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Die Geierlay Hängebrücke, Bild: OE993 / shutterstock

Suspension rope bridge experience: the Geierlay Bridge in the Hunsrück

It’s Nepalese in the Hunsrück. At 360 metres, the second-longest German suspension rope bridge “Geierlay” (since 2017, the Titan RT in the Harz Mountains has been the longest suspension rope bridge in Germany at 483 metres) is modelled on the well-known Nepalese role models, which overcome the deepest gorges there and advance the infrastructure. However, the German suspension rope bridge, which connects the villages of Mörsdorf and Sosberg, is less a traffic route than a tourist attraction.

Initially rejected as unrealizable

When Mörsdorf collected plans for village renewal in 2006, the residents and community leaders found the idea of such a suspension rope bridge more than interesting, but did not believe in its feasibility. And put the plans on file. In 2017, the bridge was built after all. Today, the community is very happy about it, because the unique building quickly became a tourist magnet.

100 meters above the ground and bombproof

Anyone who sets out on the Geierlay is on the move at lofty heights. The maximum height above the ground is 100 meters. The total weight of the suspension rope bridge is 62 tonnes. For those who have not seen it with their own eyes, this data is hardly comprehensible. Some people feel a bit queasy when walking on the bridge, because if you are afraid of heights, you might want to turn back after a few steps. But no one needs to be afraid, because the safety standards are set high.

There is a fall protection made of solid wire mesh that stretches upwards to the left and right of the wooden catwalk. So no one can step next to it, because you can get from here to there as if over a kind of aisle. Even in strong winds, it is possible to pass the bridge without any problems, because the bridge can withstand wind speeds of at least 200h/km. The bridge builders have also thought about installing wind guy ropes that stabilize the bridge structure in windy conditions. Handrails are attached to the left and right to which bridge walkers can hold on. Anyone who fears “overpopulation” and the associated risk of the bridge falling can also sit back and relax. With a total load capacity of 76.5 tons, the bridge can accommodate about 950 bridge crossers at the same time, and still hangs bombproof. If all this is still too tricky for you, the numerous hiking offers around the Geierlay are recommended. Looking at the spectacular suspension rope bridge from below or from the edge of the bridge is also a great pleasure.

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All paths lead to the Geierlay – Hiking on the Geierlay loop

Hiking trails Geierlay
There are numerous hiking opportunities around the Geierlay Bridge, Image: Marc Venema / shutterstock

Whether alone, as a couple or with children: everyone has been thought of around the Geierlay. Circular hiking trails between 3km and 14km in length are available to visitors. The most common is the Geierlay loop, which has a length of 6km. The start and end of all these circular routes is the Geierlay Visitor Centre in Mörsdorf. Of course, the bridge crossing is always integrated. The highlight: if one of the fellow hikers does not dare to cross the bridge in the end, there are always “secret paths” that avoid the crossing and still lead back to the starting point. On the way, in addition to the Geierlay Bridge, there are all kinds of discoveries to be made, because the paths lead through the beautiful nature of the Hunsrück, integrate forest paths, lead hikers past streams and also to old walls from the time of knights, Romans or Celts. Even long-distance hikers who are on the Saar-Hunsrück-Steig can take the penultimate of a total of 20 stages, with a small extra loop, past the Geierlay.

Directions to the Geierlay Bridge

Geierlay Bridge
A breathtaking sight – also from below, Image: Cengiz Deniz / shutterstock

If you don’t want to walk at all, it’s difficult to get to the Geierlay Bridge. Because it is located in the middle of nature, which is also what makes the tourist attraction so appealing. From the visitor centre in Mörsdorf it is 1.6km to the bridge. Access from there is only possible on foot or by bicycle. Cars and coaches will find plenty of parking spaces at the visitor center. Travellers with motorhomes are also warmly welcomed there, and not only by the hour. If you want, you can stop here for up to three days and explore the beautiful nature of the Hunsrück.

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Cyclists who are on the Schinderhannes cycle path also pass the Geierlay Bridge on their 38km long circuit from Kastelau. If you don’t have your own bike, you can rent an e-bike at the visitor center and ride it to the bridge. The bicycle is allowed to pass the bridge, pushed. On the opposite side in Sosberg, there is a visitor parking lot 1.9km away from the bridge, but it is smaller. Whether in Sosberg or Mörsdorf: on both sides, the physical well-being is thought of. The local gastronomy entices with specialties