Fränkische Schweiz

Castles, mountains, beer & trails – bikepacking in Franconian Switzerland

Stephan Peters

Castles, mountains, beer & trails – bikepacking in Franconian Switzerland

Mountain Biking Collection by Fränkische Schweiz

Completing a mountain pass on your MTB – this is top of the bucket list for many riders. The good news is, you don't have to travel as far as the Alps to find one. With its narrow trails, magnificent views and challenging climbs, Franconian Switzerland offers the perfect backdrop for your MTB bikepacking adventure. In this Collection, we present three short bikepacking adventures through the beautiful Upper Franconian mountains and hills. With your bike, your tent and your sleeping bag, you'll get closer to this beautiful region than ever before.

Although this region is not a mountain range in the true sense of the word and even though it doesn't offer alpine peaks, it has everything else to ensure you have an unforgettable bike-packing adventure on your mountain bike. You will find plenty of altitude in the stunning mountainous landscape, be amazed by the striking rock formations and impressive caves, and discover fascinating castles and palaces. In Franconian Switzerland accommodation and camping facilities are easy to find, which can be a headache in the Alps. Many small, family-run breweries along the route are also waiting to make your visit extra special. And, then there's the central location: whether by train or car - Franconian Switzerland is easy and quick to reach from all over Germany.

In this Collection, we have included three bike-packing routes that you can easily copy. The starting and finishing points of each adventure can be conveniently reached by public transport. At the end of each stage, you will also find a campsite or a rustic hut to sleep, such as the Lindersberg Scout House or the Veilbronn Nature Friends' House. The routes are all quite compact and, although there is a lot of climbing, they are suitable for beginners as the elevation is spread out through the day. If you want to ride further, you can easily "build" your own adventure by combining our route suggestions. This way, you can enjoy your personalised bikepacking trip in one of the most beautiful parts of Germany.

To make sure your bikepacking weekend is a complete success, you need to bring the right equipment, as well as make your sleeping arrangements in advance. We recommend booking your accommodation or campsite in good time so that you can enjoy the beautiful trails relaxed and stress-free.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    19.8 mi
    6.2 mph
    2,700 ft
    1,900 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    On this bikepacking tour you cross the Franconian Switzerland from Forchheim to Pegnitz. From west to east - more or less - with some dodges to the north and south, always following the beautiful trails. You will come through cozy, typical villages of the region, get to know crisp climbs and flowing descents and enjoy wonderful views and the local brewing art. Along the Wiesent you drive through the heart of the Franconian Switzerland. You pedal along gravel roads and trails, but the real challenge will be the many steep climbs. The three stages of this weekend's adventure, however, are designed so that you can easily make it in one day and still have enough time for the pleasures off the beaten track.Since this is a one-way tour, the arrival / departure is by train. Both Forchheim and Pegnitz are well connected to the railway network. The two campsites that we picked out for you provide a true bikepacking feeling. So you are close to nature, but still enjoy the comfort of showers, toilets and cooking facilities. Just remember to register in time. Especially at the campsite of the scout house Lindersberg, the overnight accommodation for this first stage, you should clarify everything organizational in advance, just by calling. Then you can prepare well and calmly and get to know Franconian Switzerland in a very special way. Have lots of fun with it!

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    25.1 mi
    7.1 mph
    2,525 ft
    3,000 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    What could be better than being awakened in the morning by the rustle of the leaves and the singing of the birds? If you wake up in your tent on the large tent meadow of the scout house Lindersberg, exactly this idyll awaits you. Welcome to the Franconian Switzerland!Today it remains idyllic. Right at the beginning you roll down to the Wiesent. Along the small river you first drive a few kilometers warm - but then it goes to the point for the first time: The rise up to the castle ruins Neideck really has it. The good thing: At the top you are awake in any case and you will be rewarded with an absolutely unforgettable view. Sit down on one of the old walls and treat yourself to a little snack!In the course you will learn a typical peculiarity of the Franconian Switzerland know: it goes constantly up and down - flat passages rarely expect you today. You keep coming back to interesting places. At impressive caves for example, at hidden wells or quaint rest stops. It's best to put the holiday gear on, take it easy and take a look to the left and right - it will be worth it!If you want to shorten the tour a bit at the end, you can simply omit the last dangling along the Wiesent at Behringersmühle and instead stop in peace at the inn on site. After that, it is not far to the final destination: the campsite Franconian Switzerland is one of the most beautiful campsites in the whole region. In nearby Pottenstein you also have plenty of opportunities to end the day entertaining.

