This is an uncrowded hilly trail through pastoral areas, a few mills, a couple chapels and a hilltop castle. It only has two breweries but they’re both great ones, including Franconian legend Huppendorfer. There is a third brewery not so far off the main trail in Heiligenstadt i. OFr. It’s well worth the detour and gives you another option for a place to spend the night as it has rooms, too.
Breweries: 2 (Huppendorfer, Ott, Aichinger Drei Kronen)
Distance: 20 km (perhaps another 3-4 km if adding Heiligenstadt i. OFr.)
Starting Point: Huppendorfer it about as good a place to start as any as with it being a circuit, you will finish there too and can’t imagine a better case scenario. If you can’t get a room there (a very real possibility!), you can start in Heiligenstadt i. OFr. at the Drei Kronen. There are also some places to stay in non-brewery villages along the route.
Stage 1: Huppendorf to Greifenstein Castle (9 km). This scenic route takes you past the Laurenzi Chapel to the majestic hilltop castle Greifenstein.
This can be a hot stretch but there is a Biergarten near the castle if you’re thirsty and conveniently, they have Huppendorfer Vollbier on tap! You can also drop down to Heiligenstadt to check out the brewery there but it’s going to add kilometers and of course, it’s down and back up.
open pastures on the trail and Burg Klause Biergarten
Stage 2: Greifenstein Castle to Oberleinleiter (4 km). This is the most scenic and varied section of the trail. After checking out the castle, make your way through a lush forest past a Gothic church ruin before an open stretch with great views of the castle above.
lush trail, a Gothic ruin and Greifenstein Castle looming
This passes the rocky outcropping known as the Kreuzstein. If you’ve started early, visited the castle and climbed the Kreuzstein, you will be more than ready for a hearty lunch at Brauerei Ott.
views from the Kreuzstein & a reward at Brauerei Ott
Stage 3: You’ll be glad you did the trail in this direction after a big meal and a few beers as it’s only 7 km back to Huppendorf. It passes by the Herold Mill, one of Germany’s oldest and the large and small Tummlers, flowing karst springs.
Heroldsmühle, Tummler area and Laibarös
Once you get through Laibarös, you getting close to your reward in Huppendorf, a brewery destination in itself.
Brauerei Grasser in Huppendorf is your reward
Where to stay? No better place than the Huppendorfer brewery. Great food and beer. Nice good value rooms, too. Drei Kron in Heiligenstadt i. OFr. has rooms, as well.
How to get there? There are buses to Huppendorf but they are highly irregular so you would need to be very flexible. This is one town best reached by car or on foot. Heiligenstadt has somewhat better bus service but plan ahead. There are numerous other trails nearby so you can make your way here from them on foot, too.
If you have any questions about access, please drop me a line. If you’re not up to doing it on your own, I’m available for guided trips into this pretty valley with timeless breweries.
Not your kind of hike, how about the Waischenfeld Brauereienweg?