Bavaria is full of long distance hiking routes. Germans by nature are not circuit walkers. They like to get from point A to point B. They don’t seem to get the point of going from point A to point A. When I write it down like that, even I who grew up on such things, sees it as kind of silly. Of course, coming from a car oriented country like the US does tend to make you want to get back to your vehicle as easily as possible. Though the US has more than its share of such long distance routes, I’d only done pieces of many of them, always returning to my car. Now that I live in Bavaria and don’t have a car, I find one-way routes often more useful, especially if there is some kind of public transportation at each end.
the scenery on the Steigerwald Panoramaweg
The Steigerwald Panoramaweg runs 161 km from Bamberg to Bad Windsheim. The 7-Flüsse Wanderweg is a circuit but at 208 km it’s unlikely you’ll get back to your car in one day. While researching my book Beer Hiking Bavaria, I did quite a bit of the latter and certainly traipsed on the former a fair amount. For this hike, they coincide for its entirety aside from the village connecting trails which are well-marked too.
a quick stop at Brauerei zur Sonne in Bischberg
I’d played with the idea of starting in Bamberg but was on my fifth day of six-day tour and had already hiked more than I care to remember and had been to six breweries. I cut about six km off the route by taking the bus to Bischberg. In so doing, I also got to have a pre-hike beer at Brauerei zur Sonne. In light of the rising sun and obvious heat of the coming day, it probably wasn’t the brightest idea but it sure tasted good.
Bischberg & the route out
Once out of Bischberg, the route rises gently and offers views back towards it. There are some forested sections but much of it is in open countryside with meadows of wildflowers if in season.
a mix of villages and countryside
You’ll pass through unheard of villages like Weipelsdorf and Tüschengereuth as you meander through the countryside. Don’t be surprised to see a few crucifixes along the way. This is a heavily Catholic area. When you depart the Steigerwald Panoramaweg for Weiher, you’ll welcome the lush forest if you’re hiking in summer. I sure did. Weiher is a small but charming little place. If you’re lucky, Mr. Ed will be there to greet you. If not, you’ll still be rewarded with some fine food and beer at Brauerei Kündmüller. (details in link)
the forest route to Weiher & some of the village’s charms
Both Bischberg and Weiher lie in Upper Franconia (Oberfranken in German). There are twenty-five hikes in this region in my book Beer Hiking Bavaria along with another 25 from all over Bavaria. Each includes detailed descriptions of the hikes as well as information on the breweries along the routes plus some tasting notes on my favorite beers at each establishment.
It’s available in both English and German: