There are many ways to hike in Odenwald and along the Bergstrasse, but a long-distance hiking trail lets you really get to know the region’s landscape, culture and history. This Collection guides you along the Alemannenweg, a stunning trail through the area. You will get to know the region in seven stages: the 90 mile (144 km) stretch takes you to the most beautiful places in the Odenwald and Bergstrasse.
Named after the West Germanic tribe that once fought here against the Romans, the Alemannenweg winds its way through green mountain ranges. Erbach Castle is the starting point of the trial, which gives you a taste of the historical treasures to come. You will hike in a wide loop to Fuerstenau Castle in Michelstadt, discovering silent forests, rolling hills and mysterious ruins along the way.
The Alemannenweg leads you up and down hills, through idyllic valleys and over wooded slopes. In between, you will find romantic villages and towns with typical half-timbered houses. You don't have to worry about your hunger pangs - you will find traditional restaurants and inns along the hiking trail. Each individual stage ends in a place with a good selection of hotels and guesthouses or directly at overnight accommodation. You can easily reach the Alemannenweg starting or ending point in Erbach and Michelstadt from Frankfurt with the Odenwaldbahn. You can find more information about the timetables at odenwaldmobil.de and rmv.de/c/de/start.
In addition to the Alemannenweg, the Odenwald region also offers other exciting day routes and long-distance hiking trails. On the Nibelungenweg, for example, you can hike in the footsteps of knights and counts from Zwingenberg to Freudenberg am Main. The Burgensteig takes you along the Bergstrasse to thirty castles and palaces between Darmstadt and Heidelberg.
You can find inspiration for your next hiking adventure here:
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The stately Erbach castle with its castle garden is the starting point of your seven-day hike and gives you a foretaste of the numerous historic buildings along the Alemannenweg. You leave the county town to the west and follow the course of the Roßbächleins. In the idyllic Brudergrund you will pass a wildlife park and observe the friendly deer.Through the hilly landscape of the Odenwald, you go up to the Mossauer Höhe, from which you can already see the silos of the well-known brewery Schmucker. In the brewery restaurant, not only home-brewed beer is offered, but also delicious home-style cooking. Strengthened you walk up to the summit of the 501 meter high noise fire. The Alemanneweg leads you on quiet forest paths along the ridge above the Gersprenztales.Before you descend to Beerfurth, you can visit the remnants of Beerfurther Schlösschen on a forest top. Only a few overgrown stones are reminiscent of the fact that once there was a castle on this site.In the village of Beerfurth you cross the Gersprenz and then get over the Hasenbuckel to the imposing castle Reichenberg. Nowhere can you enjoy a better view of Reichelsheim and Gersprenztal. In the well-preserved castle complex is also a restaurant, where you can end your first day of hiking.
Rested, you start the second stage in Reichelsheim. Over forested heights and wide meadows you reach the ruin Rodenstein. Legend has it that a ghost army rages around the castle ruins. If you listen carefully, you can hear a mystical noise among the trees.
After exploring the Ruin Rodenstein you walk steadily uphill through the Rodensteiner Burgwald. At Germannshöhe, turn off onto the Weinweg and follow it to the Gersprenzquelle.From here it is only a stone's throw to the impressive Emperor's Tower on the Neunkircher Höhe. The ascent to the viewing platform is definitely worthwhile, because the 360-degree panorama over the Odenwald to the Taunus and Hunsrück is unique. At the 34 meter high Kaiserturm there is a restaurant where you can fortify yourself.
The descent from the Neunkircher Höhe is through deep forest on the Hexenweg. At the Modauquelle a picnic table is available for a break. From here the Alemannenweg winds alternately through meadows, forests and small villages. In the Modautal you will be accompanied by great views of the rolling hills of the lovely landscape.Your today's destination is the idyllic Hotel Kuralpe. In the restaurant or on the sun terrace you can relax and be pampered with delicious specialties.
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The third leg of the Alemannenweg leads you from the Kuralpe up to the Felsberg. Since 1901, there is the remarkable Ohly Tower, from which your gaze wanders over the beautiful mixed forest to Frankfurt. On the descent from the 515-meter-high Felsberg you pass the impressive sea of rocks: Huge, massive granite blocks lie here along the way and form a unique scenery.
The Alemannenweg runs through the nature reserve to the natural monument Teufelsstein. Under your feet you can feel the soft forest floor and in the crowns of the trees sit small birds. After a good seven kilometers, you will pass the Hermitage: a quaint, bark-clad cottage. It once served the nobility as a resting place for walks and represents the entrance to the State Park Fürstenlager.
Through the lovely park, it goes downhill to Auerbach. There you will find the striking castle Auerbach with its round towers. The ruin has many dreamy corners and beautiful views to offer. You look far over the Odenwald and the Rhine plain.From the castle, the trail winds its way up the wooded hills and zig-zags to Melibokus. A variety of hiking trails and mountain bike trails meet here. The Melibokus is the highest mountain of the Hessian mountain road and represents another first-class vantage point.On serpentines you walk the last few kilometers through the forest down to Zwingenberg. In the historic town with its pretty half-timbered houses you will find a good selection of accommodation.
