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Saale Cycle Path part 1 – four sporty stages through the Thuringian Forest

Saaleradweg e.V. | V. Grätsch

Saale Cycle Path part 1 – four sporty stages through the Thuringian Forest

Bike Touring Collection by Saaleradweg

2-3

days

3-5 h

/ day

95.6 mi

6,275 ft

7,900 ft

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

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Saaleradweg

254 mi

9,850 ft

12,125 ft

Last updated: November 29, 2021

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Etappe 1 Von der Saalequelle nach Hof – Saaleradweg

    Intermediate
    02:22
    22.7 mi
    9.6 mph
    725 ft
    1,500 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Saale Cycle Path begins at the source of the Saale in the Fichtelgebirge, and you can cycle it in nine stages. The first stage takes you 34 kilometers from the source of the Saale to Hof.

    

    The tour starts with a beautiful descent through the forest, which brings you to the edge of the Fichtelgebirge

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  • Intermediate
    02:07
    18.7 mi
    8.8 mph
    1,175 ft
    1,325 ft
    Intermediate bike ride. Good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    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

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  • Difficult
    03:24
    28.1 mi
    8.3 mph
    2,050 ft
    2,475 ft
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On the 44-kilometer stage from Blankenstein to Ziegenrück it is hilly again today, but the landscape is all the more spectacular.

    

    From Blankenstein you cycle to the mouth of the Lemnitz in the Saale. From there you follow the increasingly wider Saale, which is dammed a few kilometers further down. Over

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  • Difficult
    02:50
    26.1 mi
    9.2 mph
    2,350 ft
    2,600 ft
    Ferry
    Expert bike ride. Very good fitness required. Mostly paved surfaces. Suitable for all skill levels. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    Today it is 42 kilometers that will take you from Ziegenrück to Saalfeld. The route has a similar characteristic to the previous stage: some hills, a beautiful reservoir and breathtaking scenery.

    

    From Ziegenrück you drive around a loop of the Saale over a small hill. The path leads you mainly through

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    4
  • Distance
    95.6 mi
  • Duration
    10:43 h
  • Elevation
    6,275 ft7,900 ft

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