A beautiful final day’s walk, through forest and passing lakes crossing the border into Germany and descending to the Bavarian town of Fuessen.
Leaving Holz, rejoin the Lechweg as you enter the forest to follow a beautiful panoramic path affording fine views over the valley and into the mountains. After ascending to a small chapel, there is a long descent, via the beautiful lake called Frauensee, to Pflach. Here you can stock up on supplies or take lunch before the long walk up into the forest where you enter Germany. From the unannounced border, you will descend to Alpensee. The is a gorgeous mountain lake made more picturesque by the view of the famous castles of Hohenschangau and Neuschwanstein. Re-entering the forest, there is a final bold ascent to the Calvary viewpoint from where you can enjoy the fabulous panoramic vista across to the castles and down to Fuessen. The descent winds down through beech forest to the Lechfalls just outside Fuessen where your walk comes to a dramatic close. Enjoy the views of the Lech entering the Lechschluct gorge and enjoy a well-deserved drink or ice-cream close to the falls.
This is a long walking day of over 25km. If you intend to walk the entire way, we strongly suggest you make an early start. Other than Pflach, there is nowhere to buy food or drinks so make sure you take plenty of supplies with you.
This is a long walk, so as advised start early. The terrain is tricky in places, with narrow forest paths and rocky sections. Make sure you check the weather forecast before setting out, taking care if it will be wet and considering taking the bus for some of the way if thunder storms are forecast.
You may be walking past a few different areas where cows graze. Although generally very docile and used to walkers, keep your distance and never turn your back on a cow that is behaving strangely or aggressive. Be particularly vigilant around cows with calves.
It is particularly important for this day that you wear comfortable sturdy boots and we strongly advise taking walking poles. Given the distance, we also advise you take at least 2 litres of water with you.
Points of Interest
You will reach the beautiful small lake of Frauensee after approx 5.5kms today. This natural lake is popular with swimmers as the in the summer the water reaches temperatures of 24 degrees Centigrade! The lake is in a very picturesque setting at the bottom of the dramatic Gehrenspitze mountain. This is a great place for a swim if you are a fan of natural water bathing or just feel like cooling off. Access to the lake is free of charge all year round, and there is a small mountain Stuebe (bar/café/restaurant) by the lake if you would like to stop for a drink and a snack.
Alpsee is a much larger lake the Frauensee, but with colder water is less amenable for swimming! Take some time to rest here and enjoy the views of the clear turquoise water. When you first reach the lake, after the long descent through the forest you can’t yet see the famous “fairy tale” castles of King Ludwig, Hohenschangau and Neuschwanstein. If you continue to follow the path and the Lech River Trail route, eventually the castles will come into view making the setting seem even more magical.
Neuschwanstein and Hohenshangau Castles
The Bavarian royal family’s summer residence was at Hohenschangau castle, on the shores of Lake Alpensee and Ludwig built the neighbouring Neuschwanstein castle in homage to the stories of Germany knights. The castle is an incredible building and is the supposed inspiration for the Walt Disney Sleeping Beauty castle. You will get a glimpse of the castles on the last day of the Lech River Trail, but should you like to visit you can read more information about tickets and entry via the link below. Note that buses run regularly from the train station in Füssen to Hohenschangau where the ticket office is situated. As the castle is an extremely popular visitor attraction, we recommend you purchase tickets online in advance.
The Lech River Trail ends at Lechfall in Fuessen where here the river spills over a dam built in the 18th century. The river then flows into a dramatic natural gorge before it opens up and flows beyond Fuessen toward the Danube. Impressive high-water marks on the west bank document the force of the river, especially after the onset of snowmelts in the early summer months.
The Lech has been an important element of the historical development of Fuessen. In the Middle Ages, rafters floated lumber and goods downstream for trade. Below the old town of Fuessen, there were once a thriving dock area with watermills and raft-building yards.
These days the area at the foot of the Lech is primarily used for energy production. The river runs in to Forggensee, just beyond Fuessen, which was artificially dammed in 1954 and serves as an accumulation reservoir for the downstream power station ladder. The lake regulates the water flow.
Food and Drink
Today is a long walking day so it is important to have plenty of water and fuel. Other than the mountain restaurant at Frauensee (just 5.5kms into the walk) and the small town of Pflach, there is nowhere to buy food or drink en route. We strongly suggest you take snacks and plenty of water with you. As there are not many facilities in Waengle or Holz, you may need to order a packed lunch (Lunchpaket) from your hotel the night before departure. Take plenty of water with you.
This tour is available on the following itineraries: WGLRT, WGLRTSV