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Hiking in the Rhön Mountains where nature and history combine

Hiking Collection by Franken Tourismus

Weather-beaten castle ruins, sprawling forests, extinct volcanoes, and impressive basalt columns – hiking through the Rhön Mountains opens a world of discovery at your feet. Located in the south of Germany where the states of Bavaria, Hesse, and Thuringia meet, the low mountain range offers great hiking opportunities. In this Collection, you can discover seven circular hiking trails that showcase the region’s spectacular landscapes and history. You will follow in the footsteps of King Ludwig, exploring millennia-old relics dating back to Celtic times and enjoying fantastic views of the mountains.

From the Rhön Biosphere Reserve to the volcanic East Hessian Mountains, the hikes in this Collection cover the entire Rhön region. North of the mountains, the Celtic Trail runs through a sea of basalt stones past ancient fortifications dating to the Iron Age. In the south, you can learn about honey production at the bee centre and explore impressive castle ruins on the Michelsberg hills. The Museum Tour through the Streu Valley and the High Rhön reveals how life would have been 300 years ago as you visit the Fladungen Open Air Museum. Meanwhile the Geba Trail takes you to the Hohe Geba plateau where you enjoy panoramic views.

The hike starting from Waldfenster is an idyllic ramble through one of the most pristine forests in the region. Finally, the King’s Path follows the footsteps of Empress Sissi. The landscape is stunning as you hike through the vineyards near Hünfeld. The picturesque Haselsee Lake creates a fairytale scene before your eyes.

All of the hikes are circular day-long routes starting from a parking lot. Don’t forget to look out for the typical Rhön sheep on the way – with a bit of luck, you may spot a jet-black heads peeking out from behind a rock.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

    Intermediate
    02:38
    5.75 mi
    2.2 mph
    700 ft
    725 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Relaxation, culture and the most beautiful nature with fantastic views await you on the premium route of the approximately nine-kilometer extra tour Michelsberg.At the Münnerstadt train station, which you can reach with the regional train or the Erfurt train, you hike through the Hindenburgpark and up to the bee teaching center. A variety of information boards along the adjoining bee educational trail tell you everything about pollen collectors and pollinators. In an insect hotel you can watch the hustle and bustle.Just a kilometer further you can put your feet up and make yourself comfortable on a wide wooden swing in the middle of the forest. Just be careful not to fall asleep. A narrow path leads you to the outskirts of Burghausen and through a former vineyard. You can still see wild vines here and there. An absolute highlight is the ruin of the St. Michael church, a place of calm and tranquility.From the Burghäuser Blick and the Kleine Windsburg, a unique panorama opens up over the wide Rhön, the Lauertal to the Thuringian Forest. A staircase finally takes you back to your starting point in Münnerstadt with the impressive gate tower "Oberes Tor".

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    Intermediate
    03:34
    7.65 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,175 ft
    1,175 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The most beautiful nature, a promising summit and natural beech forests - the forest window extra tour does not only stand for the place name where the wonderful circular tour begins. It is also truly a window into the forest habitat and leads you through untouched nature reserves. So that these remain exactly the same for future generations, please follow the marked paths and take photos of the pretty plants, but leave the plants where they have their place.Your walk into nature begins in the tranquil village of Waldfenster. You leave the village on narrow paths and hike past sources of the Lauter. The path leads you to one of the largest non-Alpine nature reserves in Bavaria: “Black Mountains”. You meander through fragrant meadow paths and meet particularly pristine forest at the foot of the Platzer Kuppe. The forest has not been used for forestry for more than 40 years and can therefore develop naturally.Now the Platzer Kuppe is waiting to be climbed by you. Once you have reached the 737-meter summit of the basalt summit, you have a fantastic panorama. A few benches are ready for your deserved rest.The descent takes you back deep into the forest, which offers a habitat for numerous rare species. If you look closely, you can also find relics of the historic hiking glassworks. Through open meadows and pastures, you come back to the forest window.

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  • Intermediate
    03:11
    7.19 mi
    2.3 mph
    650 ft
    650 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This relaxed tour takes you to the Weinberg nature reserve. Beautiful panoramic views, two peaks, an extravagant lookout tower and typical limestone grasslands are waiting for you to be discovered.It starts at the idyllic Haselsee, only around 600 meters from the Hünfeld train station. If you like, you can take the time to start exploring the numerous fairytale scenes that are set up around the lake. From the Frog Prince to the Puss in Boots, you will recognize some characters from your childhood. If you want to start hiking, you save the fairytale world until the end.You hike through a delightful hilly landscape towards the vineyard, which is considered the local mountain of the Hünfelder. Along the way you will encounter a rich fauna and flora with rare species such as certain orchids, but also the silver thistle, the heraldic flower of the Rhön. From the bowling game view with a cozy wooden bench or quite sublime from the Via Regia lookout tower, you can enjoy a broad view of the Haunetal and Hochrhön countryside with their elevations.The scenery changes and feels almost Mediterranean. The lime-lean grasslands are preserved in their original condition through targeted grazing with sheep and goats. If you are lucky, you will spot a few of the cuddly Rhön sheep. When you are back at Haselsee, you can treat yourself to a delicious piece of cake in the café.

