Between Hanover, Bielefeld and Göttingen lie two mountain ranges that few people have ever heard of: Ith and Hils. You wouldn’t expect to find so much untouched nature here, but there are countless impressive rock formations, ancient beech forests and picturesque meadows are waiting to be explored.
The Ith Hils Trail connects these two mountain ranges’ ridge paths to form a varied circular hike that has already been designated as a quality trail by the German Hiking Association. Across seven stages, you hike over narrow mountain ridges, past impressive rocks and popular climbing areas. You explore dense deciduous forests and gentle valleys flanked by natural mountain meadows and wooded hills. En route, you climb a few lookout towers, squeeze through narrow caves and relax in the Ith Sole Therme thermal bath.
What I like most about this long-distance hiking trail are the narrow, natural paths. The route is sometimes overgrown with roots or very rocky, so you need surefootedness and sturdy shoes. On the whole, it’s still doable for beginners. The hike is particularly impressive in autumn when the beech forests change colour and mist hangs between the rocks.
The official starting point is in Coppenbrügge municipality, which you can reach either by car or by train. You can start in any other of the towns along the way too. The official Ith Hils Trail is 82 kilometres (51 miles) long. However, as you have to leave the trail to find accommodation in nearby towns, the respective stages are somewhat longer. I’ve included the access route in this Collection, meaning you cover a total of 110 kilometres (68 miles) if you walk from accommodation to accommodation. I recommend booking your overnight stays in advance as there is very limited space. You can find all information on accommodation in the individual stage descriptions. As you will rarely have the opportunity to stop for refreshments along the way, you should remember to take enough water and food with you so that you have plenty of supplies throughout the day.
It's finally starting. The official starting point of the Ith-Hils-Weg is in front of the Felsenkeller in Coppenbrügge. After just a few meters, the first ascent is waiting for you. Soon the dense beech forest swallowed you and when you reach the rock couple Adam and Eve, you have the first 200 meters…
Today you can expect a varied hike between extraordinary cliffs and along picturesque meadow landscapes. After you have hiked back over the fields and made the first steep climb up to the ridge behind you, you are standing at the starting point where you left the Ith-Hils-Weg yesterday. After this steep…
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Today's stage is not long, but there is a decent climb ahead of you. The many views over the surrounding area make up for the effort. After the first ascent over 100 meters in altitude, you are back on the Ith-Hils-Weg. In an arc you circle the last foothills of the Ith ridge and now hike towards Hils…
Today you can take it a little more relaxed, because this stage is not particularly long either. Instead of bizarre rocks and steep cliffs, romantic forest and meadow landscapes await you today.
From Grünenplan your path first leads you uphill over natural paths and through a dense mixed forest. After…
On the fifth stage of the Ith-Hils-Weg you slowly leave the picturesque hilly landscape of the Leinebergland behind you and it becomes more rugged and steeper again. You will notice that on the first ascent of the day on the Steinberg. Along the edge of the forest you follow the slope to the Gerzer Klippen…
Today also starts with an ascent, because to return to the Ith-Hils-Weg, you first have to climb the ridge again. There you follow the ridge to the northwest. At the Leinebergland balcony you can take your first break and enjoy the view over the surrounding area. The small, covered refuge is located…
Since the last stage of the Ith-Hils-Weg is very short, you can take it easy today. First you follow the train tracks to Lauenstein, where you can cool off in the natural pool. The outdoor pool is located directly on the hiking trail and is open in the summer months. Instead of using chemicals, the water…
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