Adventure in the heart of Germany – Bikepacking in the Taunus

Mountain Biking Collection by Martin Donat

At the gateway to the Rhine-Main metropolis lies a true idyll and an El Dorado for cyclists – the Taunus. These hills may seem close enough to touch, but you have to work for them. The undulating landscape and crisp ascents will make even experienced bikers out of breath. Despite the hard work, cycling in the Taunus is pure pleasure. Varied nature provides a fantastic backdrop for a bike tour that takes you through cozy villages, past all kinds of cultural monuments and to great vantage points.

In this Collection, I show you several possibilities to cross the beautiful low mountain range by bike. It is based on the "Taunus Bikepacking" adventure, which took place for the first time in 2019. But, it is much more relaxed so you can do it in six stages or less, even if you are an inexperienced rider. The routes in this Collection, when lined up together, make up a big lap of 255 miles (411 km). First, you cross the western and eastern Taunus Mountains from Koblenz to Wetzlar. Then the route leads through the High Taunus, up to Feldberg and Wiesbaden. And finally, I will send you right through the middle back to Koblenz.

There are all kinds of possibilities for your personal Taunus adventure. If you have enough time, you can ride the entire loop, or you can decide to just cycle individual stages. The cool thing is that Koblenz as well as Wetzlar and Wiesbaden are well-connected by rail, so you can always simply return to your starting point. This makes it incredibly flexible – just decide how far you want to go.

Except for the start and finish stages, all stages end at a campsite or other simple accommodation. Perfect if, like me, you like outdoor adventures in touch with nature. But this Collection still works if you like your creature comforts. You will always find accommodation around the stage destinations. In addition, you'll be passing through villages with shops or cozy restaurants and inns.

This route mainly uses traffic-free roads and paths that are demanding in terms of fitness, but easy to ride. So you can fully concentrate on the beautiful area and the unforgettable adventure, no matter if you are on a light mountain bike or speeding along on a gravel bike.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Difficult
    05:20
    45.7 mi
    8.6 mph
    3,425 ft
    3,300 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    On the first stage through the Taunus you essentially follow the course of the Lahn, which winds happily through the landscape here in the western part of the low mountain range on the border to the Westerwald. However, since the route makes small detours towards the mountain every now and then, a constant up and down awaits you, especially in the second half. More than 1,000 vertical meters come together in this way.You start in the middle of Koblenz and first cycle a bit through the city. You will soon reach the Lahn, which flows into the Rhine in Lahnstein south of Koblenz. On the Lahnradweg you follow the river for quite a while and start driving relaxed and warm.If you can see Nassau Castle, the first real climb of the tour is not far. You now leave the Lahn for a while and keep cranking yourself up through the idyllic Mühlbach valley until you reach the highest point of the day in Singhofen. The way here is picturesque, sometimes runs on small trails and always leads you past beautiful viewpoints where you can look far into the country.A rapid descent takes you back to the banks of the Lahn and you drive past the Arnstein Monastery, through small towns like Laurenburg or Steinsberg and finally to Diez. Here you have reached your goal straight away: At the Oranienstein campsite, you can set up your night camp and then treat yourself to your well-deserved dinner in the cozy old town of Diez. If your plans change, you can even take the regional train back to Koblenz within an hour.You can find information about the campsite here: camping-diez.de.

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  • Difficult
    05:35
    44.6 mi
    8.0 mph
    3,550 ft
    3,275 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    The second stage of your bikepacking adventure in the Taunus is very similar in character to the previous day. Even today, the Lahn is your constant companion for large parts and even today, small excursions into the hills all around ensure a crisp up and down.The sections along the river are of course beautiful. And they have another advantage: They always lead you through the beautiful towns, some of which existed as small settlements in Roman times and far before, when the Lahn was still an important trade and transport route. Today, only excursion boats sail across the Lahn. Sitting on the shore and enjoying a coffee is even more enjoyable. Opportunities for this arise today.In Weilburg you have the last opportunity to enjoy the beautiful river ambience, because then the route bends to the east. Now it is getting more and more hilly and you drive through longer forest areas. The goal of the stage is Braunfels with its impressive castle and the beautiful old town with many half-timbered houses and a large market square. Here you can fortify yourself again before you head for your night camp: The idyllically located campsite Braunfels is only a few hundred meters outside the city.You can find information about the campsite here: campingpark-braunfels.de/de/start.