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    Difficult
    05:54
    12.8 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,550 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    You should plan the varied and information-rich museum tour as a full-day excursion. In addition to the 20-kilometer route and a few meters of altitude through a cultural landscape characterized by smallholder farmers, there is a lot to learn in the museums along the way.It starts at the parking lot of the Franconian open-air museum in Fladungen. It is worthwhile to have a look here right at the beginning. The museum shows you impressively what rural life looked like in the romantic half-timbered houses and the typical village church around 300 years ago. If you are here at the right time, you can also take a trip on the historic Rhön-Zügle. The train runs between Fladungen and Mellrichstadt 20 days a year.If you have been able to quench your thirst for knowledge, it goes out of Fladungen towards Oberfladungen. This is where the extra tour meets the Friedensweg, which leads you to the Black Moor. An old watchtower and a piece of border fence still stand there today. Several information boards provide information about the former inner German border and life on both sides. The Berggasthof Sennhütte is ideal for a stop.You continue hiking with great views, past the old Huflar manor, to the Heimatblick and the Friedenslindenbank. When the weather is nice you can see from the Rhön to the Thuringian Forest. After a short break you are already on the way back to the starting point in Fladungen.

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    Difficult
    05:22
    11.3 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,750 ft
    1,775 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    With this demanding tour, you will follow the traces of the Celts in the Rhön and discover 2,500-year-old remains of Celtic fortifications in many places. A special natural highlight are the mighty basalt columns that tower up on Dietrichsberg.The tour begins in the center of your Celtic voyage of discovery: in the Keltendorf near Sünna. Here you can experience Celtic life in traditional houses and huts and even spend the night. The Celtic path leads you through shady beech forests up to the Öchsenberg with its imposing summit cross. The summit was shaped by basalt mining for decades. In the Öchsenberghütte there are homemade cakes and fat bread to strengthen you. Note that the hut is only open on Sundays and on Thuringian holidays.After the descent, you first stand in front of a sea of moss-covered basalt blocks, then you follow gently undulating paths and you can find exciting information about Celtic finds and the life of the Celts in the region on numerous information boards. The ascent to Dietrichsberg is tough again, but the unique basalt columns created by volcanic activity make up for the effort.If you have had enough of the unique nature, the legendary mountain tends to only go downhill and back to the Keltendorf.

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    Intermediate
    04:42
    9.78 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,625 ft
    1,625 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The wonderful circular tour around the Hohe Geba combines beautiful viewpoints and traditional villages with large beech forests.Your round starts with a first-class panoramic view of the Rhön landscape from the viewpoint of the Hohe Geba. A stone column with a metal circle tells you what you can see from here. A path leads you from the summit plateau down to Stepfershausen, the so-called village of the wells. From here you dive into fragrant forests that accompany you to the small town of Oberkatz. The forest opens up and you hike along flowering meadow paths and past fruit trees.A gentle ascent takes you to the high Löhr, where large grasslands connect and cover almost the entire southern slope of the Hohe Geba. When you arrive at the lookout point Rhönfrieden, you have a view to Kreuzberg in clear weather.On the section to Geba and back to the summit plateau, you may see a herd of the well-known Rhön sheep, which preserve the landscape around the lean grasslands by grazing in their original condition. When you get back to the summit, a hearty meal or a sweet cake beckons. If you have saved yourself a little more hunger, you can help yourself at the snack buffet.Tip: The reserved Schäferweg starts in Oberkatz. At seven stations, the educational path offers you a lot of interesting information about the life of the shepherds and their sheep in the Rhön. You can find more information here: rhoen.de/urlaub-kultur-ferien-wellness/wandern-natur/lehrpfade/921.Schaeferweg.html

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    Intermediate
    02:52
    5.84 mi
    2.0 mph
    975 ft
    975 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    With this extra tour you walk in the footsteps of none other than King Ludwigs. On the circular route you will explore a beautiful part of the southern Rhön and take with you the best of nature and culture.In the historic town of Staatsbad Brückenau you start hiking, first through the lovingly laid out and very well-kept spa park, then through green floodplains and into shady beech forests. The path climbs steadily and you climb almost every 300 meters of altitude on the section up to the Luitpold hut. After this demanding ascent you can breathe deeply in the small refuge and eat your snack with the best view.Over a branch path you walk to the Volkersberg with its former monastery and an impressive baroque monastery church. If you are still hungry or if you haven't packed a snack, you will find opportunities to stop here.On natural forest paths and idyllic paths you walk through the state forest back to the state bath and to the royal spa park with its lodging house Elisabethenhof, where Empress Sissi stayed.Are you looking for all-inclusive hiking offers for the Königsweg? Then take a look here: rhoen.de/urlaub-kultur-ferien-wellness/geniessen-uebernachten/wellnessangebote1/index.html?text=&cities=28426&pauschalangebote%5Breisedauer%5D%5B%5D=&_kae = & _ bxd = 752861698127d36e5fb7af2f7ad31b6c & page_pauschalangebote = 0 & kt% 5Bsd% 5D = & kt% 5Bsb% 5D = & kt% 5Bcat% 5D =

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Distance
    60.3 mi
  • Duration
    28:13 h
  • Elevation
    8,450 ft

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