collection.
If you don't see the landmarks in the overview map at the top of the Collection, scroll down once and then up again, then they should load and appear.

Whenever you complete one of the L2H routes and upload it to komoot, you can tag me as a participant in the Tour. This way, I can collect the Tours in a separate Collection and we can all find more ways to connect the dots as well as the highlights on each route.

Determining the highest points was quite easy, but the lowest ones were sometimes a real challenge. Even the state surveying offices often couldn't always help as some of the lowest natural landmarks were not accessible such as open-pit mines or the bottom of lakes and rivers. Nonetheless, I have researched and chosen, to the best of my knowledge, the lowest points. If you find a lower point – please let me know! Don’t get hung up if the elevations listed on komoot vary slightly from the official ones. I also have a few question marks, but I checked everything several times.

Many thanks to Verena Wessel and the komoot team who supported me with my research and preparation!

If you fancy it, feel free to share the idea of L2H routes in Germany with others. I think they might be able to find some inspiration in the idea too.

Best regards and I wish you unforgettable moments out there,
Christo Foerster

I’d also be happy if you listen to my podcast FREI RAUS or check out my website: christofoerster.com.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    Difficult
    86:17
    173 mi
    2.0 mph
    4,650 ft
    4,000 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The starting point of this L2H hike in Brandenburg is in the Lower Oder Valley National Park, right on the border with Poland, near Gartz on the Oder. Halfway through the route leads through the east of Berlin, before you reach the highest point in Brandenburg after 281 kilometers - the Kutschenberg at 201 meters. The route is characterized by a lot of untouched nature and numerous lakes, also because it partly follows the “66 lakes hiking trail”.

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    Difficult
    14:02
    28.3 mi
    2.0 mph
    725 ft
    475 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The lowest point in Berlin and thus the starting point of this L2H hike is in the east of Berlin, in Spandau on the Großer Spektesee. The route then continues through Charlottenburg, the Tiergarten, to the Victory Column, as it should be in Berlin, through the Brandenburg Gate, through Kreuzberg, along the Landwehr Canal, through Treptower Park, Volkspark Wuhlheide and through Köpenick, until you reach the Müggelsee Müggelberg hiking. At 114.4 meters, it is the highest natural elevation in Berlin. With a route length of 45.6 kilometers, this route can also be mastered in one day.

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  • Difficult
    89:02
    161 mi
    1.8 mph
    19,475 ft
    14,900 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The starting point of this hike is at the lowest point in Baden-Württemberg in the Rheinufer nature reserve near Ballauf-Wilhelmswörth, north of Mannheim (85 meters high). The route then leads through Karlsruhe and past Freiburg and ends at the highest point in the state: on the Feldberg with its 1,493 meters above sea level (only 1,480 meters are displayed in the elevation profile on Komoot, don't let that confuse you). Since the route is quite long at 259 kilometers, it makes sense to divide it into several daily stages. There are a few shelters along the way.

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    Difficult
    11:51
    24.0 mi
    2.0 mph
    475 ft
    325 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The starting point of this L2H tour is in Bremerhaven and leads over 38.7 kilometers to the highest natural elevation in Bremen in Friedehorstpark (32.5 meters high). You can do this tour in one or two days. It offers a great opportunity to get to know the state of Bremen better and to explore new paths.

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    Intermediate
    04:57
    9.88 mi
    2.0 mph
    450 ft
    75 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This L2H hike begins at the lowest point in Hamburg in the Neuenfelde district and ends just 15.8 kilometers further on the Hasselbrack in the Rosengarten state forest. The Hasselbrack is the highest natural elevation in Hamburg at 116.2 meters. The hike leads through the Fischbeker Heide, which shines purple in splendid bloom, especially in August.

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    Difficult
    134:47
    257 mi
    1.9 mph
    19,750 ft
    16,600 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This L2H hike begins near Emden, right on the border with Holland, where the Ems merges into the North Sea. The destination is the Wurmberg in the Harz Mountains. At 971.2 meters, the Wurmberg is the highest natural land point in Lower Saxony. With a length of 416 kilometers, this hike leads through the entire state. Various shelters are right on the route.

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    Difficult
    69:42
    128 mi
    1.8 mph
    14,625 ft
    11,800 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The starting point of this L2H hike is the banks of the Rhine near Lorchhausen, west of Wiesbaden. The route leads 206 kilometers through the Rheingau, partly along the Taunushöhenweg and the Rheinhöhenweg and offers wonderful views. The destination of the hike is the Wasserkuppe in the Fulda district - at 950 meters, the highest point in Hesse.

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    Difficult
    51:26
    104 mi
    2.0 mph
    1,975 ft
    1,425 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The lowest point of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and thus the starting point of this L2H route is located directly in the Western Pomerania Lagoon Area National Park, a little bit outside the village of Zingst. The goal is the Helpter Mountains. The wooded hills in the eastern part of the Mecklenburg Lake District stretch up to a maximum height of 179.2 meters. The total length of the route is 170 kilometers.

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    Difficult
    76:58
    151 mi
    2.0 mph
    7,825 ft
    5,075 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The starting point of this L2H hike is at Zyfflich on the border with Holland. The route leads through some nature reserves, including Bislicher Insel, Rheinaue and Lippeaue, and runs along the water again and again. Past Recklinghausen and Dortmund it goes (in parts on the picturesque long-distance hiking trail Sauerland-Waldroute) towards the destination. This lies on the Langenberg with its height of 843.2 meters. In total, this tour is 243 kilometers long, so it's best to split it up individually into several stages.

