Lion Trails in the Swabian Alb – 16 Tours around Göppingen
© Schwäbische Alb, Tobias Fröhner
Quietly creeping through the snow, one paw in front of the other, as if in slow motion. Nearby, a reindeer is chewing some bark from a gnarled tree. It has no idea that there is a mountain lion lurking close by that picked up his scent from afar. 15,000 years ago, this scene would have taken place in the heart of the Swabian Alb. At the time, mountain lions were widespread across Europe. On these 16 Lion Trails, we take you on a journey back in time to the Ice Age and show you valleys and caves that were once inhabited by lions.
Even today, new discoveries reveal exciting facts about these majestic beasts that once lived here. One particularly unique find was an ivory carving of a lion-human hybrid, the so-called ‘Lion Man’. Archaeologists have been finding traces of this legendary figure in the Swabian Alb since 1939. It is the symbol of this magical beast that accompanies you as you hike the lion trails. The 16 varied circular Tours in this Collection guide you through the lion’s historic territory, showcasing the magical landscapes, unforgettable views and cultural highlights of this low mountain range.
Whether you want to take a Sunday stroll with your family around the Hohenstaufen peak, do a bit of rock climbing, or take on the brand-new ‘Hero’s Tour’ which includes plenty of distance and challenging elevation gain – there’s a Lion’s Trail to suit every fitness level and preference. They all have one thing in common though: fantastic views over the picturesque Albtrauf escarpment. As all of the Tours are circular, you can set off at any point along the route.
You can quench your thirst and satisfy your hunger at one of the many cosy inns en route and warm up over an open fire at a barbecue hut, just like our ancestors would have done thousands of years earlier.
Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.
With a length of over 17 kilometers, you tread one of the longest of all lion trails with the Geislinger Steigen Tour. It is not only a dissolute experience, it is also a special treat for railroad enthusiasts. You are going on the trail of the first and steepest mountain crossing in continental Europe with spectacular views of the winding railway line over the Albtrauf.
A truly royal flair surrounds you on this almost twelve-kilometer round between Göppingen and Wäschenbeuren: With the Staufer-Runde lion path you not only walk in the footsteps of the king of animals, but also those of King Barbarossa at the same time. Again and again you will come across historical relics from the time of the Staufer. Fantastic views and mystical river valleys are also guaranteed!
The king of the beasts also needs a queen stage. With the hero tour you embark on the youngest and longest of all lion trails. Demanding and varied, peppered with a picturesque castle and many challenging climbs and descents that give you unforgettable views - you can expect nothing less from this royal stage in Lauterstein. The inauguration of the Lion Path is on the program in July 2021.
Up to the Hörnle and the fabulous Bertaburg - the “Berta-Hörnle-Tour” is not called its name by chance. On it, of course, you can expect wonderful views of the foothills of the Swabian Alb, fantastic landscapes and one or the other barbecue hut. A couple of sausages are therefore definitely allowed to wander into the backpack. You deserved it, given the meters in altitude ahead of you.
With the lion path "Ave-Weg" you embark on a spiritual journey with a touch of pilgrimage on the Albtrauf. In order for you to have enough peace and quiet, the round tour is only a good eight kilometers long. A few meters in altitude are still waiting for you to spoil you with the finest views of the Upper Filstal.