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  • Difficult
    06:05
    46.7 mi
    7.7 mph
    4,225 ft
    3,750 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    On the third stage through the Taunus you reach the northernmost point of the tour in Wetzlar. In the cozy old town with its narrow streets, restaurants and cafés invite you to take a break and if you like, you can pay a visit to an old friend - the Lahn. If you fancy some bike action, a stop at the Wetzlar bike park is recommended. If you are on the MTB, maybe you would like to do a lap on the pump track?Then the route abruptly turns southwards: Now you button up the Eastern Hintertaunus or the Hohen Taunus. It goes up and down, across meadows, fields and through forests. The highlight of the day in the truest sense of the word is the local mountain, at the 486 meter height of which the large lookout tower sets it up again and provides a great view of the Taunus and as far as the Westerwald, the Rothaar Mountains or the Odenwald. Maybe you are already discovering the Great Feldberg? It is the highest mountain in the Taunus and you will also pay a visit to it.Today's destination is the small town of Usingen. There is a youth tent a few kilometers in front of it, but it is not open to the public and is preferably rented to youth groups. You can find the contact information here: wehrheim.de/kultur-freizeit/sport-freizeit/grillplaetze-jugendzeltplatz.Alternatively, you can continue to Usingen, where there are all kinds of private hosts and a few hotels. You can find information here: usingen.de/kinder-familien-senioren/freizeit/gastgeberverzeichnis.

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  • Difficult
    05:38
    40.5 mi
    7.2 mph
    4,425 ft
    4,425 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    A really varied tour awaits you today. You drive through beautiful towns, can stop at all kinds of cozy places to stop for refreshments and pass beautiful natural highlights. The highlight of the day - in the literal sense - is without a doubt the summit of the Großer Feldberg, which also marks the highest point of the entire Taunus tour.The tour starts at a leisurely pace. You roll through the beautiful town of Kransberg and you will soon come to the impressive Eschbach cliffs. The Hattstein pond is ideal for a short break. With or without a dip in the cool water, you decide according to your mood (and depending on the weather).Enjoy the last rather flat kilometers, the second part of the tour will challenge you significantly more. Because now it lies in front of you: the Great Feldberg! It is around 880 meters high and therefore the highest point of the Taunus - and that is exactly what you will now climb. So for a while it's only going uphill. At an old Roman fort, you can take a little breath at half-time before you tackle the last - and steepest - piece. Once at the top, the question of “why” is superfluous: the view is exhilarating! This also applies to the rest of the tour: from now on it's almost only downhill.The stage ends at the rustic youth campground Hirtenstein near Idstein. From here, a short detour to Idstein with its really worth seeing old town is worthwhile. You can also get your dinner here.You can find information about the campsite here: gruppenhaus.de/jugendzeltplatz-hirtenstein-idstein-heftrich-hs3124.html.

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  • Intermediate
    03:25
    25.7 mi
    7.5 mph
    2,200 ft
    2,575 ft
    Intermediate mountain bike ride. Good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    On stage 5 you can relax a bit. It is significantly shorter and the altitude is kept within limits. But that doesn't mean that you won't get anything to do today: there are two longer climbs.Right after the first, you will be rewarded twice: First, you can look forward to a fast descent that is perfect for gravel bikes. When the forest finally clears, you will be delighted with a wonderful view. And as if that wasn't enough, the milk bar in Niedernhausen is an exceptional breakfast.This is the second climb of the day that you made when your route crosses the main road and you are glad that you are on such a wonderfully quiet forest path instead. Not far and you made it. Stage goal: Wiesbaden. And until then it's almost all downhill.Arrived in Wiesbaden, of course, a small city tour is a good idea - you have enough time today. If your journey should end here, you can take the train home from here (or to the starting point of your tour). On the other hand, if you don't get enough of the Taunus, you go a little further. Just outside of Wiesbaden is the youth nature campground Wiesbaden, your "accommodation" for tonight. You can find information here: sjr-wiesbaden.de/de/jugendnaturzeltplatz.

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  • Difficult
    06:44
    52.1 mi
    7.7 mph
    4,275 ft
    4,750 ft
    Expert mountain bike ride. Very good fitness required. Advanced riding skills necessary.

    Stage 6: The grand finale of your bike packing tour through the Taunus. And to be worthy of a final, this tour has to offer everything that makes a demanding but fulfilling day on the bike: A lot of kilometers, a lot of altitude, but also beautiful scenery, fantastic views and cozy towns. Today you will take a look at the Hohe Taunus and the Western Hintertaunus again, thus closing the circle of your tour when you arrive back in Koblenz in the evening.Right from the start it's straight to the point. A small hill to warm up, followed by the longest and hardest climb of the day, which takes you up to the Dreiborn heads. Once at the top, you can breathe deeply and look forward to the following, downhill section, which leads into the idyllic Wispertal and leads to a potential refreshment stop.The next crisp climb follows strengthened and rested. The path slowly winds up the mountain until the forest finally opens and you can enjoy a fantastic view of the rear Rheingau and the Hunsrück. The big climbs are now done: The rest of the tour is a relaxed up and down through picturesque countryside without any hustle and bustle. Again and again you come across nice breaks in the form of shelters or benches. So remember to take enough provisions for a picnic break or two.The tour ends as it began: on the beautiful Lahnradweg, which takes you back to Koblenz train station. If you still have time until your train arrives, a small detour to the banks of the Rhine is worthwhile. Here you can find a bank and watch the hustle and bustle of the visitors as well as the quietly gliding ships on the Rhine, while you review the last days in the Taunus.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    6
  • Distance
    255 mi
  • Duration
    32:47 h
  • Elevation
    22,100 ft

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