Gushing waterfalls plunging into dizzying depths, mirror-like lakes reflecting the surrounding mountains and mysterious moors where cotton grass and plants thrive – the Watercourse Route of the Allgäu hiking trilogy guides you through the picturesque Alpine foothills, over gentle hills and the magnificent mountains of the Alps.
The hiking trilogy in Allgäu combines three routes over 54 stages through the diverse landscapes and culture of the region. All three routes are signposted with the same mark in different colours. The Meadow Walker’s Route follows green signs through the picturesque northern Allgäu. The Watercourse Route follows blue signs along rivers to wonderful lakes through the Alpine foothills. The Route to the Top follows red signs as it climbs up to the high peaks of the Allgäu Alps where you can enjoy incredible views over the mountains. The stages of the three routes are numbered chronologically – the first stage naturally begins in the Alpine foothills with the Meadow Walkers’ Route and the 54th stage is the final section of the Route to the Top. The routes overlap with one another so some individual stages are part of two different routes.
The Watercourse Route is a medium altitude hike that runs for 248 miles (400 km) through spectacular scenery. At the end of each stage, you arrive in a place with overnight accommodation. Between the towns of Halblech and Füssen and Gunzesried and Immenstadt, you spend the night in a wonderful hut on the mountain. This wonderful accommodation needs to be booked in advance as beds are limited. It’s also a good idea to reserve your overnight stays in the towns and villages, especially during high season in summer.
In our Collection, the circular Watercourse Route begins at stage 40 and runs clockwise through the hilly Alpine foothills before climbing the edge of the Allgäu Alps. The route is divided into 26 stages with some additional so-called “connections”. The connections take you to a village with a train station so you can use them as an alternative start and end point if you only want to walk part of the route. Many of the stages also end in a town with public transport connections so you can easily choose to just hike for a few days.
If you would like to walk part of the route, you can reach most of these start and end points by train:
– 6 days from Marktoberdorf to Füssen
– 6 days from Füssen to Sonthofen
– 5 days from Sonthofen to Oberstaufen
– 5/6 days from Lindenberg/Scheidegg to Durach
You can reach Lindenberg and Scheidegg by bus from the Röthenbach, Hergatz and Lindau train stations. Alternatively, you can get off at Heimenkirch station and walk west to Meckatz which brings you to the middle of stage 41. Durach has regional train connections.
The hiking trilogy in the Allgäu is a wonderful long-distance hike to walk bit by bit or in one go. Peaceful lakes, majestic waterfalls and mighty rivers await you.
For more information on the other hiking trilogy routes, see:
Meadow Walkers’ Route: komoot.de/collection/977787
Route to the Top: komoot.de/collection/954759
This stage on the water walker route of the Allgäu hiking trilogy puts you in the right mood and leads past imposing waterfalls and idyllic lakes. At the Scheidegger Kurhaus you start on the road northwards and walk past the first pond on the left. Then you cross the road and climb up to the short mountain trail, which gives you a first beautiful view of the mountains. Then you stroll through the village and dive into the picturesque Allgäu pre-alpine landscape on the other side.Meadow and forest paths take you to the Scheidegger waterfalls. To visit them, you briefly leave the route of the hiking trilogy. It continues comfortably through the rural area to Allmannsried. If the weather is good, you can spot a piece of Lake Constance in front of the place if you look west. To the east you will soon reach the pretty forest lake, which is right next to your destination Lindenberg. If you still have time, you can stay for a while on the water and go swimming or explore the moor path on the shore. But there is still a lot to discover in Lindenberg: The place is known for its hat production, which you can find out more about in a museum.
You leave Lindenberg to the north and walk through forests and meadows past isolated farms and small towns. It goes more downhill than uphill and you get to Meckatz, where one of the better-known breweries in the Allgäu is based. You cross Leiblach and climb a hill in a large right-hand bend. Here you can expect a panoramic route with picturesque views.It's almost like that via Menzen to Wolfertshofen, where you turn north to hike in the valley of the Upper Argen to the Syrgenstein Castle. You can enjoy the view from the outside, because it is privately owned and cannot be visited. Now follows a short stretch along the road past Eglofstal to the east. At the Gasthaus zum Bären you will soon turn left again to hike up the hill to Eglofs. Today's stage ends on the beautiful village square.
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On the 16th stage of the hiking trilogy, the meadow goers meet the water runners. The two long-distance hiking trails run on the same route to Marktoberdorf. Today's tour from Eglofs to Isny is a relaxed hike with its twelve kilometers. For example, you have enough time to swim a lap in the healing moor bath in Argenbühl.You walk through the nature reserve Bodenmöser and soon you reach the tranquil town of Isny. The entire old town of the spa is a listed building. The preaching library above the sacristy of the Nikolaikirche, for example, is special. The furnishings and inventory of the library, which was set up in the second half of the 15th century, have been preserved almost true to the original. In Isny you have a good choice of places to stop for refreshments and accommodation.
