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Hike through Franconia in Germany – European Watershed Trail

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Hike through Franconia in Germany – European Watershed Trail

Hiking Collection by Vanessa Kopp

5-9

days

3-5 h

/ day

64.7 mi

4,525 ft

4,200 ft

The Romantic Franconia holiday region is largely characterised by the Franconian Heights Nature Park, through which a natural border runs – the European Watershed. Also known as the Continental Divide, this unique geographical feature, which flows from Gibraltar to Moscow, is a focus of the European Watershed Trail long-distance hike. This 100-kilometre (62 mile) route leads in a large arc through Middle Franconia in Bavaria, Germany. En route, you cross bodies of water many times, some flowing towards the North Sea and others to the Black Sea. You discover diverse forests, typical of the Franken Heights, as you hike. The trail received the ‘Qualitätsweg Wanderbares Deutschland’ seal of quality three times and it’s easy to see why.

In this Collection, I have divided the long-distance hiking trail into five daily stages. You start in the city of Ansbach, the capital of Middle Franconia, and finish in the municipality of Schnelldorf. There is a train station in both locations, so you can easily travel to and from this adventure by train. The trail leads you through quiet forests, flowering meadows and dry grasslands, and reveals beautiful views. In addition, you find information boards along the way that tell you more about the phenomenal watershed. The trail is waymarked with blue and white signposts.

The trail has excellent infrastructure for hikes. You pass cosy inns where you can replenish your energy as well as countless springs where you can fill up your water bottle. Each stage finishes in a village with several accommodation options except for the second stage, where the lovely Waldgasthof Wildbad guesthouse is the only place to stay. I recommend booking your overnight stays in advance so that you can enjoy the beautiful landscape stress-free. If you like to hike in total comfort, you can book a luggage service too. You can find more information, here (in German language only): wasserscheideweg.de. If you don’t have five days to spare, you can also only hike individual stages. You can reach all start and end points with public transport.

Experience the landscape of the Franken Heights Nature Park on wonderful trails and let yourself be inspired by the beauty of the region, the hospitality of its inhabitants and the idyllic nature. You will quickly realise what makes hiking through Franconia so special.

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Der Europäische Wasserscheideweg

64.1 mi

4,525 ft

4,325 ft

Last updated: November 24, 2021

Plan your own version of this adventure in the multi-day planner based on the stages suggested in this Collection.

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Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    07:08
    16.7 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,025 ft
    750 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The first stage on the European watershed route is almost 27 kilometers long. The 100 km long long-distance hiking trail starts in the residential city of Ansbach. On a wooded route you hike to the market town of Colmberg and can get in the perfect mood for your multi-day hiking adventure through Middle

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    by Vanessa Kopp

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  • Difficult
    05:53
    13.3 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,125 ft
    1,125 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The second stage of the Wasserscheideweg leads you from Colmberg to the idyllic Wildbad. Most of the 21-kilometer route runs in the forest, but along the way you will always find wonderful views. Look forward to a varied day of hiking through the Frankenhöhe Nature Park.

    

    You leave Colmberg and dive into

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  • Intermediate
    03:27
    8.11 mi
    2.4 mph
    425 ft
    300 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The third stage of the watershed is quite relaxed with its 13 kilometers. But this way you have enough time on the way to explore the barefoot path or to refresh yourself in the forest swimming pool. The route from Wildbad to Neusitz is relatively flat and leads you through beautiful forest areas.

    

    And

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  • Difficult
    05:21
    12.4 mi
    2.3 mph
    800 ft
    725 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The fourth stage on the European watershed takes you from Neusitz to Schillingsfürst. This route also leads you mainly through the forest and lets you enjoy the Frankenhöhe Nature Park to the fullest. On the 20-kilometer tour you only come through one village, but you can take an extensive lunch break

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  • Difficult
    06:14
    14.1 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,150 ft
    1,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The final spurt on the European watershed: The fifth and last stage of the long-distance hiking trail takes you on romantic paths from Schillingsfürst to Schnelldorf. Particularly impressive on the almost 23-kilometer route is the more than 200-meter-long Gailnau rock fall with its steep edge.

    

    But it

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    5
  • Distance
    64.7 mi
  • Duration
    28:03 h
  • Elevation
    4,525 ft4,200 ft

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Hike through Franconia in Germany – European Watershed Trail

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