Saale Cycle Path part 1 – four sporty stages through the Thuringian Forest
Saaleradweg e.V. | V. Grätsch
Running along the River Saale, a tributary of the Elbe, the Saale Cycle Path is one of the most versatile river bike paths in Germany. The route runs for more than 400 kilometres (248 miles) through three federal states. Its nine stages include everything from sporty, hilly sections to lovely stretches through river meadows. Culturally, the Saale Cycle Path also has a lot to offer, from magnificent cities such as Naumburg, Jena or Halle to lovingly restored castles that tower over the landscape. Your journey will be incredibly varied.
In this Collection, we cover the first, sportier part of the Saale Cycle Path. The four stages take you from the source of the Saale River in Bavaria to the town of Hof and through the Fichtel Mountains to Saalfeld. You ride just over 150 kilometres (93 miles) and 1,900 metres (6,200 feet) in elevation gain through lovely forests and meadows that slowly transform into low mountain ranges.
The Saale flows through gorges and valleys where there isn’t always a riverside path, so you can’t follow its course the whole way. Instead, you climb into the hills through which the river carves. Spectacular views, fast-paced descents on asphalt and gravel roads, and plenty of endorphins will reward your effort.
The town of Saalfeld itself has a historic old town and a beautiful marketplace full of cafes and restaurants. You can comfortably return home and arrive by train. The nearest station to the start is in Münchberg, around 9 kilometres (5.5 miles) from the source of the river. If you don’t want to cycle this section, you can also join the first stage in Seulbitz, which also has a train station, skipping the first 15 kilometres (9.3 miles).
Take a look at stages 5 to 9 of the Saale Cycle Path, here: komoot.de/collection/1150639/saaleradweg-teil-2-kultur-und-natur-fuer-genussradler-innen
Today's stage takes you from Hof to Blankenstein and, at 29 kilometers, is shorter than the previous stage, but also a bit hilly.In Hof it starts out flat. You cycle along the Saale out of the city, where a beautiful field and meadow landscape welcomes you. The Jean-Paul-Weg takes you through an idyllic forest that pampers you with its shady trees, especially on hot days.
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