Two castles and two castles await you on the fourth stage and make this section one of the most beautiful of the Alemán's way. The start is made by the Alsbacher Schloss, which towers high above the town of the same name. The restored Burgfried deserves special attention, from which you have a fantastic view.At the "balcony edge" of the Odenwald the path meanders along the edge of the forest. On the way you can enjoy changing views over the mountain road. A short walk will take you through Jugenheim, before you climb up the Kreuzwiese to Schloss Heiligenberg. For years the romantic building was the summer residence of the Russian Tsars.
Already on the next hill is the castle ruin Tannenberg. In autumn, the forest turns yellow, orange and red around the remains of the walls and then looks like a magnificent painting. In the 14th century the castle Tannenberg was shot at and today you can still see the traces of the firefight on the walls.Then you walk down the Kaiserweg into the valley of the Elsbach before another rise is imminent. Between Malchen and Nieder-Beerbach the Alemannenweg leads through a particularly tranquil part of the Odenwald. If you have a compass with you, you can test the magnetic field of the local magnetic stones. The boulders were given their effect by a huge lightning strike and are a natural monument.From the magical stones it is only about 600 meters to the fairy tale castle Frankenstein, your today's destination. The medieval complex was restored in the 19th century and is known for its annual Halloween festival. The castle Frankenstein is a venerable conclusion to the fourth stage. After the visit you can decide if you prefer to spend the night in Malchen or Nieder-Beerbach.
From Frankenstein Castle on the fifth day, you can comfortably hike uphill and downhill to the Fischbachtal. The route is characterized by the gently rolling landscape of the Odenwald. At the foot of the Langenberg, cross the rippling Beerbach and follow the path further east. In alternation you walk over promising hills and through wooded valleys. In between lies a carpet of colorful fields and small villages.After about half of today's route, you can make a detour to the castle of the same name in Ernsthofen. Shortly thereafter you will pass the Heroes' Grove and the Julius Scriba Hut, which is a nice place for a break. Then the Alemannenweg runs alternately at the edge of the forest and over open field.
North of Klein-Bieberau you walk over the Johannisbach and then arrive at the idyllic Hottenbacher Hof. In the Vesperstube you can fortify yourself with delicacies produced on the farm, such as smoked trout or delicious cheese.
After a short break you walk on a quiet forest path to the castle Lichtenberg: The different areas of the plant worth a visit. The oldest parts of the castle were built around 1200 and from the castle wall you can enjoy a fantastic view. The place Niedernhausen, at the foot of the Schlossberg, is your destination today. There you can visit the beautiful church "St. John the Baptist "visit.
Stage Six starts in Niedernhausen in the Fischbachtal. You leave the village via the Teichäcker and walk along the course of the Nonroder stream. In the forest, it goes steadily uphill and our route takes you to the hiking car park Heilsruhe, where a refuge is available for a rest. Here you can enjoy a beautiful view over the Franconian Crumbach.
From the forest you step out onto an open landscape and follow the Alemannenweg to Brensbach. In the village there are several restaurants and cafes where you can take a deserved rest. Outside of Brensbach you come to the Hinterwaldteich, in which the surrounding trees are reflected. A truly idyllic place to recharge your batteries.
Past the Eberhardtsbrunnen you continue hiking through the forest and can inhale the soothing scent of the pine needles. The cozy restaurant Schmelzmühle on the edge of the forest spoils you with regional dishes and is picturesquely situated on a small lake.Before you reach your stage destination Hassenroth, you can make a detour to the castle Nauses. The former moated castle is now privately owned, but the up to 500 years old building and the gate tower are absolutely worth seeing. After two and a half kilometers, you will reach Hassenroth, where you can spend the night either in the Hotel Odenwald or the Pension Talblick.
The last leg of the Alemannenweg starts with a wonderful panoramic view from the Hassenrother Höhe. Through quiet forests and colorful fields you walk south. At the oven mountain, you descend into the valley to climb up the other side of the bird's stove. This section will let you experience the hilly nature of the Odenwald again.
South of Böllstein runs the Alemannenweg along some wooded peaks such as the Heidelberg. Between the trees you can always catch glorious views. The so-called High Road brings you up to the 434 meter high Fuchshütte, the highest point of this stage. Serpentine winds the path through the forest and leads you to the idyllic Countess Isabel lake. Benches are available on the shore for a breather.Shortly after Countess Isabel See you will meet the Rehbach, whose course you follow to the Great Lake. There you cross the rivulet and can take a short break at the nearby Einhardsquelle. Over the Rippersthöhe you reach Steinbach, a district of Michelstadt.
At the end of your tour, you can look forward to two extraordinary highlights: The unique Einhardsbasilika and the magnificent Schloss Fürstenau. The castle is still the residence of the Earl family of Erbach-Fürstenau and is characterized by detailed jewelry arches, turrets and bay windows. Opposite is the inn for barley. After a deserved stop, you can board the train at the nearby Michelstadt train station.