7 stunning autumn hikes in Germany

7 stunning autumn hikes in Germany

There is truly no better way to take in nature's beauty than by hiking through the countryside, admiring the colours of autumn. Though this autumn is undoubtedly different to most, there are still many opportunities to get outside and hike. Here are seven of the best autumn hiking destinations that Germany has to offer! 

1. Tegernsee, Bavaria

Tegernsee is a beautiful destination all year round, but autumn is an especially wonderful season in this small Bavarian town! Perfect for first-time Alpine hikers, the countryside around Tegernsee offers plenty of opportunities for hiking against the picture-perfect background of the German Alps, while the town itself has plenty of restaurants and restrooms to ensure a comfortable day out for all.

There are many different trails for hikers of all abilities to choose from, taking in everything from waterfalls and forests to steep summits and views of the lake from above. Be wary of ice or snow on the trails, and make sure to prepare for the German weather by wearing warm clothes and sturdy footwear for a hike in Tegernsee.

Tegernsee lake and mountains

2. Lüneburg Heath, Lower Saxony

Particularly stunning in the early morning or on a misty autumn day, Lüneburg Heath is a quiet, peaceful heathland in Lower Saxony.

Though much of northern Germany used to be heathland, most of it has now been overtaken by sprawling cities or agricultural land - this therefore makes Lüneburg Heath a rare spectacle. The heath’s bold purple heather sets up the perfect contrast for a mini-photoshoot mid-hike, and stands out beautifully against the grey autumn sky.

Autumn in Lueneberg

3. Rheinsteig, Rhineland-Palatinate / Hesse / North Rhine-Westphalia

The Rheinsteig stretches across three states, following the banks of the Rhine River. The area is one of the most popular German hiking destinations, and offers numerous trails for walkers of all abilities. While hiking through the region, visitors can view the stunning Drachenburg castle, located in the popular tourist city of Königswinter. 

Many of the towns and cities along the Rheinsteig offer great public transport, so those wishing to take a shorter walk but still wanting to explore the scenery can do so using the bus or train to travel between trails. Hikes in the Rheinsteig range in difficulty, but many of them have rocky paths, and proper walking shoes are therefore recommended.

Rheinsteig in Autumn

4. Harz mountains, Lower Saxony / Saxony-Anhalt / Thuringia

One of the most beautiful mountain ranges in Germany is the Harz mountain range. Home to Mount Brocken, the highest peak in northern Germany, the Harz is an amazing place to hike during autumn and winter and the views from the peak of Mount Brocken are particularly spectacular. Like many of Germany's national parks, the Harz mountains are home to many different species of wildlife, including red deer, wild boar and even wild lynx!

There are many moderate and easy hikes for beginners in the Harz mountains. For the more adventurous of walkers, speed hiking is also a popular activity in the mountain range, with experienced hikers aiming to complete trails as fast as they can. Conditions in the mountains can often be slippery underfoot, however, so walking boots are essential.

Harz mountains in autumn

5. Jasmund National Park and Rügen Island, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Jasmund National Park is on the German island of Rügen, in the Baltic sea. The island sports unusual chalk cliffs and rare wildlife such as white-tailed eagles.

The national park provides the perfect getaway for those seeking to escape city life and work for a weekend and take in the autumn colours of the island’s trees. Many trails in the park are accessible all year round, and are suitable for hikers of all abilities.

6. Azalea and Rhododendron Park Kromlau, Saxony

Situated in Gablenz, the Azalea and Rhododendron Park Kromlau is a large English-style garden surrounded by stunning forestry.

The park is home to the famous Devil’s Bridge (Rakotzbrücke), surely one of the most picturesque bridges in the world. The park is the perfect place to explore the outdoors, and admire the orange autumn leaves of the forest, as well as the park’s statues and Castle Mansion Azalea.

7. Palatinate Forest Nature Park, Rhineland-Palatinate

Palatinate forest is a large forest with many different species of tree, located along the German border with France. It is the largest contiguous forest in Germany - and therefore the perfect place to admire the orange autumn leaves! 

Many hikers love this forest because it is notoriously quiet and peaceful. There are also many castles and natural landmarks for hikers to enjoy throughout the park. With so many different trails through the forest, there is a route for every ability, and the forest is also perfect for advanced hikers searching for a multi-day hike.

Emily Proctor


Emily Proctor

Emily studied International Relations and Chinese, and is now undertaking Master's degree in International Security. She enjoys writing, cooking, and playing piano.

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