Winterwanderung auf dem 1. Premium-Winterwanderweg Deutschlands
Making Tracks

You don’t always need skis, snowboards or snowshoes. The Bavarian winter wonderland can also be experienced on foot. Many resorts maintain trails for strolls over crunching snow. Here are 16 hiking tips for wholesome winter fun

16 Winter Hiking Tours in Bavaria

Panoramaweg: Erster Premium-Winterwanderweg Deutschlands bei Reit im Winkl im Chiemgau

Reit im Winkl:

A Premium Panorama Trail

Hemmersuppenalm is the name of a high plateau in the Chiemgau Alps. It lies at an elevation of 1,200 metres to the south-east of Reit im Winkl. Germany’s first premium winter hiking trail, the “Panorama Trail”, runs across the alpine pasture terrain and offers impressive views of the alpine mountains. The starting point is the Blindau hiking car park, from where the shuttle bus (for a fee) departs at regular intervals to the Hindenburg Hut (from the tourist information office). The winter hiking trail is well signposted and continuously groomed.

It provides the best conditions for a comfortable hike. The route is almost flat throughout the winter landscape, continuously flanked by magnificent panoramic views, with the Lake Chiemsee occasionally appearing in the distance. At the end, the path leads past the Anna Chapel back to the Hindenburg Hut. It’s always best to enjoy some Bavarian dishes in the cosy mountain inn before taking the bus back down to the valley. If you want, you can also hire a toboggan and whizz back down into the valley. Reit im Winkl is accessible by train and bus.

View from the Jägerkamp onto Lake Schliersee and the Pre-Alps


The Schliersee Mountains:

A Winter Hike to the Rotwandhaus

The 1,884-metre-high Rotwand is one of Munich’s local mountains. Lake Spitzingsee, which can also be reached by public transportation, is the starting point for a winter ascent. Behind the church at the southern end of the lake, follow the small private road in the direction of Valepp. Shortly afterwards, keep left in the direction of Rotwand, follow the road and turn right after the Maxlrainer Diensthütte.

The path gets steeper and you arrive at open alpine meadows. It then takes you underneath the Klammstein, past the Wildfeldalm and over a hill, where the Rotwandhaus emerges. In good weather, the view here extends from the Grossglockner to the Zugspitze! During a stop at the Rotwandhaus, you can enjoy traditional Bavarian and Tyrolean dishes, or you can continue your ascent to the Rotwand peak, which takes an additional half an hour. The way down is the same as the way up.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Duration: 5.30 hours
  • Altitude: 700 metres
  • More at:
Ausblick von der Korbinianhütte in der verschneiten Alpenwelt Karwendel


Alpenwelt Karwendel

A Winter Hike to the Korbinian Hut

Enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the Karwendel mountains and diverse, well-marked trails on a winter hike to the Korbinian Hut. The tour starts in Mittenwald at Bahnhofsplatz. Follow the avenue to the Parish Church of St. Peter and Paul, then keep right in Gries and follow Gröblweg. Some 200 metres down the road, turn left onto the footpath that winds its way up the mountain. The signposts lead to the Korbinian Hut, which you can reach after half an hour.

You can either stop there and savour the Bavarian cuisine or you can hike about 70 meters uphill to the mountain station of the Kranzberger Chairlift. There you reach the highest point of the hike at 1,215 metres. The view of Mittenwald, the upper Karwendel, the Arnspitzen and the Wetterstein Ridge is magnificent! The way back to the valley can be done in a good half hour. If you want, you can also comfortably glide down with the chairlift. From the valley station back to the station it’s another ten minutes.

Winterwanderung durch den Zauberwald



From Ramsau through the Zauberwald Forest to the Hintersee Lake

The winter hike connects popular sights in the mountaineering village of Ramsau. The tour starts at the Neuhausenbrücke, which leads over the Ramsauer Ache river. A little further upstream, you pass the Parish Church of St. Sebastian with its Gothic, elaborately carved figures of Christ and the twelve apostles. It’s worth a visit!

Back on the trail, you walk along the Ache to the pristine, magical Zauberwald Forest. It is here where a rockfall taking place thousands of years ago created a ruggedly romantic landscape of torrent, rocks and forest. It belongs to the list of “Bavaria’s most beautiful geotopes”. In winter, the gurgling Ache covers the rocks with ice and creates bizarre ice formations.