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  • Difficult
    22.1 mi
    6.7 mph
    2,275 ft
    2,050 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    After a leisurely breakfast at the campsite, you're ready for the third leg of your bikepacking adventure in Franconian Switzerland. The goal of the tour is the train station in Pegnitz. Until then, all sorts of regional specialties await you: imposing castles, babbling streams, quaint inns, beautiful views, Franconian beer and of course many beautiful trails that are never shallow.If you have not yet gotten to know the culinary delights of the Franconian Switzerland, you have the opportunity to briefly visit the destination of the tour: In the inn of the brewery Herold you can not only taste delicious Franconian beer, but also fortify yourself with home-baked, super fresh bread , Then a wonderful time in the Franconian Switzerland is slowly coming to an end: In Pegnitz you have reached the destination. Here you have a very good connection to the web of the train and can let you and your bike home brought relaxed.Three glorious days are behind you and many happy memories. And the prospect of more beautiful adventures in the land of castles, caves and pleasures. How about, for example, the two other bikepacking adventures we've put together for you in this collection (

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    12.2 mi
    6.5 mph
    1,375 ft
    325 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Experience bikepacking, as it could not be more exciting and varied. From the UNESCO World Heritage Site Bamberg you dive into the idyllic nature of the Franconian Switzerland. You will enjoy fantastic views, treat yourself to all sorts of Franconian culinary delights and drive on beautiful trails and paths into the sunset, which you can enjoy from your tent in peace. On this bikepacking trip through the Franconian Switzerland you leave the everyday life far behind for a weekend.The first stage is meant for "getting in". It is nicely kept short, so you can easily make it on the day of arrival. For example, you could arrive on Friday afternoon and still make a few miles. If you have more time, we can highly recommend you to spend a little bit in the world cultural heritage Bamberg before your bikepacking adventure - it's worth it!The journey to this short stage trip you can do with your own car or - even easier - by train. Bamberg is well connected to the railway network and from the goal of the adventure in Buttenheim there are just three S-Bahn stations back to the starting point. Anyway, everything on this stage trip is simple and uncomplicated, from short and easy to reach tours to relaxed overnight stays. Perfect for a little break on the weekend without great orga-effort or tedious preparation.

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    20.1 mi
    7.8 mph
    1,625 ft
    2,125 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    After the short warm-up stage, it really starts today. Around 32 kilometers through the Franconian Switzerland are waiting for you. As is typical of the area, it goes steadily up and down - flat passages are rather rare. The distance is manageable, so you can take your time and stop over and over again. There are good reasons for this.For example, the beautiful and extraordinary dry valley of the upper Leinleiter. In summer, it is dust-dry here, while in the wet season, the water gushes out of the rock openings with a big clamor. It is beautiful all year round and the enjoyment is complete, if you use one of the cozy rest stops and treat yourself to a delicious drink or a small refreshment.A special feature of the region are the numerous Easter Fountains. The inhabitants of the different places decorate their wells at Easter time to pay homage to the water as a life-giving element. And so you will find beautifully decorated water dispensers in many town centers - in Heiligenstadt our route takes you past just such an Easter Fountain. Then it is quiet and idyllic again. And a bit exhausting: high to the pavilion Heiligenstadt the trail is really steep and it is no shame, if you push a piece here. As a reward, there's a really nice view at the top.At the end of the stage you do not need to set up a tent today. Because our route takes you to the Naturfreundehaus Veilbronn, where you can spend a rustic and cozy night. At dinner with a view of Leinleitertal, you can look back on the beautiful journey.Tip: If you are traveling fast and still have time and energy, you could exhaust yourself in the climbing forest Veilbronn after the tour. Around the Naturfreundehaus there are also some natural climbing walls.

