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Water, rocks & trails — Mountain biking in the Fichtel mountains

Mountain Biking Collection by Martin Donat

Just one glance at the map reveals the huge variety of trails in the Fichtel Mountains that are waiting to be discovered. The low mountain range in northern Bavaria is best known among bikers for its bike park at the Ochsenkopf, a popular weekend destination with several downhill routes, a cable car and a well-equipped bike shop at the valley station. But the Fichtelgebirge has so much more to offer. In this Collection, I have put together a lot of wonderful trails into one big loop which will lead you through Upper Franconia and the Upper Palatinate in seven stages, including a stop at the bike park of course.

On this round trip along the Trans Fichtel Trail, you will get to know the Fichtel Mountains and the Steinwald with their panoramic peaks and cozy villages. The high trails and altitude gain are a challenge, but your effort is rewarded with wide views over beautiful landscapes. The stunning scenery, idyllic reservoirs, winding rivers, and warmth of the locals will stay etched in your memory for a long time.

A defining feature of the Fichtel Mountains are the rock formations, where you can enjoy wonderful views over the countryside. These impressive granite blocks impressed Johann Wolfgang von Goethe so much that he visited the Fichtel Mountains three times.

I also shouldn’t forget to mention that Marktredwitz local Andrea Köppel (aka. the ‘Mountain Bike Man’) helped me to plan these routes. He’s made it his mission to make his beautiful home more accessible to other bikes.

You can enjoy comfortable rest stops along the Trans Fichtel Trail as each of the seven stages ends in a village with places to stay overnight. The stages are relatively short, but still challenging due to the altitude difference. But, they are still feasible for novice bikers if you spread the route out over a whole day. Well-trained riders can manage the Trans Fichtel Trail in fewer stages. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t underestimate almost 186 miles (300 kilometers) and more than 19,685 feet (6,000 meters) of altitude difference.

I recommend taking your time and also planning some stops off your bike. The Fichtel Mountains don’t just offer beautiful views, they are also full of cultural highlights, tradition and customs. For example, you can learn about the history of mining and porcelain production en route. If you don’t feel like riding, the area is well-connected by rail with fast links to Nurenberg from the main station in Marktredwitz.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    25.4 mi
    6.4 mph
    3,000 ft
    2,875 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    The journey through the Fichtelgebirge begins in Marktredwitz, one of the larger towns in the Fichtelgebirge. This is simply practical, because Marktredwitz is easily accessible, offers many accommodations and lots of gastronomy, so that you can strengthen yourself and relax here before the big tour.Then the adventure can begin. Initially quite leisurely, the route takes you to Alexandersbad with its historic bathhouse, where you can fill up your drinking bottle with fresh medicinal water. Then the route slowly picks up, which means: more climbs, but also more trails. Perfect to get in the mood for the coming days. You will soon pass the first rocks that are so typical of the Fichtelgebirge. With the best view you can already look forward to the next trail.The highlight of the stage is the Kßeine, a mountain range in the Fichtelgebirge, whose summit of the same name welcomes you at an altitude of 939 meters. If you want to save energy, you can omit the detour to the summit. Then you miss a magnificent view and a cozy break in the Kßeinehaus. After that it is almost only downhill to the finish at the Maschermühlehof. Here is a holiday apartment that you should book well in advance of your tour through the Fichtelgebirge ( if you want to stay here. Alternatively, there are refreshments and accommodation in Waldersdorf.

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  • Intermediate
    24.7 mi
    6.5 mph
    2,900 ft
    3,225 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Almost 900 meters in altitude on around 40 kilometers - on the second leg of the Trans Fichtel Trail there are a few steep climbs, but also many flowing trails await you. There are impressive rock formations, fantastic viewpoints, an interesting castle ruins and cozy rest stops.Today it goes straight to the point. Without long warm-up, the 820-meter-high Plößberg awaits you to be defeated by you. In contrast to the granite that is very common in the Fichtelgebirge, the Plößberg is a basalt cone created by volcanism. If you look carefully, here and there you can see the weathered basalt rock, which looks more like a big pile of rocks and is very different from the impressive granite rocks. A little later you have the direct comparison on the Hackelstein. From the trail you can make a short detour to the steep stairway of the distinctive rock.About halfway there is the highlight of the tour: the 946 meter high Oberpfalzturm. Here you can see in good weather to the Bavarian Forest - the ideal place for a break. If you do not have any food with you, the Waldhaus invites you for a stop, if you are on the weekend. During the week, you simply continue to the Fichtelnaab Valley, where the restaurant is waiting for you to commute.The goal of the stage is in the small town of Kulmain on the northwestern edge of the Upper Palatinate. Here are some hosts who offer you food and accommodation. Otherwise, there is not much, except a beautiful landscape and wonderful peace.