The Zauberwald Forest stretches from the Marxenklamm Gorge to Lake Hintersee. The emerald-green water and the mountains and forests surrounding it transform this natural beauty into a romantic mountain lake. The route then circles Lake Hintersee, continues on the Prinzregent-Luitpold Trail and through the Zauberwald Forest back to the Neuhausenbrücke.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Altitude: 225 metres
  • Info and 3-D preview:
Schloss Neuschwanstein im Winter



Tracing Royal Footsteps to Tyrol

On the trail of Bavarian kings in the Allgäu! From the Alpsee car park in Hohenschwangau (824 meters), this winter hike leads along the so-called Fürstenstrasse, or the Street of Princes, to Pinswang in Tyrol. Views of Lake Alpsee and Neuschwanstein Palace are guaranteed in good weather. King Maximilian II had the private road built along old smugglers’ routes around 1840 so that he could reach his hunting grounds in Tyrol. His son Ludwig II then used the route for nighttime carriage and sleigh rides.

When there is little snow, detours to the Berzenkopf (885 meters) with the Frauenstein ruin in the north of the lake or to the Marienmonument at the west end are also tempting. Past the lake, the route heads west downhill through a lonely forest and then ascends. At the highest point you reach a barrier: the border to Austria! Another descent along switchbacks and the destination is reached: Pinswang in front of the panorama of the Tyrolean mountains. The return journey is along the same route. Before or after the hike, a visit to the “Museum of Bavarian Kings” in Hohenschwangau is well worthwhile.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Altitude: 250 metres
  • More info and GPS data at: (only in German)
Einödsbach bei Oberstdorf: Blick Richtung Trettachspitze



Through the Stillachtal Valley to Einödsbach

From the Oberstdorf bus station, take the bus south to Birgsau in the Stillachtal Valley at just under 1,000 meters. After a few minutes of leisurely hiking up the valley, a magnificent high valley unfolds.

It passes an old Lady Chapel dedicated to St. Wendelin, Patron Saint of Shepherds and Flocks, and the alpine dairy farm Eschbach. At the fork in the road at the beginning of the climb, take the road to the left. The route then climbs uphill over the western side of Einödsberg Mountain to Einödsbach. The Stillach flows below, which was formed from the confluence of the Rappenalpbach and Bacherlochbach streams.

Once you reach the top, you will be greeted by the rocky peaks of the Trettachspitze (2,595 meters), Mädelegabel (2,645 meters) and Hochfrottspitze (2,649 meters). Einödsbach is Germany’s southernmost settlement, lies at an altitude of 1,114 meters and has been inhabited since 1613! After stopping at the “Gasthof Einödsbach” for refreshments, you return the same way you came.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Duration: 1.45 hours
  • Altitude: 200 metres
  • More info and GPS data at:
schneebedeckte Landschaft in den Allgäuer Alpen



Winter Hiking to the Hirschsprung and the Sturmann Cave

This easy, scenic winter hike leads from Obermaiselstein to the legendary Hirschsprung. Starting at the Haus des Gastes, walk past the fire station and after about 150 metres follow the narrow asphalted road in an easterly direction until you reach the fork in the road towards Sturmann Cave (open Wednesday to Sunday in winter, ticket reservation recommended). In a western direction, you reach the Hirschsprung via a forest path, a rock formation through which today the district road to Tiefenbach passes.

The legend has it that a red deer was pursued by a lynx and saved itself by jumping over the narrows, hence the name Hirschsprung, or “Deer’s Leap”. Today, the Hirschsprung is the coat of arms symbol of the municipality of Obermaiselstein. From the Hirschsprung, a field path leads eastwards to Langenwang. Continue along this path for about a kilometre until you reach a path that branches off to the north in the direction of Niederdorf. From there you return to the starting point.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Altitude: 130 metres
  • More info and GPS data at: (only in German)
Blick auf den verschneiten Allgäuer Ort Oberstaufen



The Premium Winter Hiking Trail Kapfwald Loop

The first certified winter hiking trail in the Allgäu promises winter delights! It is marked all the way through. You start in Sinswang at the junction to the “Sinswanger Stuben”, just a five-minute walk from the car park at the tennis hall.

A groomed route takes you across open terrain in the direction of Genhofen and in a loop back to Sinswang. After crossing the road, the trail goes uphill and you reach the cleared winter trail towards Kapfwald Forest. (Optional: At the next fork, head towards Berg, where you can enjoy the sun terrace of Cafe “Paradies”. Distance: about one kilometre one-way). The loop road continues straight ahead and uphill. After entering the Kapfwald Forest, keep to the right at the next fork and follow the trail to the next large fork.

