HIKING Trails

A Hiking trail is a waymarked path for hiking, trekking or backpacking. Other used phrases are track, unpaved lane or road, footpath, walking trail and some others depending the country and slang people use…

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Hiking trails

What is the history of hiking trails?

In the US, the term was historically used for a route into or through wild territory used by emigrants (e.g. the Oregon Trail). Some trails are single use and can only be used for walking, cycling, horse riding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing; others, as in the case of a bridleway in the UK, are multi-use, and can be used by walkers, cyclists and equestrians. There are also unpaved trails used by dirt bikes and other off-road vehicles and in some places, like the Alps, trails are used for moving cattle and other livestock.

Mindo in Ecuador is awesome for bird watcher and nature lover
Hiking in the Lake District offers great hiking trails

Long distance hiking trails

There are a few famous long distance hiking trails all over the world. Like in all things you can find different lists of the 10 best long distance trails for hikers.

We collected here a few of them without choosing the best:

  • Appalachian Trail (United States)

    Distance: 3,510 kilometers (2,180 miles)
    The Appalachian is the grand dame of long-distance trails.
    One third of North America’s holy hiking trinity, the Triple Crown — the others being the Pacific Crest and Continental Divide trails — it’s the most iconic, famed for its “thru hikers” who attempt to complete it in a single season.
    Its 5 million steps follow the Appalachian Mountains from Mount Springer, Georgia, to Mount Katahdin, Maine.
    The range was once a natural border to the 13 colonies held by powerful Native American tribes like the Iroquois and Cherokee, before independence gave rise to westward expansion.
    Among the highlights: the idyllic, overgrown tracks through Great Smokey Mountains National Park in North Carolina, North America’s most diverse forest.
    More information at: Appalachiantrail.org
  • Dingle Way (Ireland)

    Distance: 179 kilometers (111 miles)

    A hike on the Edge of Europe could well be the Dingle Way’s nickname, had Iceland not been halfway between you and the North American continent.

    The trail is definitely one of the best hikes in Europe because of its remarkable sceneries and enriching exposure to the Irish culture along the way.Around almost every turning point of the hike you will be mesmerised by gorgeous slopes, lavish countryside and sandy shorelines and the mighty Atlantic Ocean. A circuit route around the picturesque the Dingle Peninsula – from Kerry back to Kerry – the hike comprises 30 Irish long-distance walking trails in the South West of the Ireland.

    Famous around the world idyllic Irish pubs with their fresh beer, seafood and traditional local County Kerry cuisine will not allow you to get too bored or tired on your hike.

    More information at: http://www.dingleway.com

  • Dolomite High Route (Italy)

    Distance: 150 kilometers (93 miles)

    Weaving through the dramatic Dolomites mountain range, Alta Via 1 is like a “greatest hits” nature tour of northeastern Italy. The rugged trail guides hikers from high-altitude World War I battlefields to towering limestone cliffs, past pristine alpine lakes, vast meadows, and craggy 10,000-foot peaks. The Dolomites may not be the tallest or the most famous mountains in Western Europe, but they are widely considered the most charismatic for their unique geology and photogenic rock formations, and the entire area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Alta Via 1 is a backpacker’s dreams, lined with rifugios, or huts, that provide home-cooked meals and a clean bed.

    More information at: https://www.altabadia.org/en/summer-holidays/trekking-hiking/dolomites-high-routes.html

  • El Camino del Rey (Spain)

    Distance: 760 kilometers (472 miles)

    Originally an ancient Roman trade route, and later, a Christian pilgrimage, El Camino del Rey is Spain’s most famous long-distance hiking trail. There are several starting points, but the end is always Santiago de Compostela, a cathedral in northern Spain believed to hold the remains of St. James. The most scenic route, dubbed The French Way, begins in France, at the river town of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port located five miles from the Spanish border, and crosses through the mighty Pyrenees into the hilly Galician countryside. With ample accommodations, villages, and restaurants en route, hikers don’t need to bring much more than a daypack.