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  • Difficult
    26.5 mi
    6.2 mph
    3,325 ft
    2,700 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    The third stage of the Trans Fichtel Trail goes high. Not only that you climb the second highest mountain in the Fichtelgebirge today - the goal of the tour is Fichtelberg, the highest populated place in the Fichtelgebirge nature park. And if you feel like it, you can camp at the highest campsite in Northern Bavaria. But one after anonther…You start in the tranquil town of Kulmain, from where it starts out going uphill, downhill, but overall relatively relaxed. You reach the Fichtelnaab via quiet roads and (gravel) paths, which you follow a little way. Slowly you can memorize the rhythm of the day: beautiful trail - idyllic water - wonderful view. Because you pass several lakes and swimming opportunities, pass several rock formations with beautiful viewpoints and all of this is connected by beautiful trails.A long break at the Fichtelsee is worthwhile. Here you can rest and strengthen yourself and look forward to the rest of the tour. Then you head to the highest point of the day, the ox head with its Asenturm, from which you can enjoy a fantastic view of the Fichtelgebirge. The routes start here from the Bikepark Ochsenkopf and you have the choice between a demanding, blocked rock downhill or a flowing single trail - both variants lead down to the valley station of the chairlift and to the Bullhead House, the base station of the bike park. If you still have time and power, you can take the lift up again at a leisurely pace and enjoy another descent. There are also single tickets for the cable car, just note that in summer it is only open until 5 p.m.The Fichtelberg stage destination is now almost all downhill. Fichtelberg is located on the eastern slope of the Ochsenkopf and is the highest populated place in the Fichtel Mountains Nature Park. It lies on the main European watershed: this is where the White Main, one of the source rivers of the Main, and the Fichtelnaab, which ultimately flows into the Danube, originate. You have already passed the source of the White Main. There are many guest beds in Fichtelberg. If you feel like camping: Camping Fichtelsee is the highest camping site in Northern Bavaria. It is located directly on Lake Fichtelsee and is around 2.5 kilometers from Fichtelberg.Tip: Kulmain is connected to the railway network via Immenreuth station and is therefore a good alternative starting point for the Trans Fichtel Trail.

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  • Difficult
    25.5 mi
    6.6 mph
    2,675 ft
    3,525 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary. Some portions of the Tour may require you to push your bike.

    Stage 4 of the Trans Fichtel Trail is characterized by a high singletrack share, lots of nature and beautiful viewpoints. Today you can expect neither bike park nor especially many local thoroughfares, but pure mountain bike fun in the countryside!Right after the start in Fichtelberg you enter the first single trail leading to a beautiful vantage point. A look at the map tells you: It will not be the last trail. Enjoyment on the bike is always complemented by cozy rest stops and beautiful spots for a break. Whether you allow yourself to be pampered or even bring your own provisions is entirely up to you.At the end of the stage you will reach the Franconian mountain path. This is a 428 kilometer long hiking trail from the Franconian Forest to Nuremberg. The trail is a treat, just watch out for pedestrians so everyone has fun here.Then you will reach the idyllic destination of Bad Berneck. In the Kneipp spa you can relax wonderfully or end the day with cultural to culinary delights. Worth seeing are the historic half-timbered houses in the city center and the castle ruins Hohenberneck, also the place is known for its art and cultural events.If you are more into culinary delights, I have the right tip for you. Did you know that around 1000 different herbs grow in the Fichtelgebirge? As part of the project "Edible Fichtelgebirge" you can get to know a few of them: At the Gasthof Goldener Hirsch, regional ingredients are traditionally prepared and refined by the herbal cook with plants from the Fichtelgebirge. In this sense: good appetite!