When the sun shines, the light makes the snow-covered treetops gleam! You will then enter open terrain and enjoy views of Steibis as well as the Hochgrat and other peaks of the Nagelfluh chain. The trail leads once again into the forest, then downhill following the premium trail signs and finally in a loop along a stream back to Sinswang.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Duration: 2 to 3 hours
  • Altitude: 200 metres
  • More info and GPS data at:
Winterwandern im Bayerischen Wald


Lamer Winkel:

From Arrach up Kaitersberg Mountain and to the Kötztinger Hut

The climatic health resort Arrach is located in the Lamer Winkel region in the district of Cham. It is nestled in a horseshoe-shaped mountain range and surrounded by most of the one-thousand-metre peaks of the Bavarian Forest, including the Osser, Arber and Riedelstein.

At 1,139 metres, the Riedelstein is the highest peak of the Kaitersberg, a long ridge to the south of Arrach. A lovely winter hike (AR6) starts in the Simmereinöd district of Arrach. It leads up to the ridge of Kaitersberg Mountain on an access path of the Goldsteig long-distance hiking trail. Once you are there, turn right to the west and continue on the yellow and white marked Goldsteig trail to the Kötztinger Hut.

The mountain inn is located at the 1,034 metre high Mittagsstein Mountain and is open in the winter. From there, you can enjoy magnificent views over the winter landscape of the Lamer Winkel. With its 38 stages, the Goldsteig trail crosses the low mountain landscapes of the Upper Palatinate and Bavarian Forest.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Duration: 4 hours
  • Altitude: 400 metres
  • More info and GPS data at: (only in German)
Winterwandern im Bayerischen Wald



Panoramic Winter Hikes with the “Kleblmühler” and the “Neudorfer Loop”

With its 650-year history, Grafenau is the oldest town in the Bavarian Forest and lies only about five kilometres to the south of the national park. The town offers around 80 kilometres of cleared winter hiking trails for winter sports enthusiasts.

Winter hiking trail 7, the “Kleblmühler Loop”, or the “Kleblmühler Runde” in German, starts in Grafenau at the Festplatz and first leads over Spitzberg Mountain uphill to Lichteneck. Here you encounter winter hiking trail 7a, the “Neudorfer Loop”. This trail runs mainly along sunny field paths and on only slight inclines around the village of Neudorf. Along the way, you have fantastic panoramic views of the mountain range of the Bavarian Forest National Park.

You can return to Grafenau on winter hiking trail 7 via the nicely located Kleblmühle, where you can stop off at “Landhotel Kleblmühle”, and the Ohetal Valley.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Altitude: 200 metres
  • More info and GPS data at: (only in German)


Passau Region:

A Winter Hiking Trail to the König-Max-Höhe

The climatic health resort of Thyrnau is located nine kilometres to the north-east of Passau in the southern Bavarian Forest. The highest viewpoint in the municipality, located near Kellberg at 521 meters, offers panoramic views in all directions – overlooking no less than 36 church towers, the Bavarian Forest mountains, Passau, the Austrian Innviertel region and even up to the Alps. King Maximilian II visited this spot in 1852 and was surprised to discover: “I didn't know that my Bavarian countryside was so beautiful”.

You can start the winter hike at the car park of the Kellberg Tourist Centre, walk to the Parish Church of St. Blasius and turn left into St. Blasius Street with the “Schmiedemuseum”. Then follow the scenic spa promenade, turn right into the forest and follow the signs to “Waldreut” up to Kapfham. From there, continue to the “König-Max-Höhe” viewpoint. From Wingersdorf, it's an easy downhill walk to the center of Kellberg and back to the starting point at the Kurgästehaus.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Duration: 1.30 hours
  • Altitude: 100 metres
  • More info and GPS data at: (only in German)


Steinwald Nature Park:

Short Tour to the Weissenstein Castle Ruin

The Steinwald in the Upper Palatinate, which rises to an altitude of almost 1,000 metres, is one of the smallest nature parks in Bavaria, but it is hardly inferior to its larger colleagues in its beauty. For cold winter days, take a short hike to the Weissenstein castle ruins, to the south of Marktredwitz. The starting point is the Weissenstein hiking car park near Hohenhard. There you can start by admiring the “basalt horses”, which are impressive basalt columns.

Along a section of the Goldsteig long-distance hiking trail, the route then leads up to the Weissenstein castle ruins. The now restored complex was built in the 11th  century and was used until around 1550. You can climb the former keep using stairs and, in return, you will be rewarded with a broad view over the Upper Palatinate Forest. You should also visit the Kiebitzstein rock gate, a special kind of geotope. You can then return to the car park or continue on to the Upper Palatinate Tower (Oberpfalzturm), which also offers a wonderful distant view.

