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Der bekannte Wanderweg "Rennsteig", Bild: Heiko Kueverling / shutterstock

The Thuringian Forest – a world of experience in the middle of Germany

The Großer Beerberg in the Thuringian Forest Nature Park is just under 1,000 metres above sea level. Located southeast of Ilmenau, in the Free State of Thuringia , this low mountain range is a popular place for active people. Dense forest, rugged rocks and gentle hills await visitors. They can pursue a wide variety of activities there all year round.

The Thuringian Forest in summer

Hiking in the Thuringian Forest
Hiking in the Thuringian Forest, Image: Oliver Hlavaty Photo / shutterstock

When the temperatures rise and it becomes almost unbearable in the sun, the cool forest offers a welcome refreshment. Numerous hiking and cycling trails lead through the Thuringian Forest and invite you to explore.

Wander

About 200 different tours can be undertaken through the Thuringian Forest with its numerous peaks. These include themed hikes with a focus on culture, history and water. There is something for every age group on the different routes, and hikes with children are also possible without any problems. The Rennsteig, Germany’s most famous hiking trail, leads hikers from Hörschel to Blankenstein. The Rennsteig is the name given to old trade or courier routes, the one in the Thuringian Forest is considered one of the most beautiful and varied.

Cycling

Whether leisurely with the family on gravel paths or rather adventurous on a mountain bike, everything is possible for cycling fans in the Thuringian Forest. The well-maintained cycle paths through forests, meadows and along streams and rivers make every excursion an experience.

Climb

Various natural rocks and a 25-metre-high climbing tower offer climbing fans a true paradise. Both professionals and beginners will find suitable routes. The necessary equipment can be rented from the climbing guides on site. So nothing stands in the way of the exciting experience.

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The Thuringian Forest in winter

As soon as winter falls over the Thuringian Forest and the first snow falls, nature is transformed. It becomes quieter and also a bit more mysterious. Then it is particularly nice to go on a winter hike.

Winter hiking

With the right clothing and footwear, a hike in the snow-covered Thuringian Forest is something special. To make it fun for less experienced people and children, the paths are cleared or rolled. About 530 kilometres are available and are specially marked as winter hiking trails.

Skiing

Winter in the Thuringian Forest
Magnificent winter landscape in the Thuringian Forest, Image: limpicture64 / shutterstock

In addition to fans of the two classic boards, snowboarders, ski hikers and ski jumpers will also find optimal conditions in the Thuringian Forest. A total of 22 lifts bring snow enthusiasts to the top and offer wonderful winter fun. Some slopes are floodlit at certain times, so skiing is possible even after sunset. The right equipment can be rented on site at one of the ski schools.

Cross country

Fans of the Nordic variant of skiing will find perfectly groomed trails in the Thuringian Forest. Some of them can also be used at night thanks to floodlights. In total, the Rennweg, which has been prepared as a winter hiking trail, connects 1,600 kilometres of cross-country skiing and skiing trails. A true paradise for beginners and advanced skiers.

Toboggan

For those who have nothing to do with skis, their own toboggan slopes offer an enjoyable alternative. In addition to the classic sled, you can also use an air-filled tire as a base. So-called snow tubing is particularly fast-paced. In four different facilities, you can go in search of a special adrenaline rush.

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Skating

The ice rink in the Gleisdreieck Waltershausen, the Ilmenau ice rink and the Sonneberg ice rink offer ice skaters fun in any weather. A great alternative on rainy days!

Places of interest in the Thuringian Forest

A holiday in the Thuringian Forest is active recreation. Numerous sporting activities lure you outside. But the forest has even more to offer.

Historic buildings

The Thuringian Forest is home to a variety of old castles and palaces, from ruins to stately country estates. Particularly worth seeing, for example, is the Wartburg near Eisenach. It is over 900 years old and became famous through Martin Luther’s translation of the New Testament. His workroom can still be visited today.

The picturesque ruins of Brandenburg near Lauchröden are no longer as well preserved as other castles, but they are all the more exciting. An on-site museum offers interesting information about local history, and the viewing platform offers an excellent view over the Werra Valley.

Glassblowing town of Lauscha

True craftsmanship is hard to find today in the age of machine manufacturing. We are all the more impressed when people really master their craft. In the coloured glassworks, the art of glassblowing, which is still carried out manually, can be traced. During a guided tour, you can watch the glassblowers live at work. The Museum of Glass Art exhibits workpieces from the late Middle Ages to the present day.

The fascination of subterranean worlds

Caves and mines have something magical about them. They are part of legends and fairy tales and awaken the spirit of discovery in us. The Saalfeld Fairy Grotto attracts numerous visitors with its breathtaking fairytale cathedral, while in the Merkers Adventure Mine you can walk around 20 kilometres through the exciting world of tunnels and grottoes.