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    21.9 mi
    7.5 mph
    2,000 ft
    2,475 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    After a wonderfully quiet night and a delicious breakfast in the Naturfreundehaus, you are ready for the third and final stage of your bikepacking tour from Bamberg to Buttenheim. Today, about 35 kilometers and about 600 meters of altitude are waiting for you - that's a proper mountain bike tour. But you have time all day, so you can take it easy and take a break every now and then.In addition to magnificent panoramic views, a very special cultural highlight awaits you again today: the Fachwerkensemble Frankendorf. No wonder that the small town has already been chosen as the gold village of the competition "Our village should be more beautiful"! 31 partly listed historic farmhouses create a unique atmosphere. In the rustic inn of the village, you can fortify yourself with hearty home-style cooking. Or you drive a bit further to the Senftenberg beer cellar: Here's delicious wood-fired bread and of course real Franconian beer.In Buttenheim you have reached the goal of your stage trip. If you still have time, you can make a very special cultural detour here. Did you know that the "father" of jeans, Levi Strauss, was born here? In the Levi Strauss Museum you will learn all about him and his world-famous invention. After that, the S-Bahn takes you back to Bamberg in a few minutes, from where you can start your journey home.

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    6.90 mi
    6.4 mph
    950 ft
    925 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Great for any fitness level. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Even from a distance you can see the cozy place Untertrubach lying in the valley. A few houses, a steeple and: Granny Eichler's campsite! Located in the middle of the green, it is the perfect starting point for a near-natural weekend adventure on the bike. Build your tent, swing on your bike and enjoy the wonderful nature of the Franconian Switzerland for a weekend. On two short tours you will get to know the area around Untertrubach. The tours are so compact that they can easily be mastered even by mountain bike beginners. If you are already experienced and the tours are too short, you can easily extend them, because there are many trails here. Alternatively, you can discover the cultural highlights of the region, try the culinary specialties or just relax in peace and quiet.From the campsite, you first roll leisurely over the Trubach and in the direction of Wolfsberg together with the same castle ruins. Here it is worth a short detour to the ruins, because from there you have a really nice view of the Trubachtal. There are not enough beautiful viewpoints on this tour. A little later, it goes steeply uphill to Signalstein. A steep stairway leads you up to the striking rock, around which you can watch the one or other climber in good weather: There are six climbing routes on the rock.It continues: Beautiful, promising dirt roads and narrow trails, partly through the forest, partly through meadows and fields, you come back to Trubachtal. In the inn Eichler, right next to the campsite, you can strengthen yourself. If you still want to continue, you can take this tour for example: for getting there: From Forchheim the bus 222 goes directly to Untertrubach (station Untertrubach Abzw. Affalterthal). From Nuremberg the R21 goes to Gräfenberg. From there it is still about ten kilometers to the campsite.

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    10.9 mi
    6.8 mph
    1,100 ft
    1,100 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    This tour runs south from the starting point in Untertrubach. It leads up and down, through idyllic valleys and over promising hills. A real piece of Franconian Switzerland on a compact 17.5 kilometers. Of course, the stop at a Franconian brewery just as little missing as a very special scenic highlight: The "Three Peaks" are reminiscent of the original in the Sexten Dolomites and are ideal for a little break, including souvenir photo.This short tour is no problem even for mountain bike beginners. If you prefer to drive longer, you can combine it with this tour for example ( Or you can plan it yourself a bit: The area is full of beautiful highlights and worthwhile trails, so you can plan your bike day in Franconian Switzerland at will.When you arrive back at Grandma Eichler's campsite, happy and exhausted, you should treat yourself to a delicious piece of cake before heading home.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    139 mi
  • Duration
    20:07 h
  • Elevation
    14,500 ft

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Fränkische Schweiz

Castles, mountains, beer & trails – bikepacking in Franconian Switzerland