    More information at: http://www.caminitodelrey.info/en

  • Great Himalayan Trail (Nepal)

    Distance: 1,700 kilometers (1,056 miles)
    In a word: ambitious.
    Still being put together, when finished, this 4,500 kilometer (2,796 mile) skyscraping traverse will be the longest and highest mountain trail in the world, crossing the entire Himalaya range from Kashmir to Tibet, via India, Nepal and Bhutan.
    Nepal’s section is the most complete and it alone offers one of the great trekking challenges. It’s split into Low and High routes that run near parallel, beginning either side of Kanchenjunga Base Camp and ending on the Tibetan border in Humla.
    For high culture, the low route (still averaging 2,000 meters in height) passes through remote Nepali villages dotted along the hills and valleys.
    Only those with mountaineering experience should attempt the high route — it peaks at a breathless 6,146 meters (20,164 feet).
    More information at: http://greathimalayatrail.com
  • Hokkaido Nature Trail (Japan)

    Distance: 4,585 kilometers (2,849 miles)
    Japan is something of a distance-walking paradise, home to five of the world’s 10 longest trails.
    At 2,849 miles and growing, this is the longest and last of them all, exploring the glaciers, forests and steaming, volcanic mountains of Hokkaido.
    Japan’s northernmost island is roughly the size of Austria, with short balmy summers and long, cold winters. A complete tour takes seven months and is best divided by either side of winter.
    More information at: Walkjapan.com
  • Kungsleden (Sweden)

    Distance: 434,5 kilometers (270 miles)

    Located in the extreme north of Sweden, Kungsleden (The King’s Trail) bisects one of Western Europe’s largest remaining wilderness areas. Used by hikers in the summer, and cross-country skiers in the winter, Kungsleden serves up an Arctic dreamscape of glaciers, tundra, and birch forests, as well as 6,909-foot Mount Kebnekaise—Sweden’s highest peak. The long-distance route naturally divides into four one-week segments, making it accessible for even those with limited time.

    More information at: https://www.swedishtouristassociation.com/areas/kungsleden

  • Slovenian Mountain Trail (Slovenia)

    Distance: 499 kilometers (310 miles)

    Since 1953, the Slovenian Mountain Trail has linked Slovenia’s vertiginous ranges: Pohorje, Julian Alps, Kamnik-Savinja Alps, and Karavanke, including Triglav—the country’s highest peak at 9,396 feet. Beginning in the alpine town of Maribor, the long-distance trail traces mountain ridges, peaks, and valleys, leading hikers through the Pannonian plains, across plateaus and hills, and eventually through rolling Mediterranean vineyards before ending in the coastal village of Ankaran. More than 50 huts and nearly 80 checkpoints line the well-maintained trail, not to mention two museums.

    More information at: https://slovenia-outdoor.com

  • Te Araroa (New Zealand)

    Distance: 3,000 kilometers (1,864 miles)
    With a backdrop straight out of Middle Earth — glacial ridges, windswept headlands, shires — New Zealand’s landscape doesn’t disappoint.
    Te Araroa (Maori for “The long pathway”) covers most of it; all the way from Cape Regina in the North to Bluff on the southern tip.
    “Tramping” the length of it, as the Kiwis would say, from the gentle bays of Queen Charlotte to the volcanic Mount Tongariro, takes about three months.
    Still, even at a fast pace you could be overtaken be overtaken.
    Ultramarathon runner Jezz Bragg completed it in a fantastical time of 53 days.
    More information: Teararoa.org.nz
  • West Highland Way (Scotland)

    Distance: 154,5 kilometers (96 miles)

    Scotland’s premier long-distance hiking trail starts in Milngavie, about 30 minutes from Glasgow Airport, and heads north through the highlands to Fort William on the shores of Loch Linnhe, one of the country’s longest sea lochs. The West Highland Way, or Slighe na Gàidhealtachd an Iar in Scottish Gaelic, follows 18th-century military roads and ancient footpaths through some of Scotland’s most spectacular scenery—the pastoral Loch Lomond, the desolately beautiful swamps of Rannoch Moor, and the Devil’s Staircase through the rocky ridge known as Aonach Eagach—before ending near the base of the highest mountain in the British Isles, 4,409-foot Ben Nevis.

