Nature and fairytales – eight stages on the Frau Holle Trail
The Frau Holle Trail is a wonderful multi-day hike of about 175 kilometres (110 mi) through southern Lower Saxony and northern Hesse. From Bad Karlshafen on the Weser to Schenklengsfeld near the Seulingswald forest, you hike through natural woodlands, picturesque little towns and pass medieval castles and other historical sites. Not only this, the path is a journey through the legends and fairytales of the Brothers Grimm. Keep your eyes open and you'll see them: the fairy dwellings in old tree stumps, Frau Holle in her many guises, maybe even a talking fox, storks bringing babies, or – towards the end of the year – the Holle beetles.
I have divided the hike into eight stages, with occasional detours to other interesting places. Since the trail often leads through longer, sparsely populated and often natural forest sections, the stages are often quite long, between 17 and 28 kilometres long (10.5 and 17 mi). However, sparsely populated also means that there are only a few places to stop, so overnight stays need to be well planned and booked in advance. Alternatively, you could plan day stages using the bus timetable. I also recommend that you charge your phone or camera’s batteries at every opportunity as you won’t want to miss the many photogenic sights along the way.
It’s also worth noting that at certain times of the year there may be forestry work or a path may be impassable due to the weather conditions. You may be forced to take diversions, but this is all part of the experience. Just check the app and you'll quickly find alternative routes.
Now that you are well prepared, lace up your shoes and off you go. Let yourself be enchanted by the country, the people and the fairytales and enjoy the days on the Frau Holle Trail.
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Last updated: December 1, 2022
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The first stage of the Frau Holle path starts in the baroque town of Bad Karlshafen. It was founded at the end of the 17th century by Landgrave Carl at the place where the Diemel flows into the Weser. Today, the city is often described as the pearl of the Weser Uplands. See for yourself and take some…
In Gieselwerder you cross the Weser and walk on the right side of the river to Oedelheim, another idyllic place with a picturesque half-timbered core, several pretty rest areas and a village museum with an interesting exhibition. The path then leads you through open fields into the forest. Again and…
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If you made a detour to Veckerhagen and stayed overnight there, you can now take the greed cable ferry back to Hemeln and start the stage there to Hannoversch Münden. First you walk through the meadows and fields around Hemeln and then hike up into the forest area of the Münden Nature Park. It is wonderful…
On this approximately 28-kilometer stage, you can put your fitness to the test, because it goes into the lonely and fairytale-like Frau-Holle-Land and through one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Germany, the Kaufunger Forest. You hike steadily uphill to the Bilstein on natural paths and then…
This stage takes you up to the mysterious Hohen Meißner. The Grimm brothers visited the mountain massif in the North Hessian highlands around 1820 in order to find and assign the legendary places of Frau Holle. And indeed you will meet the fairytale character here today, for example as a fairy-like wooden…
You start this very scenic stage in Germerode and after three kilometers you will find yourself back on the Frau Holle path. The road first leads downhill into the Rodebach valley before continuing to Waldkappel with its late Gothic church and lovingly restored half-timbered houses. Here you will find…
From Sontra you hike directly into the Richelsdorf Mountains and on towards Nentershausen. There, a short detour takes you to Tannenberg Castle, which was built in the 14th century on the site of a much older fortification. With a lot of heart and love, an association now takes care of the preservation…
The last stage of the Frau Holle path has it all again. Almost 28 kilometers with some ups and downs are ahead of you. But the mix of cool forest, historic cultural landscapes and ruins with an eventful history make this hike a pleasure.
After starting in Hönebach, you first hike steeply up into one of…
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