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Winter won't stop us – VGN tips for exploring Germany’s Franconia in the cold

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Winter won't stop us – VGN tips for exploring Germany’s Franconia in the cold

11

Tours

39:22 h

132 mi

12,725 ft

The days are short, it's cold and foggy outside. Part of you would rather hole up at home and wait until spring comes again... but no! You want to get out – even in winter. You prefer heading out for a proper hike, not just a short walk. Your mountain bike doesn’t get to rest during winter either – just put studded tyres on your rims if necessary. Here, we present seven hikes and three mountain bike routes for the colder season, which you can easily reach with VGN trains and buses.

Germany’s Franconia is a great place to explore in winter. When it snows here, the landscape is usually only covered by a thin layer of powder. The hiking trails are so well signposted that you can easily find your way although, thanks to komoot, navigation is easy anyway. These Tours take you through dense forests and across wide fields to boulders, castles and gorges. Here in the countryside, the villages seem even sleepier in winter than in summer. But of course, there is no shortage of places to stop for a bite to eat out of the cold.

Travelling by public transport gives you the freedom to start your Tour in one place and finish in another. The hikes mostly follow well-maintained trails that are accessible in wet and snowy conditions too. All you need are waterproof shoes with a decent tread and warm clothes. In snowy and slushy conditions, hiking poles can also be helpful.

It’s best to choose a dry day to go out on your mountain bike. As we all know, riding on muddy trails is only fun to a certain extent. The Tour through the Pegnitz Valley is suitable for less experienced mountain bikers. The other two routes are packed full of single trails.

When planning your Tour, keep in mind that the days are quite short in winter and it gets dark quickly once dusk has set in. Pack a headlamp or torch just in case and mountain bikers – don't forget bike lights! It may already be dark on the last stretch from the station to your front door.

So what are you waiting for? Pack a thermos of hot tea and put on your gloves and hat. Even winter can't stop your passion.

On The Map

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Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors
    Intermediate
    03:39
    8.49 mi
    2.3 mph
    475 ft
    550 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This half-day hike mostly takes place on easy-to-walk paths and is therefore also suitable for winter. With a bit of snow that you don't sink into too deep, it's wonderful here. There are also not many vertical meters to climb, which makes hiking easier even in somewhat adverse weather.You start at the train station in Kirchenlaibach. Via the main …

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  • Intermediate
    03:38
    8.19 mi
    2.2 mph
    750 ft
    725 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On this hike to the Hirtenberg above Hartenstein you can expect a promising summit experience and a stop at a castle. Since the ascent of the Hirtenberg alone is a bit short, you extend the route by a few kilometers through the beautiful winter landscape in both directions. Only the way up to the Hirtenberg is possibly a challenge in mud or snow, which requires sure steps and concentration.

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  • Intermediate
    03:08
    22.0 mi
    7.0 mph
    2,050 ft
    2,100 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    This tour through the Altmühltal is something for every mountain biker. At first it goes relatively leisurely through the valleys. This relaxed section through picturesque Franconia is a beautiful route even for less experienced mountain bikers with moderate ups and downs. Others enjoy the leisurely part of the tour as well and warm up for the destination of the tour: …

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  • Difficult
    03:16
    6.82 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,125 ft
    1,100 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Most of the Franks who are enthusiastic about hiking have probably already been to Walberla - probably on a warm day or for the Walberla Festival in May. But have you ever been up here in winter? When the freezing cold air is warmed up a bit by the sun when the weather is clear, it is the right day for a hike with the most beautiful views of Franconian Switzerland.

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  • Difficult
    03:49
    8.65 mi
    2.3 mph
    750 ft
    550 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    This tour takes you on mysterious paths through canyons and to caves. It is especially beautiful when countless icicles hang from the rocks in winter. With a few short climbs, the hike is quite easy, but it partly runs on unpaved forest paths. Waterproof shoes with a grippy sole and surefootedness are required here.From the Ochsenbruck S-Bahn stop you …

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  • Intermediate
    04:17
    10.2 mi
    2.4 mph
    275 ft
    500 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    An extended hike through the wintry Upper Palatinate puts you in a good mood. Seligenporten with its former monastery is just halfway through the route, which is the ideal place for a break in a warm room. Most of the paths on this route are well developed and can be mastered with the right footwear, even if there is some snow or mud.

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  • Intermediate
    04:07
    9.04 mi
    2.2 mph
    950 ft
    1,200 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On this hike you will discover the wintry Nuremberg region. Comfortable forest and meadow paths lead you to the Lichtenegg castle ruins with their beautiful views. Several short climbs ensure that you don't get cold on the way. The many refreshment stops along the route also help against the cold.You start your hike south via Ermhof to Büchelberg. You …

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  • Difficult
    02:40
    17.1 mi
    6.4 mph
    2,075 ft
    2,200 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    On the way from Simmelsdorf to Hersbruck, you will climb three vantage points with your mountain bike in Hersbruck Switzerland: the Enzenstein, the Glatzenstein and the Großer Hansgörgl. And after every ascent comes the reward: wonderful trails through the Franconian forests, over meadows and great views make this route a real treat for mountain bikers.First on developed paths and …

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  • Intermediate
    03:22
    23.2 mi
    6.9 mph
    2,350 ft
    2,350 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Trail to trail to trail ... The highlights show it, this tour is trail-heavy. Only a small part of the route leads over asphalt, otherwise it is a little over gravel. It is not for nothing that the route is considered the most beautiful mountain bike tour in Franconian Switzerland, since it was voted one of the ten most beautiful …

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  • Intermediate
    03:23
    9.24 mi
    2.7 mph
    1,050 ft
    1,200 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This hike takes you from Königstein in the Upper Palatinate to the Sulzbacher Land. You will discover a centuries-old double chapel and many wonderful viewpoints. So it is worth planning this route on a clear day. In winter, the view is often even better than in summer, as the trees have shed all their leaves. This tour is also a pleasure in light snow.

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  • Intermediate
    04:02
    8.88 mi
    2.2 mph
    875 ft
    925 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This promising, around 15-kilometer hike leads you from Forchheim to Eggolsheim. Particularly practical: you can easily reach both the start and finish point with the S1.From the Forchheim train station, you first stroll through the village until you dive into the quiet, wintry forest. It goes gently uphill through the forest towards Serlbach. The original Franconian village is located …

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    11
  • Distance
    132 mi
  • Duration
    39:22 h
  • Elevation
    12,725 ft

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Winter won't stop us – VGN tips for exploring Germany’s Franconia in the cold

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