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  • Difficult
    23.8 mi
    6.3 mph
    3,375 ft
    2,700 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    The oil carving is a tributary of the White Main. It rises in Solg and flows 22 kilometers later in Bad Berneck in the White Main. At the beginning of the fifth stage of the Trans Fichtel Trail, you will follow the last kilometers of the Ölschnitz upstream to Gefrees. In the small town center you will find everything you need to top up your provisions from the supermarket to the bakery.It follows a longer, sometimes steep climb up to the whetstone with a beautiful viewpoint, from which you can see to the Ochsenkopf. You then roll over a flowing trail to Bischofsgrün, where the ascent to the Eger spring and then up to the Schneeberg begins. Once there, you are at 1,051 meters altitude and thus at the highest point in the Fichtelgebirge.Clear that it can only go downhill now. On beautiful paths and trails you finally arrive on the shore of the Weißenstädter lake. In good weather, you can cool off in the water or just sit for a while on the shore of the largest lake in the Fichtelgebirge and enjoy the beautiful view of the water. Directly on the lake there is a campsite. If you want a roof over your head, there are plenty of accommodations in Weißenstadt.Cultural tip: If you want to do something after the tour, Weißenstadt has exciting things to offer. As part of a guided tour you can dive into the Weißenstädter underground and discover the mysterious cellar world and the crystal tunnels under the city. Finally, a visit to a small distillery complete with museum or the subsequent tasting of regional schnapps ensures that you are guaranteed to sleep well. Information can be found here:

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  • Intermediate
    27.9 mi
    7.2 mph
    2,575 ft
    2,725 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Before the sixth stage of the Trans Fichtel Trail really gets going, it is worthwhile to enjoy the beautiful view over Lake Weißenstadt in peace again. The route then leads directly past the Dirt Jump Park Weißenstadt. Even if you can't do anything with such jumps, it's worth taking a quick look at the imposing buildings. They built the locals with great effort to have fun on a mountain bike. Speaking of fun: Now you can really get going!Today you can look forward to a lot of beautiful trails again. A look at the names of the numerous highlights that you pass by actually says it all: "Super Trail", "Epic Singletrails" or "Flowiger Trail" - the forests here are full of the finest materials for a perfect day on the bike. In the Fichtelgebirge, of course, this also includes the beautiful viewpoints, which are always wonderful opportunities for short breaks along the way. Today there are two castle ruins, so that not only interesting views into the distance are waiting for you.The goal of today's stage is the city of Selb. It is close to the Czech border and is known as the china town. World-famous brands such as Rosenthal or Hutschenreuther are located here and it is hardly surprising that the topic of porcelain is omnipresent here. So it's worth rolling through the streets and alleys of the city, listening to the sound of porcelain chimes at the town hall or taking a look at the porcelain fountain in front of the town church. And if you still feel like an "active regeneration", I have found something special for you here: In the north of the city there is an asphalted pump track - perfect for rolling out on the bike with a few easy laps.

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  • Intermediate
    30.3 mi
    7.6 mph
    2,375 ft
    2,500 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    After leaving Selb, the seventh and last leg of the Trans Fichtel Trail begins in an idyllic way. You drive past the bog area Wunsiedler Weiher and reach after a short time the Eger, whose course you follow over the Egersteig for a while.Incidentally, the valley of the Eger is also called Wellertal, because at the time of the early industrialization, the major industrialist Johann Christian Weller built three power plants in which electricity is still generated with the help of hydropower. So there is always something to look at: right the power plants and the picturesque river, left the imposing rock formations like the famous Hirschsprung.In Hohenberg on the Egel you finally reach the easternmost point of the Trans Fichtel Trail. The town is located directly on the Czech border and is really worth seeing. In addition to the imposing castle complex, the theme of porcelain is also very present here, as in 1814 Carolus Magnus Hutschenreuther founded his first porcelain factory. If you fancy a short trip to the neighboring country, you can quickly reach the dam Skalka, where the Eger is dammed, as well as the Czech educational city of Eger.Through Arzberg, past the Feisnitz reservoir and finally along the Kössein you finally arrive in Marktredwitz. Here the circle closes and your wonderful tour through the Fichtelgebirge is over. In the beautiful pedestrian area, you're sure to find the right café or restaurant to revitalize you and review the action-packed and beautiful days that lie behind you.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
  • Distance
    184 mi
  • Duration
    27:34 h
  • Elevation
    20,225 ft