Hike the Coburg Rennsteig Trail in Germany – Thuringia and Franconia

Hiking Collection by Franken Tourismus

The landscape along the Coburg Rennsteig Trail is characterised by wide meadows and forests, as well as imposing castles and medieval towns. In this Collection, we will lead you through the beautiful Thuringian Forest and to the town of Coburg where you can learn about centuries-old traditional handicrafts. Both nature and culture lovers will be happy discovering Germany’s regions of Thuringia and Franconia.

Found in the North of the Coburg Rennsteig region, the Rennsteig Trail is the oldest long-distance hiking trail in Germany. In the past, the 105-mile-long (170-km) path was used as a trade route, forming the border between various principalities and duchies. In order for you to get to know this wonderful region in detail, we’ve put together different day hikes and long-distance trails in this Collection. Some of the routes follow the Coburg Rennsteig Trail, whilst others explore the surrounding area.

The hikes in this Collection have varying difficulty ratings. On the Prinz-Albert-Trail, you walk in the footsteps of the prince through the idyllic Rodental Valley to the impressive Coburg Castle. Another route takes you through the hilly landscapes on shaded forest paths to the picture-book town of Seßlach. You can also hike to the impressive Heldburg Castle, which towers above the town of the same name. Or, you can explore the Goldberg Lake Nature Reserve, walking along the water’s edge.

The 21-mile (34-km) Gold Trail takes you back to the time of the gold rush in the Thuringian Forest. Many people have forgotten that gold was mined in Germany right up to modern times. Panoramic views and quiet forest paths characterise the 3-summit hike in Masserberg whilst on the Lauscha Glass Blowing Trail, you can learn the traditional way of glassblowing. If you enjoy long-distance hiking, then the Carl Escher Trail is for you. The Luther Trail, meanwhile, leads you from Heldburg Castle to Coburg Castle along the former border separating East and West Germany.

Located in Central Germany, the trails are convenient to reach from across Germany. You can catch a train to Coburg and set off riding from there!

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Intermediate
    02:45
    6.14 mi
    2.2 mph
    550 ft
    650 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    On the Prince Albert Trail you walk in the historical footsteps of Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, who married Queen Victoria of Great Britain and Ireland in 1840. You start at the manorial Rosenau Castle in Rödental with its extensive castle park and the remarkable orangery. You can also visit the European Museum of Modern Glass before you start the hike.From the castle it goes south along the stream Itz to the domain Oeslau with a shady beer garden. If you are already thirsty, you can quench it here. Through the forest of Bausenberg, the path takes you to Veste Coburg, which is fortified and impressive on the Festungsberg. It is worth stopping here to explore the towers, walls and courtyards of the castle and to visit the art collections.In the Coburger Hofgarten you walk past the monument to Ernst II, Prince Albert's brother, and the natural history museum. Via the Schlossplatz you can get to the magnificent Ehrenburg and the Coburg State Archives. In the city center, you can marvel at the Prince Albert Monument on the market square before heading over Albertsplatz to Ernstplatz, where the hike officially ends. You can end the day in the winding streets of the picturesque old town.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    03:24
    7.66 mi
    2.2 mph
    675 ft
    675 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This beautiful circular walk combines culture and nature: the medieval town of Seßlach with its cobbled streets, colorful half-timbered houses and the mighty city wall is a real gem. You start at the western gate and stroll through the market square before leaving the old town. The path takes you up to Geyersberg Castle and then into the Bürgerwald. You walk on soft paths to the court, where you can take a break in the refuge.You will then reach Watzendorf and can admire the artful Teufelsstein outside the village. Along the edge of the forest we continue to Krumbach, a typical Franconian village. On the banks of the rippling Krumbach you hike back to the starting point in Seßlach, where you can end the day in a rustic beer garden or tavern. A tour of the city, which has retained a lot of authenticity, is also worthwhile.

    translated byView Original
  • Sign Up To Discover Places Like This

    Get recommendations on the best single tracks, peaks, & plenty of other exciting outdoor places.