    More information at: https://www.westhighlandway.org

Quellenweg in Bavaria, a top hiking trail inGermany
Ben Nevis Hike is a great hiking trail in Scotland

What are the best hiking trails of germany ?

We list here long distance trails with recommended ones of our region, the Fichtel Mountains:

  • EIFELSTEIG is a long-distance hiking trail through the varied and wild landscape of the Eifel. The route leads, for example, into the high Venn, the largest bog in Europe. Continue through the volcanic Eifel and up to the colorful sandstone rocks near Trier. This long-distance hiking route has got a distance of more than 300 km and therefore it is recommended to divide it into 15 daily stages.
  • FRÄNKISCHER GEBIRGSWEG (Franconian mountain path). The hiking tour on the 428-kilometer-long Franconian Mountain Path starts in the Frankenwald, in Untereichenstein, and ends in the valley of the Pegnitz near Hersbruck in the Nürnberger Land.
    The trail leads over some of the most impressive peaks in Franconia and conveys impressive landscape impressions and diverse nature experiences. Cultural sights such as in Bayreuth, Pottenstein or Waldsassen lie directly on the track.
  • FOUNTAIN TRAIL in the Fichtel Mountains. The 51 km long path connects the sources of the four main rivers of the Fichtelgebirge: Saxon Saale, Eger, White Main, Fichtelnaab. The source migration not only touches the water catchment areas of the Elbe, Danube and Rhine rivers, but also exceeds the European main watershed between the North Sea and the Black Sea.
  • GOLDSTEIG is with 660 km the longest so-called quality hiking trail in Germany. The name goes back to the historic Salt paths on which salt was transported in times past. The route leads through the Upper Palatinate and the Bavarian Forest through a beautiful and diverse flora and fauna.
  • MAXIMILIANSWEG –  you hike in the footsteps of King Max II of Bavaria, who went this route in 1858. On the way you cross the Bavarian Alps and pass the royal palaces. This long-distance trail leads in two variants with different degrees of difficulty of 359 and 388 km from Lindau am Bodensee along the German Alps to Berchtesgaden.
    Many sections of the trail require sure-footedness and mountain experience.
    On its course you will find many tourist attractions such as the castles Neuschwanstein, Hohenschwangau and Linderhof.
  • MOSELSTEIG – With 365 kilometers of total length and 24 stages, the Moselsteig is not only one of the longest, but also one of the most varied long-distance hiking trails in Germany. It leads through one of the most beautiful cultural landscapes in Germany and accompanies the entire German Moselle run from the German-French-Luxembourg border town of Perl to the Mouth at the Deutsches Eck in Koblenz. A unique hiking experience that certainly deserves its awards as “Qualitätsweg Wanderbares Deutschland” and “Leading Quality Trail – Best of Europe”.
  • MOUNTAIN TRAIL in the Fichtel Mountains. The trail is about 48 kilometers long and leads over the highest mountains of the Fichtelgebirge, with the exception of the Ochsenkopf.
  • RHEINSTEIG is a premium hiking trail between Bonn, Koblenz and Wiesbaden and is incredibly beautiful. The breathtaking, varied 320km long ‘Top Trail’ winds its way on mostly narrow paths and challenging climbs over hills and through lush valleys. The Rheinsteig offers a colourful mix of adventure and contemplation.
  • 12 SUMMITS TRAIL in the Fichtel Mountains. This is a huge challenge for rural hikers. Overall, it is 63.4 km to cope. You hike more than 2100 meters altitude ascent and in descent about 2200 mts. With a total altitude of more than 4000 heightmeters this hiking trail is maybe your next challenge. We offer packages for the 12 Summits trail.

Hiking Paths for all

Our recommendations

Bavaria

Ecuador

  • Ilalo

  • Pasochoa

  • Volcan Corazon

  • Ilinizas

Ireland

  • Killarney Nationalpark

  • Black Valley

  • The Famine Walk

  • Glendalough Lake Walk

Scotland

  • The Scottish National Trail

  • Old Man of Hoy

  • Cairngorm National Park

  • The Old Mill and Achmelvich Beach