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Enchanting days in Germany – hike the Fairy Tale Route

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Enchanting days in Germany – hike the Fairy Tale Route

Hiking Collection by Angelina Kuhlmann

22

Tours

89:38 h

202 mi

17,625 ft

Along the Fairy Tale Route, you can watch theatre performances of fairy tales and spot statues of beloved characters and faraway lands. The journey takes you through the city of Kassel and its surrounding hilly and watery landscapes. North Hesse is dotted with wide river valleys, quaint villages, rock formations and grand vantage points. This variety makes the long-distance hiking trail a great destination for your next holiday.

The Fairy Tale Route consists of a network of circular and long-distance hiking trails with a total length of 430 kilometres (267 mi). In this Collection, I'll introduce you to the main route which leads 325 kilometres (202 mi) in a circle from Bad Karlshafen. You hike along the edge of Münden Nature Park to Kasse, make a detour to Wickenrode and return to Bad Karlshafen via the towns of Baunatal and Wolfhagen.

The Fairy Tale Route is perfect for a 22-day adventure deep into the magical world of the Brothers Grimm. You can also take on sections as shorter long-distance hikes or walk stages as a day trip. Many of the stages lead from one city to another, so you can conveniently plan your arrival and departure with public transport. If you go on a multi-day hike, you’ll find plenty of places to stay en route.

The starting point in Bad Karlshafen is easy to reach by train. You can plan your arrival and departure journeys here: nvv.de/fahrplanauskunft. For timetables for Saxony-Anhalt and the Central German Transport Association, see: insa.de/was-ist-insa.

When it comes to food, I recommend checking the route before you start your day's hike. Sometimes, you hike through urban areas with many places to stop for refreshments but other routes lead you through sparsely-populated areas. In this case, you should stock up on sufficient snacks and water before your hike.

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Märchenlandweg (Hauptroute)

183 mi

16,400 ft

16,400 ft

Last updated: January 19, 2022

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    03:36
    7.83 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,000 ft
    975 ft
    Ferry
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required. The Tour includes a crossing by ferry.

    Your hike on the fairytale land trail begins in Bad Karlshafen at the train station. From there you hike through the pearl on the Weser. Bad Karlshafen was planned as a baroque town. So you now hike along white historic houses until you reach the outskirts and thus already the fantastic hiking trail

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  • Intermediate
    04:43
    10.8 mi
    2.3 mph
    750 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Instead of hiking from Lippoldsberg on the second stage of the fairytale land trail directly along the Weser to Gottstreu, you follow the hiking trail in the direction of Zwerberg. You circle the 317 meter high mountain, enjoy the easy-to-walk forest paths and the humming variety around you.

    

    In Oedelsheim

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  • Intermediate
    04:52
    10.9 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the third stage of the fairy tale land path, a great mixture of dense forest paths with majestic beeches and wide views of the Weser Valley lies ahead of you today. From Gottstreu you always walk along the edge of the Reinhardswald - the Weser flows to your left in the valley. After about ten kilometers

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  • Intermediate
    03:10
    7.00 mi
    2.2 mph
    825 ft
    675 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    From Veckerhagen you stay on flat terrain for the first few kilometers of the fourth stage. The fairytale land trail takes you right next to the Weser. It goes past the village of Vaake and then after a good five kilometers slowly onto the paths of the Reinhardswald. You hike up to 300 meters and the

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  • Intermediate
    02:29
    5.68 mi
    2.3 mph
    425 ft
    425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The fifth stage of the fairyland trail is one of the shorter of the main route. In order to cover the nine kilometers, you can calmly set off at the Tillyschanze near Hannoversch Münden. The hiking trail runs west of Neumünden and then follows the Fulda instead of the Weser. At the edge of the Reinhardswald

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  • Intermediate
    03:00
    6.86 mi
    2.3 mph
    625 ft
    325 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The sixth stage of the fairytale land trail is particularly watery. Although you leave the Fulda in a northerly direction, the Krummbach and the Otterbach accompany you to Holzhausen for the first few kilometers. While you are on the first section through flat fields and meadows, behind Holzhausen it

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  • Intermediate
    02:42
    6.30 mi
    2.3 mph
    400 ft
    325 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The seventh stage of the fairytale land trail takes you further away from the Reinhardswald and closer to the fairytale capital of Kassel. From Immenhausen you hike today for almost ten kilometers to Schäferberg just before Kassel. You follow the long-distance hiking trail through meadows with small

