I feel fine on the Kösseine

While not as renowned as Baden Württemberg’s Schwarzwald or even the Bayrische Wald, the Fichtelgebirge Nature Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts in the know. I guess English name equivalents like Black Forest and Bavarian Forest offer more enticing mental images. Even within the German community, it’s not widely known perhaps due to it relative remoteness. Nestled in a triangle in the far north of Bavaria with Saxony and Czechia hemming it in, the 1000 square meter park offers numerous hiking and biking trails along with a good tourist infrastructure in villages just outside it.

a dreary but atmospheric day in the Fichtelgebirge

I’d driven by the oddly named mountain range numerous times on our annual family Easter pilgrimage to Saxony, generally stopping off in various Zoigl towns not far from it for my beery sustenance and lunch. Having pretty much run out of new places there, I also tried out Lang-Bräu in Schönbrunn and was thwarted a few times with closures or lack of food at the Ratsstuben in Wunsiedel where I’d hoped to finally try the local Hönicka beers on tap.

nearby beery stops in Schönbrunn & the Zoigl area

Before we could make it to the Hönicka brewery tap, it closed for good and I found myself searching for places which had their beer on tap and ideally had hot meals. Up popped the Kösseinehaus and wouldn’t you know it, it was right in the middle of the park. The only catch was, you couldn’t drive right to it and when looking for a lunch stop on the way home, that’s a hard sell to a driving wife who can’t drink that beer worth the walk. It’a particularly tough when you get dealt a less than ideal dreary day with showers threatening. Still, she relented and we made our way to the Wanderparkplatz not far from Tröstau, an outlying village of Wunsiedel. There are numerous such parking lots with varying distances up to Kösseine peak. This one was only 2.5km with a 250 meter elevation pick up.

our chosen route up to the Kösseine

The Kösseine is a large mountain massif first mentioned in the 13th century and its weathered rocky appearance was proof our misfortune with the weather wasn’t likely unusual. The stone lookout has been in place since 1924 but there’s been a hut here since 1805. The current structure was built in 1898 and totally renovated for its 100th anniversary. While it’s a welcomed sight to all who venture up, I must say it’s particularly so when you are escaping the elements.

seeking refuge in the Kösseinehaus

Needless to say we sat inside the cozy mountain hut and I was happy to find three of the Hönicka beers on tap along with an extensive menu of hot meals. It was after all, Easter Monday. The beers were all well-poured. The tenants are Czech and both the food and the attention to the beer show. The garlic soup was the best we’ve had outside of Czechia and my wife was particularly happy to see steamed plum dumplings, something we’d never seen in Germany. The atmosphere was bustling with some patrons imbibing in a few rounds of Becherovka, a Czech Schnapps. Though I could have used one myself, I declined what is one of my wife’s favorites.

 An excellent meal in an atmospheric place

Just to note, the hut also offers overnight accommodation and after the large meal, we wished we’d planned accordingly. As it was, we made our way back down to the car and back home. My wife said the hike helped her break up her journey and she loved the Kösseinehaus. I don’t think I’ll have a tough time convincing her to go again but I think next time, we’ll get a room so she can enjoy the beer and a Becherovka too.

Information on the Kössenehaus.

Heading to Bamberg. Don’t leave home without The Pocket Guide to Bamberg’s Best Beer.

Heading to small breweries outside Bamberg. Don’t leave home without The Pocket Guide to the Best Bamberg Countryside Breweries.

Planning some time in Forchheim. You’ll want to have a look at The Pocket Guide to the Best Forchheim and its Countryside Breweries.

Please enjoy this interactive map of Franconian breweries:

Prefer a guide who’s explored the area since 1997, join me for a walk around Bamberg or hike in the countryside surrounding it. Places like this won’t be here forever.

2 thoughts on “I feel fine on the Kösseine

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.