A very special highlight awaits you on today's stage of the meadow walker and water strider route: the almost 22-kilometer route takes you through the Eisstobel. The water of the Upper Argen falls in several cascades down the valley over a distance of about three kilometers. Rock walls up to 130 meters high rise to the left and right. A wonderfully laid out hiking trail leads through this impressive natural spectacle. Along the way you will always come across great viewpoints and rest areas. You should have a little change ready for the way, adults pay 2.50 euros, children 1 euro.After the gorge you deserve a few meters in altitude when you climb the Iberger Kugel and will be rewarded with a magnificent panorama. Then you hike downhill again and soon reach your destination Bolsternang. Here you have a small selection of inns, but it is best to reserve your accommodation in advance.
The 18th stage of the hiking trilogy will be promising. The almost 26 km long hike from Bolsternang to Ermengerst is quite a challenge with its 900 meters of altitude. But on the way you always come across beautiful rest areas where you can treat yourself to an extensive break. So the hiking pleasure is not neglected.You hike up and down through the Buchenberg forest, whose trees provide you with cool shade on a hot summer day. Along the way you pass one beautiful viewpoint after the other. You can pause for a moment and let your gaze wander over the region and the distant Alps. In Ermengerst, today's stage destination, you more than deserve a cozy retreat. There is only a limited selection of accommodations in the small town, so it's best to find out where you want to stay in advance.
The 19th stage of the hiking trilogy is more relaxed today: the route from Ermengerst to Durach is just under 15 kilometers long and awaits you with just a few ascents. The hike takes you past Kempten in the Allgäu. In the first part of the tour you can enjoy a view of the city, the surrounding landscape and the Allgäu Alps in the distance from several vantage points.Then you leave the promising heights and then hike on a flat route. You cross the Iller and soon reach your destination in Durach. In the village you have a small selection of accommodations. With the regional train you are also in five minutes in Kempten, where the offer is greater.
On the 20th stage of the hiking trilogy, the refreshing waterway and the mysterious Mythenweg await you. Both themed trails are part of your hike from Durach to Görisried. You leave Durach and walk along the banks of the river of the same name. There are various stations on the waterway, such as a suspension bridge - an entertaining path that is not only fun for children. The Mythenweg continues for a moment: along the route you will learn some exciting stories from the region.It continues through the Dürrerbühl natural forest reserve, where nature can develop without human intervention. The last few kilometers you walk relaxed down through the forest until you reach your stage goal Görisried. In the small town you have a few accommodations to choose from as well as shopping opportunities.
The 21st stage of the hiking trilogy is absolutely fair for both meadow walkers and water runners: you hike the first part of the 20-kilometer route from Görisried to Leuterschach across lush meadows through a hilly, green landscape. Then you will soon meet the Wertach, which you will then follow for the rest of the hike.The tributary of the Lech meanders through the beautiful Allgäu landscape and always offers you nice places to rest on the shore. This way, you can relax along the water until you reach your destination in Leuterschach. In the village you have a small selection of inns for refreshments and overnight stays.
The 22nd stage of the hiking trilogy is also the final stage for all meadow goers. With its almost twelve kilometers in length, it offers a very relaxed end to the long-distance hiking trail that ends in Marktoberdorf. Around half-time you reach the cowshed pond, on whose banks you can treat yourself to an extensive break.You will soon see the first houses in Marktoberdorf in front of you. Then you walk into the city via Kurfürstenallee. The state-recognized resort in the Allgäu Alps is one of the highest cities in Bavaria. Treat yourself to a creamy piece of cake at the end of the stage - or maybe even at the end of the mastered long-distance hike - or enjoy the regional cuisine in an inn. You also have a good selection of accommodation in the city. If your hiking adventure ends here, you can get on the train in Marktoberdorf.
At the beginning of the 23rd stage you go to the eastern edge of Marktoberdorf, where the imposing St. Martin church is located. Take your time here and look around a bit. The way today is not that far. Then you go east, where the path soon turns into Kurfürstenallee. It is flanked by old linden trees that are around 200 years old.About halfway down the avenue, you leave it heading north and roam the idyllic Allgäu landscape between green meadows, shady forests and picturesque villages with little up and down. The route describes a semicircle via Bertoldshofen and Burk. Then you meet the bank of the Geltnach, which you follow a bit before you hike from Liesewanger from the north into Stötten am Auerberg.