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  • Intermediate
    03:53
    9.18 mi
    2.4 mph
    300 ft
    600 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After seven days in the middle of nature and with stops in rather small places, the eighth stage takes you into the lively city of Kassel. It should not be missing on the fairy tale land trail, because the Brothers Grimm lived there for a total of 30 years. The Grimmelt, a modern, interactive museum

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  • Difficult
    05:03
    12.0 mi
    2.4 mph
    475 ft
    400 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    Although you spend the ninth stage in the urban environment of Kassel, the fairytale land path takes you to beautiful green spots within the city today. This includes Schönfeld Castle, just four kilometers away, with its long park and the Schönfeld Fairytale Pond. In summer, the fairy tale musical, which

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  • Intermediate
    03:26
    7.78 mi
    2.3 mph
    725 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After you have spent the last two stages of the fairytale land trail in the city of Kassel, the tenth stage takes you back into nature. In the morning you pay a short visit to the figures of the Gänserammel on the Losse, then you walk along the water to the Steinertsee, which borders on a NABU protection

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  • Intermediate
    04:43
    10.5 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,050 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    A day in the middle of the East Hessian mountains, more precisely the Kaufunger Forest, awaits you on the eleventh stage of the fairytale country trail. You spend most of the 17-kilometer hike on the way from the Pferdekopf (423 meters) and Kreuzstein (555 meters) under a dense canopy of leaves. To get

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  • Intermediate
    03:43
    8.18 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,025 ft
    750 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On the twelfth stage, the gently rolling landscape of Hesse alternates with the course of the Losse, the railway line towards Hessisch Lichtenau and small villages characterized by half-timbered houses. From Helsa you first follow the flat path along the Losse and the railway line straight ahead. At

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  • Difficult
    05:46
    13.2 mi
    2.3 mph
    850 ft
    1,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    After the fairy tale land path has led you in an arc from Kassel via Kaufungen to Helsa and Wattenbach, you set off from the last place to hike back to northern Hesse. From Wattenbach you hike through the low mountain range region of Söhre today.

    

    On the way through the up to 495 meter high low mountain

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  • Intermediate
    04:11
    9.26 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,300 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The 14th stage of the fairytale land trail takes you to Hercules - the landmark of the city of Kassel and probably the most famous sight in Hesse. To get there, you leave Baunatal in the morning in the direction of Elgershausen. From the city you keep to the right and enter the Hohen Habichtswald. From

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  • Intermediate
    03:09
    6.60 mi
    2.1 mph
    850 ft
    1,425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    From the well-known Hercules you leave the Hoher Habichtswald today. On the way to Hoof on the edge of the Habichtswald, a visit to the Hoher Gras awaits you, at 615 meters it is the highest mountain in the Habichtswald mountains. At the top of the mountain there is a lookout tower, a restaurant and

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  • Intermediate
    04:49
    11.0 mi
    2.3 mph
    725 ft
    925 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The 16th stage of the fairytale land trail is tranquil and, above all, close to nature. Today, to get to the village of Sand, you have to cross the wooded mountains that surround the village. From Breitenbach you follow the railway line, along which an interesting hiking trail runs. The short adventure

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  • Intermediate
    04:11
    9.31 mi
    2.2 mph
    925 ft
    950 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    From Naumburg to Wolfhagen, the 17th stage of the fairytale land trail takes you further and further back to the northern tip of Hesse. After only two kilometers, a culinary highlight awaits you this time, because you walk past Café Hasenacker. The café's small garden is a wonderful place to sit and

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  • Difficult
    06:06
    13.6 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,375 ft
    1,375 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    At almost 22 kilometers, the 18th stage is the longest of the fairytale land trail. On this tour, starting in Wolfhagen, you can enjoy fabulous views of the forest and meadows of the Habichtswälder Bergland and really switch off while hiking through sparsely populated areas.

    

    Shortly after Wolfhagen you

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  • Intermediate
    03:29
    7.88 mi
    2.3 mph
    625 ft
    775 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The 19th stage of the fairytale land trail takes you across the Malsburg Forest. Then it goes through flatter terrain to the village of Niederlistingen. With a good thirteen kilometers, an easy hike awaits you, which above all has some scenic highlights to offer. While the Malsburg Forest envelops you

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  • Intermediate
    04:12
    9.30 mi
    2.2 mph
    850 ft
    1,200 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This particularly beautiful stage of the fairy tale country trail from Niederlistingen to Lamerden runs through the lively Diemeltal for a short section. In order to get there, the fairytale land trail first runs via Ersen to a level crossing near Liebenau. The Diemel is already waiting for you behind

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    22
  • Distance
    202 mi
  • Duration
    89:38 h
  • Elevation
    17,625 ft

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Enchanting days in Germany – hike the Fairy Tale Route

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