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Ridge trail - Steinwald Forest trail

The Ridge trail and the Steinwald Forest trail run together for over 77 kilometres across the main Fichtelgebirge peaks, through the natural beauty of the granite Steinwald Forest and the basalt Imperial Forest to the architectural gems of the Stiftland region in the Upper Palatinate.

Fichtelgebirge mountains
"Nature - culture - leisure - history" - the Fichtelgebirge mountain holiday region in a nutshell. Around 540 million years ago, these mountains were higher than the comparatively young Alps, stacked up by powerful natural forces. They are still impressive today, but over the millions of years the power of nature has again changed their shape. What remains is a very fine, flawless, polished gemstone, a range of scenically attractive mountains arranged like a lucky horseshoe.
Everywhere there are reminders of the area's dramatic evolution - piles of granite blocks, fields of boulders, rock labyrinths and rock formations like heaps of mattresses or wool sacks. Entire forests cling tightly to the rocks.
Set in this bitter-sweet landscape of darkly forested mountains and more welcoming, open plateaus are Fichtelgebirge towns and villages offering lots of new discoveries and a range of leisure activities. The tourism infrastructure caters for all tastes, even the most discerning, at very affordable prices.
There is a fascinating choice, a raft of endless opportunities for tailor-made holiday happiness. Walking, horse riding, windsurfing, flying, shooting, swimming, skiing and all kinds of other fun, sweat-inducing sports - the Fichtelgebirge mountains are perfect for all of these activities, and many more besides.
There is also an emphasis on culture in the Fichtelgebirge mountains. There are very few places without interesting architectural monuments or a museum treasuring the legacy of the past. There are many programmes of stimulating events for visitors to enjoy, including the Richard Wagner Festival in Bayreuth, the International Film Festival in Hof and the Luisenburg Festival at Germany's oldest and perhaps most beautiful natural theatre.
The Hohenzollern margraves were enormously influential on the region's fortunes, defining its character for over 500 years before it fell to Bavaria. The reign of Margrave Friedrich and his wife Wilhelmine, who left a legacy of invaluable baroque buildings and magnificent gardens, was a particularly happy and culturally productive period.
But the modern era too is peeping round the corner. Bavaria's industries are also well represented in the Fichtelgebirge mountains - porcelain, textiles and glass, for example, alongside the stone and the wood industry.

Start: Schwarzenbach/Saale
Finish: Waldsassen
Length: 77km
Federal state(s): Bavaria
Region(s): Fichtelgebirge mountains