  • Intermediate
    02:26
    5.49 mi
    2.3 mph
    475 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This relaxed hike takes you through the picturesque forest near Heldburg up to the impressive Veste, the "Franconian light". Above you can expect a great panorama and a visit to the interesting castle museum. The tour starts in the historic center of Heldburg and from there it goes towards Bad Colberg. You walk past the small Kuhsee, on the banks of which benches and picnic areas invite you to take a break.You come to the Green House, an old hunting lodge of Duke Georg II of Saxony-Meiningen. From there you march along forest paths to the absolute highlight of this tour, the Veste Heldburg. The complex is considered to be one of the most beautiful castles in Germany and from the tower you can look out over the Thuringian Forest, the Hassberge and the imposing “Sister Veste” Coburg. After visiting the castle complex, the route takes you back to Heldberg with its colorful half-timbered houses.

    translated byView Original
  • Difficult
    18:02
    40.7 mi
    2.3 mph
    3,325 ft
    3,650 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the Carl-Escher-Weg you hike through the scenic diversity of the northwestern district of Coburg and you can also look forward to some cultural highlights. The approximately 65 kilometer long path owes its name to a committed, former hiking guide of the Thuringian Forest Association. You can divide the hike into individual sections. So an overnight stay halfway in Bad Rodach is a good way to get there by train. In the places along the Carl-Escher-Weg you will also find different accommodation options.The starting point of the tour is the impressive Veste Coburg. After exploring the towers, state rooms and walls, you hike through the forest on Bausenberg to Rödental. There is a train station there, which is an alternative starting point. It goes along the Itz river to Rosenau Castle with its picturesque castle garden. After a visit to the castle worth seeing, you continue to follow the Itz to the next cultural highlight: from the Lauterburg ruin you can enjoy a beautiful view of the Thuringian Forest.The route runs up and down through the mountainous, forested landscape. On the Sennigshöhe you reach the highest point of the Carl-Escher-Weg and can stop at the Alexandrinenhütte. Then you hike through the idyllic villages of Oettingshausen, Heldritt, Lempertshausen and Roßfeld. On curved forest and field paths, you finally head to the local recreation area Hofmannsteiche near Weitramsdorf, where you can fortify yourself in the Naturfreundehaus.With new strength you tackle the last piece and reach the Coburg district of Neuses. Your destination is the beautiful Falkenegg Castle and in Neuses you will also find a connection to the rail network. Alternatively, you can end the day at Goldbergsee.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    03:58
    9.32 mi
    2.3 mph
    475 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The nature reserve Goldbergsee and the bird paradise Glender Wiesen in the Upper Franconian Coburg await you on this varied circular hiking trail. The starting point is the Coburg-Neuses train station and from here you walk to the shore of the deep blue Goldbergsee. If you need a cool down, you can jump into the water. Refreshed, we continue to Callenberg Castle, which impresses with its neo-Gothic architectural style. Inside you can visit the German Rifle Museum and the view from the tower is fantastic.After you have crossed Beiersdorf, you hike over the wide plains of the bird sanctuary Glender Wiesen. The green reed areas and wetlands are an important habitat for birds of all kinds. On the further route you come back to Goldbergsee and from the observation tower there you can enjoy a beautiful view of the landscape. Before you hike back to the starting point, it is worth a detour to the Friedrich Rückert House, where the writer has spent his summers.

    translated byView Original
  • Difficult
    09:37
    21.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    2,650 ft
    2,275 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The gold path from Schalkau to Goldisthal takes you back to the time of the gold rush in the Thuringian Forest. Few people know that gold was mined in Germany until modern times. In Thuringia, in the rivers Grümpen and Schwarza, a lot of gold has been found hidden in the rock and on the gold path you can learn a lot about the former gold mining in the region.You start at Schalkau Mitte station and follow the Itz to Almerswind. Through the former gold soap hills and small forests it goes through the valley of the Grümpen, the gold richest river in Germany. In Theuern it is worth visiting the Gold Museum, which tells you the exciting history of gold mining and gold panning. Along the water, the paths lead you uphill through the hilly Thuringian Forest. On the way, you always pass old spoil tips or the collapse of gold shafts that testify to the former gold mining. In Neumannsgrund you can try your luck at the Goldwaschplatz.After 22 kilometers you will reach Limburg, where you can stop at the rustic Limburg ice cream parlor. A real gem awaits you at the Scheibe-Alsbach reservoir, on the banks of which there are many small resting places for tired hikers. At the upper pool of the Goldisthal pumped storage plant you have reached the highest point of the hike, from here it is only downhill. On the way down to Goldisthal you can enjoy wonderful views. At the end you can visit the Haus der Natur or stop at the Golberg-Klause.

    translated byView Original
  • Difficult
    05:43
    12.3 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,550 ft
    1,575 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This promising tour on the Rennsteig in Masserberg takes you into the untouched nature of the Thuringian Forest. You start in the Masserberg district of Schnett, from where you climb the first summit directly: from Simmerberg you look out over the southern Thuringian Forest to Veste Coburg, Veste Heldburg and the Gleichberge mountains. Through the forest it goes past the small Dachsbach waterfall to the needle eye, an interesting rock formation with a through hole.Through Gießübler Switzerland you get to the Langertfelsen, from which you can gaze out over the Thuringian Forest towards the Schwarzatal. You will soon reach the second summit of this hike, the Ersteberg, from which you have a fantastic view. In winter, a ski lift is operated here and provides sporty fun in the snow.You then follow the path to Masserberg and from there you hike up to the Eselsberg, which completes the 3-summit tour. Here you can climb up to the Rennsteigwarte, which promises memorable views. From the donkey mountain the path winds down into the valley to Fehrenbach and via Heubach you get back to the starting point in Schnett.