The name of the place where the stage begins already suggests where it is going today: namely from Stötten am Auerberg to Auerberg. This mountain may arouse your anticipation, because it offers a wonderful view from just over 1,000 meters. The foot of its elongated back extends almost to the southern outskirts of Stötten. You go there and always walk straight up your back on the so-called Roman path. You can already enjoy the view of the Alps here. The church of St. George marks the summit, with a restaurant beneath it.Then it goes down over the Jägersteig on the other side. You may have noticed it from above: In this part of the Allgäu, there are many small hamlets between the meadows and forests. You follow narrow streets with little traffic and dirt roads through a change of tranquil villages and grassland. This entertaining route takes you to Lechbruck am See.
It is hard to get fed up with the green of the Allgäu, but today you can still look forward to a blue change. Because on this day the water of two rivers determines your day. To the south, you first follow the Lechufer. You cross the first bridge and enjoy the beautiful paths through the meadow landscape. They take you to a dam, from which you have a wonderful view south over the Premer Lechsee towards the mountains.We continue along the bank until another river comes from the left. Here the half-sheet flows into the Lech. At Küchele you cross the water and climb a bit on the other side because there is no path directly on the shore. But soon you will come back to the river, which will take you to Halblech. Here the stage ends at the southern outskirts.
On this and also on the next stages, the water runners and sky strikers share their way on the Allgäu hiking trilogy. You can also see this from the marking: it is highlighted in blue and red here. While the water runners have come a long way, the sky stormers begin their journey on this day. No matter which route you are on, you can definitely look forward to wonderful paths and views.You leave Halblech to the south and only slowly gain height at the foot of the Mühlschartenkopf. But soon it will be a bit downhill again. In a forested valley you cross the Halblech, follow its course briefly downstream and then turn left to hike the next few kilometers on the side of the Lobetalbach. Here you pass several reservoirs, the banks of which invite you to take a break. Turn left behind Bockstallsee. Passing the photogenic Wanderfleck chapel, you start the last ascent of the day up to your destination, the Kenzenhütte.
It's going to be alpine today. That means there are wonderful mountain trails and great views, but also a few more meters on the program. The day begins with a crisp ascent to the Kenzensattel, where you are immediately rewarded with a view of mighty rock peaks. After a short breather on fairly flat paths, the next climb to the highest point of the day is already waiting. A long descent follows with only short counter climbs.Up here you move between rocks and mountain pines. So you have an undisturbed view into the distance. But remember to pay attention to where your feet are going. Under the maple saddle you have to overcome a boulder field. Then it is not far to the Tegelberg, where a hut with food and beds is waiting for you. You can also look forward to a fabulous view of the Allgäu and its lakes.If you like it even more alpine, you can choose an alternative route on this stage. To do this, climb up from the Kenzenhütte towards the southeast and hike along the ridge over the Hochplatte. At the fork oven you will meet the main route again.
Stage 28 is a special day of hiking, which is peppered with many highlights. First you master the descent from the Tegelberg via exciting paths. On the way you can already see what you still have in front of you: the royal castles of Füssen. The best thing to do is to stop here up on the mountain and enjoy the view of Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau. The view is no longer undisturbed!Passing the famous Marienbrücke bridge, you descend to the castles and the beautiful Alpsee. On its north bank, you hike uphill on the magnificent Alpine Rose Path through a forest. Now there is just one last little climb to Calvary with its great view. Then you descend to Füssen. Practical that this stage can be completed on a good half a day. This gives you time to take a closer look at the castles or to take a leisurely stroll through the old town of Füssen at the end of the stage.
A breathtaking stage is on the program again today. You leave Füssen between the high castle and the monastery of St. Mang. You walk west on the Kobelweg along a forested back to beautiful Alatsee, where the mountain peaks are reflected in calm weather.You follow the lakeshore and first ascend to the Salober Alm and then to the summit of the same name. With some ups and downs, you follow the mountain range to the ruins of Falkenstein, which sits enthroned on steeply sloping rocks. Either you make a detour up here to the old walls or you admire them from a distance. In the southern slope you descend from the Falkenstein to then hike down the Manzenberg to Pfronten.
You leave Pfronten to the west to admire many waterfalls on your way today. When you get to the foot of the mountains, you first go north. At the Kappel district, turn left into the forest and hike through the impressive Höllschlucht. After you have thoroughly examined the game of rocks and water, you step out of the forest onto a meadow where you will find the Kappeler Alp. It is perfect for a lunch break, because half of today's route is already behind you.Then it only goes a little further uphill. Shortly before the mountain station of the Alpspitzbahn, you turn right and begin the descent. A beautiful path along a mountain stream with waterfalls takes you down to Nesselwang, where today's stage ends. By the way, you hike up the waterfall path at the end tomorrow. If you want to save it, you can also take the train down.
