Those who have had the opportunity to visit Deutschland know the many historical and cultural treasures that lie within. From the cosmopolitan metropolises to the medieval walled cities to the verdant, rolling hills that seemingly have an even more magnificent cathedral or castle on every knoll, it’s impossible for even the well-organized visitor to soak much of it in.
And then there’s the food.
Germany may not have the reputation of France or Italy when it comes to food, but it should. Germans pride themselves on local, natural ingredients wherever possible, making it easier to justify eating hardy. And hardy is what it takes to ingest all the wonderful sausages, wursts, and schnitzels… and wash it down with some real beer.
So how can one come to Germany and not leave looking like the Hindenberg before the explosion? Ride! Germany has plenty of superb singletrack promoting calorie burning so you can earn your monster meals right along with your many meters of vertical and kilometers of distance. Here’s five great pre-beer rides so you can indulge both your singletrack and suds obsessions.
Garmisch to Reintal
The sport is called mountain biking, and many forget that the spectacular Alps extend well into southern Germany, so there are plenty of mountains to ride in Deutschland. Garmisch is one of Germany’s premier alpine destinations for both spectacular scenery and varied culture… culture which includes outdoor pursuits like mountain biking. The Garmisch to Reintal route starts with a painful fire road climb, but then delivers excellent singletrack in the midst of unbelievable scenery. A true taste of the Alps for the fat tire fanatic!
“Steep climbs!!! You will get your heart rate up. Nice trail when you get to the singletrack. Beautiful scenery.” -RowdyREBEL
The area around Kaiserslautern is laced with dirt, and the route around Humberg Tower (Humburgturm) is a local favorite. A rider willing to explore will be able to find any number of possible routes of any conceivable length incorporating bike-friendly roads, doubletrack, and yes, mostly singletrack. Start by stopping in at a local bookstore to pick up a map and set aside the rest of the day for some serious dirt exploration!
“Perfect view over all Kaiserslautern and surroundings. Here you can also schedule a break. It is worth it!” -joachim via komoot.com
The many kilometers of trails around Nurburg make for many hours of fine riding… up to 24 hours in fact, as this is the home of a 24-hour mountain bike race. You won’t find huge elevation change, but plenty of ups and downs to roll around on for a full day.
“The constant ups and downs remind you of a roller coaster ride. A fascinating track profile. Just as fascinating is the course of the mountain bike route, which ventures through the “Grüne Hölle”. A magnificent 26 km stretch. Varied and demanding. One minute you’re riding along beautiful woodland paths, the next you’re climbing over hills, with wide-open countryside all around you.” -neurburgring.de
Rodalben sits at #2 in Germany among Singletracks riders. In an interesting coincidence, the verdant green forests and ledgy, grey limestone rock is very reminiscent of the #2 trail in Missouri, Kansas City’s Swope Park. Both are beautiful and entertaining rides and while Rodalben does have some techy bits, it’s significantly smoother than Swope. .
“1.) This is a world-class trail 2.) When the F-trail is followed correctly, it is 99% singletrack 3.) Go early in the morning to avoid the hikers–they love this trail, too–and enjoy the sun pouring rays through the trees in the mist… Ride over creeks, past waterfalls, and through caves. Can’t be beat. To ride with an english-speaking group, contact the area-local KMC Cycling club by visiting their forum site. Good group of folks.” -eurotrash
According to Singletracks contributors, Tiergarten sits atop the German biking pyramid. This is, no doubt, partially due to it’s proximity to a major population center. Like Phoenix’s South Mountain or the above-mentioned Swope, Tiergarten sits within the confines of Nuremburg, giving city dwellers a convenient and varied venue in which to sink their knobbies. Whether you want smooth cruising or more advanced riding, Tiergarten should do the trick.
“This trail is great for all levels. The main train is simple but if you go down some of the side trails that is were the fun is. You are also within riding distance of food should you get hungry.” -death_wish_5
Your Turn: Know of any other great trails in Germany that are worthy of this list? Tell us about them in the comments below!