Autumn landscape in National park Bayerischer Wald at sunset, top of the mountain Grosser Arber, Germany.
Vaclav Volrab/

Eastern Bavaria: Many paths lead through the Bavarian Forest 

Simone Sever

Whether summit tours, circular or long-distance hiking trails – if you love hiking but also like to push yourself, then the “Green Roof of Europe” is a must. Unlimited paths along babbling brooks, through the lush green of mixed forests on the eight-thousander-tour or along sunny mountain meadows – everyone is guaranteed to find their favorite tour in the Bavarian Forest. No wonder the region took first place in the category of “Hiking regions in Germany, Austria and Switzerland”. You want to go? Then you’ll will find the best tips here.

Hiking paradise with boundless nature 

The Bavarian Forest on the border between Germany and the Czech Republic is considered to be the largest forest landscape in Central Europe. It is home to the first and oldest national park, the only primeval forest in Germany and two nature parks. In the unique natural landscape, which can be hiked through for hundreds of kilometres, the scenically varied paths lead not only through natural primeval forests and high moors, but also along rushing rivers and ice-age lakes. For those who prefer something more challenging, the 130 imposing mountains with more than 1,000 meters in altitude are an exciting alternative for hiking in the Bavarian Forest.

View from the top of mountain Grosser Arber in National park Bavarian forest, Germany.
Vaclav Volrab/

On the Goldsteig through ancient and natural landscapes 

Hikers who want to immerse themselves in the fascinating low mountain range landscape of the Upper Palatinate and the Bavarian Forest with seemingly endless woody peaks are in the right place on the Goldsteig. At 660 kilometers, this is the longest certified quality hiking trail in Germany. If that’s not enough of a hiking route, you can add the 289 kilometers of the Czech Brother Trail. A very special highlight: the Goldsteig leads through five nature parks and one national park. Nature lovers can choose between two variants on the main route: the southern route and the northern route.

Through mixed forests and nature reserves on the southern route 

This path meanders alternately through green forests and over lush meadow landscapes through the hilly woodlands of the Bavarian Forest. The southern route is also suitable for less experienced hikers. When visibility is good, fantastic distant views as far as the Alps await you on this path. Rare plants and animals can also be admired on the sections through the untouched nature reserves such as the “Hölle” or the pond landscape near Wiesenfelden. Those interested in history can visit the Reichenbach Monastery, Falkenstein Castle and Wiesenfelden Castle along the way.

Over the thousands of the Bavarian Forest on the northern route 

The significantly more demanding tour of the Goldsteig is the northern route, on which many thousands of peaks can be climbed. These include the Großer Arber, the Falkenstein and the Dreisessel with its bizarre granite rocks. If you choose this path with its challenging altitude difference, you will not only have fantastic views of the mountains across the Bavarian-Bohemian border, but also special experiences in pretty little towns such as Furth im Wald or Bayerisch Eisenstein. Cultural highlights such as monasteries, chapels, museums and caves, are very close to the hiking route.

Hiker gazes at Dreisessel in the Bavarian Forest
Tourismusverband Ostbayern e.V./ Woidlife Photography

Here you can find more hiking trails through the Bavarian Forest