Stage 31 begins as the previous one ended. You climb the Alpspitze via the waterfall path. Again, you have the option to replace this route with a train journey. Or you choose one of the other variants on the Nesselwanger local mountain. You have reached the summit in a good quarter of an hour past the mountain station. Enjoy the view here, because the main climb of the day is already done.On the ridge, continue east to a red bank. Take a little time for the view here again, because most of the following descent leads you through the forest. Where the trees then slowly change into open meadows, you will reach the Grüntensee. Past the climbing forest, you continue on the riverside path. Take a look to the left here. In the distance rises the summit of the Grünten, which can be easily recognized by its transmission mast. Pretty much straight to the north you cover the last kilometers of the day to Oy-Mittelberg.
Today's stage takes you through the lovely landscape of the Prealps. Green hills and meadows and a beautiful view of the Alpine chain determine the landscape. From Oy you climb via Mittelberg to the Burgkranzegger Horn. From there it goes through a small Tobelweg down to Petersthal and thus to the Rottachsees. You follow its bank a little way. Where the footpath runs right next to the country road, go a little further and then turn left into the forest behind a small bridge on the other side of the road. Take care, because this place is easy to miss. Now it goes up again through a Tobelweg.You walk roughly to the west on quite cozy paths. Passing the Geratser waterfall you reach the foot of the long back of the Falkenstein. You follow this on beautiful forest paths to the summit. Where the trees divide, you can enjoy wonderful views of the mountains and also to the north. You always stay on top of your back and automatically descend on the other side. Now a short dangle to the left and you're in Rettenberg.
You have probably already examined the mountain you are going to climb extensively in the last few days. The Grünten, the so-called guardian of the Allgäu, rises directly southeast of Rettenberg. It is a popular destination for many Allgäuers and also the mountain of choice for after-work tours. You climb it right after breakfast. You follow a curve to Wagneritz via dirt roads. This is where the steep but very beautiful ascent via Alpe Kammeregg begins. Shortly before the summit it gets rocky and some places are secured with ropes. Once you have overcome this, a breathtaking view awaits you.You start the descent first over your back to the west and then to the south. There are several huts directly on your way here, so that you can stop off whenever you get hungry. At the end of the day you cross the beautiful Starzlachklamm. Here you can take your time and marvel at everything in peace, because it is only two kilometers to Burgberg.
This stage is like a day off. It is not far to Sonthofen - you can already see the neighboring town on the outskirts of Burgberg - and you do not feel the few vertical meters today. The stage is also suitable if you only walk part of the hiking trilogy and want to go to the Sonthofener Bahnhof.You leave Burgberg to the south and hike to the banks of the Ostrach, which you follow until it flows into the Iller. Then you go upriver on a beautiful path. This is how you run towards the mountains from which the water comes. Where you come across a park, turn left and hike to the center of Sonthofen.If you want to continue straight away, you can also add the next stage to Gunzesried. To do this, leave out the second half of the route and cross the Iller immediately on the first bridge that you pass in the direction of Gunzesried.
This stage can be combined well with the previous one in order to cross the Illertal in one day and then explore the mountains in the west. It is also a good starting point if you only want to walk part of the hiking trilogy, because there is a train station at the starting point in Sonthofen.First you walk west from the city center to the Iller and follow their course to the bridge that leads to Bihlerdorf on the other side. The route up to here overlaps with the previous stage. Immediately on the other side of the bridge, you turn left, climb a bit up the slope, and then go north again, where you reach the entrance to the Gunzesrieder valley. About Halden it goes uphill to Gunzesrieder Ach, the course of which you follow on beautiful paths upstream to the village of Gunzesried.
Today you will discover the Nagelfluh chain, which extends beyond the Austrian border. It takes its name from the Nagelfluh rock that is typical of it. This is a conglomerate, so it consists of many individual, small stones that are connected by another rock. First you leave Gunzesried along the Ach towards the valley. At the third bridge, however, you turn left and climb the slope just below the summit of noon.From here you hike along the top of the mountain range. The actual and proverbial highlight of the day is the Steineberg. You can climb its summit using a vertical ladder. You can just as easily walk around the outside or skip the summit entirely. We continue over the Steinköpfle, behind which you descend northwards into the picturesque valley to Alpe Gund.
Today, most of the way is relaxed downhill through the valley. With a beautiful view you follow the route to the northeast. On your right you see the crest on which you walked yesterday. Towards the end of the valley path you have the opportunity to go right through the beautiful Steigbachtobel with its waterfalls. You will soon reach the charming town of Immenstadt, which has a train station as well as a pretty old town. If you only want to walk part of the hiking trilogy, Immenstadt is a good starting or ending point. Or you can simply take a short detour to Marienplatz and treat yourself to an ice cream while walking through the streets.You walk almost straight through Immenstadt and climb a hill on the other side. From here you have a beautiful view over the Großer Alpsee, to which you descend immediately. Shortly before you pass the Small Alpsee, where there is an outdoor pool. If you want to cool off, you can just jump into the water at the Großer Alpsee.