View of Auerbach Castle in the Odenwald Forest
Hikes in Odenwald
The 10 most beautiful hikes in Odenwald
Travelling through the Odenwald
The Odenwald is located in Südhessen, Lower Franconia and Baden. Its beautiful mountain roads, dense forests and lush meadows invite visitors to spend quiet hours in nature. Lovely orchards, wild and romantic valleys and small villages with rustic charm offer hikers wonderful places to linger. In addition, there are numerous myths and legends surrounding the Odenwald, which give this region a special appeal.
Where is the best place to go hiking in the Odenwald?
The most beautiful hiking trails in the Odenwald are the four quality hiking trails that run through the region: the Alemannenweg, the Nibelungensteig, the Burgensteig and the Neckarsteig. The long-distance hiking trails give hikers time to leave everyday life behind and immerse themselves in the beautiful landscape of the Odenwald.
The Alemannenweg is a 144 km long circular walk that runs through the Vorderer Odenwald and along the Hessische Bergstraße and passes mainly through mixed forest. On this popular circular hiking trail you will find numerous attractions of the Odenwald, including Frankenstein Castle, the old town of Michelstadt with its quaint half-timbered houses and the Felsenmeer Lautertal. From the Kaiserturm on the Neunkircher Höhe you have a magnificent view over the Hessian Odenwald.
Over wooded hills and through deep valleys, the Nibelungen Trail winds its way from Zwingenberg to Freudenberg am Main. Among the most important sights along the Nibelungen Trail are Lindenfels Castle and the many Siegfried fountains. Each of the wells in the Odenwald is said to be the spot where Hagen von Tronje brought down Siegfried. The best known is the Grasellenbach Siegfried Fountain.
The Burgensteig runs from Darmstadt-Eberstadt to Heidelberg along the mountain road and crosses both the Nibelungen and Neckarsteig trails. Visitors cover 120 kilometres on this sporty hike and are rewarded with beautiful views of the Odenwald and the Rhine plain.
The Burgensteig is followed in Heidelberg by the Neckarsteig, which runs all the way to Bad Wimpfen. Hikers come across numerous castle ruins and can visit enchanting medieval towns such as Mosbach and Neckarsteinach.
For those who do not want to hike the entire route, the stages of the quality hiking trails can also be used for beautiful and leisurely day hikes and thus enjoy the landscape and views equally well.
The Valley of the Six Mills and the Odenwald Geopark
On the banks of the Weschnitz between Weinheim and Birkenau there are six listed mills. The mill buildings are largely preserved in their original form and offer fascinating insights into the past of the Odenwald. The oldest of the six caves is the Lower Hildebrand's Cave, which is mentioned in documents dating back to 1465.
The Bergstraße-Odenwald Geopark extends over an area of 3800 km². Four UNESCO World Heritage Sites are located within the Geopark: the Messel Pit, the Lorsch Monastery, the Upper Germanic-Roman Limes and the Mathildenhof in Darmstadt. The most popular attractions in the Geopark include the Katzenbuckel, the highest mountain in the Odenwald, the Eberstadt dripstone caves and two visitor mines.