The wind blowing over the rocks, the rustling of the trees, the babbling of a nearby stream and the call of a cuckoo: a hike in Germany’s Vogtland region is like a multitude of majestic concerts. And not just for your ears: for your eyes, too.
It's not just the sounds of the forest, the birds at a lake or your hiking boots that create this unique symphony of nature. Flowers, ferns, shrubs, diverse wildlife and the sights along your way all add their colours and shapes and come together to form a work of natural art.
The Grüntöne (Green Tones) routes in Vogtland cover every hue, sound and outdoor sensation that nature can produce. They are among the best day hikes the region has to offer. On each of the 6 to 25-kilometre (4 - 15.5 mi) hiking tours, you can get to know the flora and fauna of the Vogtland region and explore its lovely towns and cities. Whether it's the Pilzlehrpfad (mushroom trail), the Knollensteig, the Drachenrundweg or the Lindwurmpfad, hiking along the water or over the Elstergebirge ridge: every hike in the border region of Bavaria, Saxony, Thuringia and the Czech Republic is utterly unique.
Almost all the routes can be reached by public transport – bus and train – and the start and end points are often located at a railway station. Alternatively, there are always plenty of parking spaces available. The hikes that are not circular have a connection by bus and train between the start and end points.
These nature-oriented and often legendary hikes are not only suitable for adults, but most are suitable for children too. Along the way, kids can explore the dragon's cave, playgrounds and enjoy being immersed in nature. The Vogtland, with its valleys, reservoirs and forests, is waiting to be discovered.
A few years ago, over 300 species of butterflies still populated the Zeidelweide and Pfaffenloh nature reserve between Adorf and Bärenloh on the German-Czech border. And even today, on the circular route through the area, you are still immersed in a species-rich, green world. From the town's marketplace - which is the longest marketplace in the Vogtland - you hike over the Arnsgrüner Weg into the nature reserve.
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In addition to wonderful views, small streams and a romantic forest lake, ten large and over 40 small teaching and information boards on the herbs around you will accompany you on this hike. On the nine kilometers of the herbal educational trail, you have plenty of opportunities not only to enjoy the nature around you, but also to get to know it better.
If you dive into the Thuringian Vogtland behind Graefenwarth, an eventful hike through a lush flora opens up to you. More precisely: mushroom world. On the mushroom path, which leads you a good bit along Germany's largest reservoir, you will not only discover different types of mushrooms along the way. You can also find out a lot about eukaryotes on many information boards.
In addition to paths through forests and meadows, today you have a wide view of the dam and a moving story. Because the former village of Pöhl, whose name the community you are walking through still bears today, has not existed since 1964. It had to give way to the floods of the dam project. The place Jocketa has been expanded for this, and your hike begins there today.
The city of Weida, which today has a population of 8,000, is picturesquely surrounded by Auma, Weida and wooded mountains in the Thuringian district of Greiz. The Osterburg towers on the edge of the city and looks out over the landscape. Not only because of the beautiful paths through the valleys of the two rivers, the region around Weida is an absolute hiking paradise. The Aumatalsperre, which is ideal for swimming, is also located near the city.