Sometimes, you find hidden treasures in unexpected places. During the Cold War, when the border between East and West was still strictly guarded, the forbidden border ridge between the Fichtel Mountains and the Bavarian Forest lay forgotten. No one thought that the Upper Palatine Forest would be re-discovered by mountain bikers years later.
Today, bunkers and border fences no longer dominate the landscape. Instead, you will find deep valleys, ancient castles and ruins, extensive forests and romantic villages. Here, you can exhaust yourself on flowing trails and crisp climbs by day, and tuck into a hearty meal at the local ‘Zoigl’ by night. In this Collection, I have put together an adventure through the Upper Palatinate Forest to help you get to know this true jewel in eastern Germany with your bike and backpack.
The route starts between Fichtelgebirge and Oberpfälzer Wald in the beautiful Marktredwitz. From here, you will first ride south through the Vorderen Oberpfälzer Wald until you reach the turning point of the route at Vohenstrauß. The way back directly follows the border between Germany and the Czech Republic most of the way, returning to the starting point in the north. You will cross the Upper Palatinate Forest twice, getting to know the area in-depth.
Mountain biking in the Upper Palatinate Forest makes your muscles work. The trails are rarely flat, leading up and down over the landscape. You’re therefore guaranteed variety, as well as burning calves.
For this reason, I have kept the stages short. You’ll have enough time for a break or two and you can make the most of the spectacular views along the trail. The Upper Palatinate Forest has a lot to offer in terms of landscape and also culturally. If you prefer to sit on your bike all day long, the 221 kilometres (137 miles) of this Collection can, of course, also be ridden in fewer stages.
At each of the stage destinations, there is at least one nice and very down-to-earth overnight accommodation. I have mostly included campsites, but many also offer comfortable camping pods or holiday apartments. It’s up to you how much luxury you want to include in your trip; from a cozy holiday to a bikepacking experience close to nature.
You can easily reach the start of your adventure, and return home, by train. Marktredwitz is well-connected by rail and has connections across Germany and Europe, meaning you can leave your car at home stress-free
Your journey through the Upper Palatinate Forest begins at the train station in Marktredwitz, where you change from the train to your bike and reach the banks of the small river Kössein after just a few meters. Following him, you leave Waldershof on the left. If you take a look to the right here, you will see the headquarters of the large German bicycle manufacturer Cube. Today you will also get to know its home trails.
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After two quite demanding stages, you can take a deep breath on the third day in the Upper Palatinate Forest. Today's route is a little shorter and not as hilly, but no less beautiful. Today you drive through wildly romantic valleys, along quietly rippling forest streams and past many beautiful natural and cultural highlights. Today you have enough time to look at everything in peace.
"The journey to the center of Europe" - this could be the title for the fourth stage through the Upper Palatinate Forest. Today you actually pass two places that each claim to be the center of our continent. This is due to different calculation methods and the best thing of all is the wonderful landscape and the beautiful trails, which give you a really nice bike tour again today.