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    Difficult
    49:38
    90.4 mi
    1.8 mph
    11,400 ft
    8,900 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This L2H hike starts at Rolandswerth on the banks of the Rhine, south of Bonn. The route then leads over a total of 146 kilometers up to the Erbeskopf - with a height of 816.3 meters, the highest point in Rhineland-Palatinate. In parts you hike on the long-distance hiking trail Osteifelweg, which leads from Bonn to the Moselkern, the Moselhöhenweg in the Eifel and the Moselsteig.

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    Difficult
    24:17
    43.9 mi
    1.8 mph
    6,000 ft
    4,175 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The route of this L2H hike begins on the Moselle, directly on the border with Luxembourg, on the Saarland circular route. It leads through the Bärenfels nature reserve, along the Saar steep slopes, past the Eisenkopf, through the Saarhölzbachtal, follows the Saar-Hunsrück climb and ends in the Hunsrück-Hochwald National Park on the Dollberg (695.4 meters). The tour is 71 kilometers long and offers many nature reserves and wild nature.

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    Difficult
    38:08
    76.1 mi
    2.0 mph
    2,625 ft
    2,075 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The starting point of this L2H hike is the lowest point in Germany 3.5 meters below sea level on the edge of the small village of Neuendorf-Sachsenbande. The route then leads through Neumünster and to Plöner See, where you hike along the entire northern shore edge. More lakes follow until you reach the highest point in Schleswig-Holstein on the Bungsberg in Schönwalde (167.4 meters). This is not an incredible height, but from here you have a beautiful view over the hills of Holstein Switzerland. The route is 122 kilometers long. You should therefore plan it individually as a multi-day tour.

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    Difficult
    36:44
    69.7 mi
    1.9 mph
    6,350 ft
    3,500 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The starting point of this L2H route is at Wiehe, on the Unstrut flood canal, between Erfurt and Halle an der Saale. The route leads through the wooded ridge, the Hohe Schrecke, and partly follows the Via Regia pilgrimage route, which is part of the German Way of St. James. You walk through Erfurt, then a bit on the hiking trail "From Bach to Goethe" and reach your destination on the Großer Beerberg - at 982.9 meters, the highest point in Thuringia. Incidentally, the Great Beerberg is a remnant of a volcano that was active over 250 million years ago. The route with a total length of 112 kilometers tells a lot of old history, offers varied nature and several meters in altitude.

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    Difficult
    152:27
    285 mi
    1.9 mph
    26,200 ft
    16,975 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This L2H route begins in Kahl am Main, on the border with Hesse and not far from Frankfurt am Main. The goal is the highest point in Bavaria, which is also the highest point in Germany: the Zugspitze at 2,962 meters. After climbing many meters of altitude, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Alps. This hike is quite long with a total of 458 kilometers. So you should allow a bit of time to do them in one piece, or break them up into several pieces. You should also keep in mind that the Zugspitze is an alpine peak and therefore cannot be reached on foot all year round. Good planning and self-assessment are necessary, especially for the last few kilometers.

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    Difficult
    64:56
    128 mi
    2.0 mph
    6,975 ft
    3,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The starting point of this L2H hike is opposite Wittenberge on the banks of the Elbe. This route leads past Wolfsburg into the Harz Mountains, up to the Brocken, the highest point in Saxony-Anhalt at 1141.2 meters. The route is a total of 206 kilometers, so it should be divided into several daily stages.

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    Difficult
    59:40
    114 mi
    1.9 mph
    9,250 ft
    5,550 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This L2H hike begins at the Elbe lowlands near the village of Wörblitz, northeast of Leipzig. It leads through the Presseler Heidewald and its moorland, through the Colditz Forest, through Chemnitz and the Ore Mountains to the Fichtelberg, at 1,214.8 meters the highest mountain in Saxony.

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    © OSM

    The lowest point in Brandenburg is idyllically located in the middle of fields and meadows very close to the Lower Oder Valley National Park.

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    © OSM

    This hill, called Kutschenberg, is only 201 meters high, but it is still the highest point in Brandenburg.

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    © OSM

    Tiefster Punkt Berlin

    Hiking Highlight

    This point is considered the deepest in Berlin. Idyllically located on the water, it is the perfect starting point for your hike to Berlin's highest mountain - the Great Müggelberg.

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    © OSM

    Höchster Punkt Berlin

    Hiking Highlight

    In Berlin a distinction is made between the highest natural point and the highest “man-made” point. This one, called Großer Müggelberg, is the highest natural elevation in Berlin. In the meantime, however, there are two other higher elevations, both of which were created in the form of landfills: The Arkenberg and the Teufelsberg.

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    © OSM

    Tiefster Punkt Bremen

    Hiking Highlight

    Since Bremerhaven is part of Bremen, Bremen's officially lowest point is here, near the North Sea.

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    © OSM

    Höchster Punkt Bremen

    Hiking Highlight

    The highest point in Bremen is just 32.5 meters high! There is also a higher point in Bremen - but this did not come about naturally: the garbage dump in Bremen-Blockland.

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    © OSM

    Tiefster Punkt Hamburg

    Hiking Highlight

    The lowest point in Hamburg is a bit outside the city, idyllically on the water. Why not hike from here to the highest point in Hamburg - the Hasselbrack?

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    © OSM

    Höchster Punkt Hamburg

    Hiking Highlight

    At 116 meters, the Hasselbrack is certainly not a giant under the mountains, but it is the highest point in Hamburg.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    16
  • Highlights
    32
  • Distance
    1,845 mi
  • Duration
    964:53 h
  • Elevation
    138,725 ft

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Christo Foerster | Raus und machen

Lowest to Highest (L2H) in Germany