Magical woodland & trails – cycling in Germany’s Franconian Forest
© Naturpark Frankenwald & Marco Felgenhauer
Whether you prefer riding rooty trails or smooth, well-maintained cycle paths, you’ll find a suitable route in Germany’s Franconian Forest. The area offers an incredible range of cycle paths along farm tracks, former railway lines, single trails, and cycle paths, far away from any crowds. You will find something to suit your riding style and ability – from relaxed rides to heart-pumping climbs. With sloping hills, imposing castles, and idyllic streams, this low mountain range is one of Southern Germany’s best-kept secrets.
The Rehbach and Fischbach valleys offer relaxed rides for pleasure cyclists, families, and e-bike riders alike. These routes explore the valleys and wild meadows that make the Franconian Forest so unique.
If you are an ambitious touring cyclist you can ride to the historic towns of Kronach, Bad Steben, Kulmbach, and Helmbrechts. Impressive castles and fortresses such as Schauenstein Castle, natural springs such as the famous Höllental springs, and refreshing swimming lakes are great places to stop for a break en route. In Kulmbach, you can enjoy a regional beer with a bratwurst, for which the town is world-famous. The spa town of Rodach offers the warmest thermal spring in Northern Bavaria. You can discover your competitive streak on a route over the famous Rennsteig, a ridgeline that follows the boundary of Thuringian Forest, Thuringian Highland, and Franconian Forest. The largest cross-country race in Europe takes place here every year.
If you prefer something a little more rugged, I’ve included three mountain bike routes that take you over hills and across valleys. On these stages, you can ride up to the highest point of the Franconian Forest, the Döbraberg, explore the wild Steinachklamm Gorge and visit the rafting village of Wallenfels.
To make it easy to embark on your adventure, most of the routes can be reached by train. Only the smaller towns of Schwarzenbach am Wald and Gräfengehaig are a bit off the beaten track. However, you can reach Schwarzenbach am Wald via bus from Naila or Kronach. In addition, all routes, except for the beautiful Rennsteig route, are circular, meaning you can start at any point along the way.
On these ten bike routes, you can look forward to adventures in spectacular nature, enjoying the open road to yourself.
Castles and palaces all the time - take your time for this historic tour from Kronach, because you may want to explore some of the walls not just from the outside.With medieval flair you start in the beautiful old town of Kronach. You roll through the picturesque Hasslach valley without any noteworthy gradients first to the north and then turn to the west. In Mitwitz you stand in front of the first magnificent building, the moated castle. A visit is worthwhile because the castle, which is surrounded by water, houses furnishings from four centuries.Schmölz Castle around seven kilometers away will probably put you in a Scottish mood. The ivy-clad castle was first built in the 12th century and rebuilt after being destroyed in the 16th century.Shortly before Kronach you cross the Rodach. If you like, you can take a real raft trip here before heading back to Kronach with a view of the mighty Rosenberg Fortress.
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
With the tour through the beautiful Fischbach valley and Seibelsdorf you go for a short sporty round. Magnificent nature alternates with Franconian villages and culture and physical well-being are not neglected.Before you get on your bike, you can visit the raft museum in Unterrodach. Here you get exciting insights around the rafting shop, a once important economic branch of the Franconian Forest.You leave Unterrodach on paved dirt roads and drive past green meadows and through a small piece of forest to Vogtendorf. From here the bike path follows the Fischbach. At the height of the backstocks, a detour to the Moserhof ranch is worthwhile, where you can experience a real country feeling and get good food.From Fischbach you have to pedal. A steep climb towards Seibelsdorf begins, which rewards you with a wide view of the Franconian Forest. Once you have reached the mountain, you only roll downhill from here back to Unterrodach.
On this technically demanding tour to the highest peak in the Franconian Forest, the Döbraberg, you can enjoy fantastic panoramic views over the region in addition to single root trails.The crisp mountain bike tour starts in the beautiful Schwarzenbach am Wald. After a first fast descent you will find yourself on a decent climb that takes you up to 794 meters on gravel forest paths. Hopefully you still have strength in your calves on the summit of the Döbraberg or simply use the ascent of the steel Prince Luitpold Tower as a compensatory movement. Your efforts will be rewarded with views of the Fichtel Mountains, the Thuringian Forest and the Ore Mountains.As soon as you get back on the saddle, it goes down. In the zigzag course, you steer your bike to the Bischofsmühle, where you can enjoy hearty food and a cool beer in the middle of the forest.
The approximately 40-kilometer mountain bike tour demands a lot of fitness from you. On gravel paths, partly asphalt and demanding short trail and single trail passages, you can get into the wild and romantic Steinach Valley with the unique Steinach Gorge.In the center of Presseck you get on your saddle and cycle past the Evangelical Trinity Church into nature. If you like, you can of course park your bike briefly and take a look at the impressive church with its ceiling and wall paintings.After a mini climb, you dash down into the Steinachklamm. Once at the bottom, you can and should shift down a gear and soak up one of the most beautiful areas of the Franconian Forest. After all, Thor is said to have created with his hammer the legend that valley through which the Steinach winds. From the Steinach rock around the corner you also have a great view of Stadtsteinach.