Thanks to excellent signposting, you can easily find your way around the trails. Tip: At the Weissenstein hiking car park, the heritage-rich “Marktredwitzer Haus” invites you to stop by for a bite to eat.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Length: 8 km (with the Upper Palatinate Tower)
  • More information at: (only in German)
Panoramic view of the winter landscape in the Fichtelgebirge from Ochsenkopf


Fichtel Mountains:

The Ochsenkopf Loop Certified Winter Hiking Trail

The Ochsenkopf Loop, which literally translates to the Ox Head Loop, was certified by the German Hiking Association as Germany’s first official winter hiking trail. The route connects the towns of Fichtelberg, Bischofsgrün and Warmensteinach along 19 kilometres. You can walk them with normal hiking boots.

The official start is the climatic health resort Fichtelberg in the district of Neubau. First, walk north in the direction of Lake Fichtelsee, then through snow-covered spruce forests to the “Karches” forest restaurant. Continue via Bischofsgrün to the Hügelfelsen, or the Hügel Cliffs. If you want, you can take a shortcut from here and take the cable car over the Ochsenkopf peak to Fleckl on the south side. (At the peak, don’t forget to climb up the Asen Tower and enjoy the panorama!)

If you don’t take the cable car, walk on from the Hügel Cliffs to Grassemann. (The open-air museum, which provides information about the rural life of former times in the Fichtel Mountains, is closed in November and December). The route then returns to Fichtelberg via Fleckl, Salzweiher and Grünstein.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Duration: 4.30 hours
  • Altitude: 220 metres
  • More info and GPS data at:


Bamberg Region:

On the Path of Tummlers

In Franconia, “Tummler” is the term used for “periodically surging” karst springs. The springs, which dry up during the dry season, surge following heavy rainfall or when the snow melts. They are also called hunger fountains. In the past, people believed that in years when the springs rarely appeared, crop failures and famines would follow. But even in years with high precipitation, when the tummlers caused floods, people feared that the crops would spoil.

A loop trail starts near Heiligenstadt in the Bamberg region, which invites you to discover this natural phenomenon, especially in late winter. The marked Tummler Hiking Trail (a slab of slate with a white beer mug) leads for about 20 kilometres – shortcuts are possible – passing by several “Tummler” springs and other attractions such as Greifenstein Palace near Heiligenstadt, a Gothic chapel and Heroldsmühle, one of Germany’s oldest mill wheels. The starting point is at the Burgklause of Greifenstein Palace.


Kitzingen Region: The Rödelsee Loop

On this signposted looped hike through the Franconian wine country, you will come across a lot of history and enjoy magnificent views as far as the Rhön. The tour starts at the lake Rödelsee hiking car park to the north of Iphofen.

First, you walk until you reach the adjacent forest, then turning left towards the Rödelsee observation tower with a view of Maintal Valley. Continue uphill through the forest, via the Schwanbergstrasse. The path continues along the slope until it reaches a gravel road. Follow the signs there, then continue to the right onto the “Kapellrangen”, where you can see the foundations of an old chapel and where beautiful views open up as far as the Rhön region. A narrow path and steps lead up past Schwanberg Palace to St. Michael’s Church. Continue into the Schlosspark, passing the mausoleum on the left, until you reach a gravel road. Then keep left until you reach the Keltenwall, then turn right.

Via the “Wald- und Grenzweg” (forest and border path), you will reach Lake Birkensee and further west the Conradseck viewpoint. Afterward, steeply descend to the viewpoint “terroir f Iphofen”, a “magical place of Franconian wine”, and return to Rödelsee via the “terroir f Rödelsee” trail. Worth seeing in Rödelsee: the local museum Elfleins-Häusla and the digital wayside cross trail “Wine & Truth”.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Altitude: 330 metres
  • More info and GPS data at: (only in German)
Auf dem Kreuzberg in der Bayerischen Rhön



Winter Hikes from the Neustädter Haus Hiking Car Park

The Neustädter Haus, which has unfortunately been closed since 31 October 2022, is located at an altitude of 754 metres on the Käuling on the Kreuzberg in the Bavarian Rhön. The hiking car park can be reached via a junction from the road between Bischofsheim and Sandberg. It is cleared in winter.

Various tours can be taken from there on groomed winter hiking trails: Hiking via the Gemündener Hut (winter opening times at to the Kreuzberg Monastery (2.30 hours) or to Haselbach into the valley (1 hour). These trails can also be combined into a large loop hike: Start at the Neustädter Haus and hike via the Gemündener Hut, which is located on the sunny forest edge above Bischofsheim. Then continue to the Kreuzberg Monastery, Haselbach and finally return to the Neustädter Haus. You will cover a distance of about ten kilometres and 400 metres of ascent.

The monastery restaurant at Kreuzberg is open from 1 November to 31 March, Monday to Thursday 11 am to 6:30 pm, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11 am to 7:30 pm.

More information at:

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