    translated byView Original
  • Intermediate
    04:30
    9.84 mi
    2.2 mph
    850 ft
    1,425 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the Lauscha glass blowing path, you can immerse yourself in the long tradition of glass blowing and discover the place where the glass Christmas tree decorations were invented. In the mid-19th century, the Lauscha glassblowers transported their treasures to Sonneberg on the glassblower path. The publishers who sold the goods lived there.The hike starts at the Color Glassworks in Lauscha, where a lot of glass products and information about the craft are presented. Through the center it goes south past the culture house. Along the tracks you hike on forest paths to Steinach and from there the steep climb to Wiefelsburg begins. Once at the top, you can take a break at the rest area and enjoy the view. Then you hike through the Wiefelsburger Grund and follow the stream down into the valley.At the small Ehrlichersteich you can cool your feet before continuing through the forest. Your destination is the beautiful Sonneberg Castle, which now houses a hotel. Finally, a walk through the picturesque town of Sonneberg is worthwhile. You can easily reach both Lauscha and Sonnberg by train.

    translated byView Original
  • Difficult
    09:34
    22.2 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,400 ft
    1,275 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The Luther Trail leads to places and stations that enable a confrontation with Luther and the Reformation. It is a network of paths that cover different federal states and landscapes. On this almost 36 km long section you hike from Veste Heldburg to Veste Coburg. If you want to split or shorten the route, you can get on the train at various locations along the way, for example in Großwalbur or Neuses.The starting point of the tour is the imposing Veste Heldburg. The courtyard facade of the castle reflects the two-kingdom doctrine developed by Luther. After enjoying the panoramic view from the 45-meter tower, you descend into the city of Heldburg, which is known for its historic market. From the outskirts of the city, we continue on shady forest paths to the polished village of Billmuthausen, which used to lie on the inner-German border. In addition to history, you will also experience the unique nature that has arisen along the Green Belt in this section.You can hike through the fields and small towns such as Gauerstadt or Großwalbur without major differences in altitude. Another cultural highlight is the Callenberg Castle. Due to its history and its neo-Gothic architectural style, the magnificent complex is an important architectural monument. A little later the path leads you to the shore of the Goldbergsee. The reservoir created for flood protection is ideal for refreshment and a short rest.You will then reach Coburg with its beautiful city center. You walk across the market square, past Ehrenburg Castle and the St. Moriz Church. With a fantastic view of the Veste Coburg, you follow the path through the spacious Hofgarten up to your destination. Veste Coburg is one of the largest and best preserved castle complexes in Germany and in 1530 Luther spent a few months here.

    translated byView Original
  • Difficult
    13:00
    29.1 mi
    2.2 mph
    2,650 ft
    2,775 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This hike is part of the Green Belt long-distance hiking trail along the former border between the GDR and West Germany. You roam the idyllic forests and meadows on the northern edge of the Rodach Valley. If you don't want to go the 46-kilometer hike in one piece, an overnight stay halfway in the Waldhotel Hubertus near Heid is a good choice.You start at the train station in the northern Franconian town of Neustadt bei Coburg and walk north. The path follows the small course of the Röden and soon you will cross the state border between Bavaria and Thuringia. After a vigorous climb in the forest you will reach the general view, from which you have a fantastic view of Upper Franconia.It continues to Froschgrundsee, which was created as flood protection. Along the way you will always find traces of the old border. From the dam of the lake you look at the longest railway arch bridge in Germany and the restaurant Froschgrundsee invites you to take a break. Under the monumental railway structure you reach Weißenbrunn vorm Wald, where you can visit interesting sinter terraces.Following the column path, the Green Belt leads you to the former Eisfeld-Rottenbach border crossing. Afterwards you walk through the Rottenbacher Moore, an important habitat for rare animals and plants. Past Bockstadt and Harras, the route goes into the wide plain of the Rodach Valley. Your goal is in the historic spa town of Bad Rodach. Here you will find a connection to the rail network and can start your journey home or relax in the thermal baths.

    translated byView Original

Like this Collection?

Comments

Collection Stats

  • Tours
    10
  • Distance
    164 mi
  • Duration
    72:59 h
  • Elevation
    14,600 ft

You Might Also Like

Hike the Coburg Rennsteig Trail in Germany – Thuringia and Franconia
Hiking Collection by
Franken Tourismus