Wacholderwanderweg Two-Day Hike

Walking along the Wacholderwanderweg
Walking along the Wacholderwanderweg

By Vicky · Published Jun. 5th, 2024

The easy Wacholderwanderweg two-day hike in Bavaria takes you through fields, woodlands, villages and valleys with lovely views all the way.


The Wacholderwanderweg official starts from a mini castle in Schmidmühlen, but the main car park is a few hundred metres away and a more convenient place to start. Alternatively, you can get there on the train/bus in about 2 hours from Nuremberg or Regensburg.

Wacholderwanderweg Hiking Map


Wacholderwanderweg Hiking Route

Day One: 15 km, 300m climb

Barley fields on the Wacholderwanderweg Hike in Bavaria, Germany
Walking in Bavaria, Germany

The first day of the Wacholderwanderweg goes from the town of Schmidmühlen to the village of Hohenburg. The first half of the walk makes a loop to the north of the Lauterach Valley, while the second half heads along the side of the valley.

From the car park in Schmidmühlen, cross over the main road you drove in on and up a narrow street to Brunnlettstraße, at a T-junction. Turn right here, and you’ll see signs for the Wacholderwanderweg – a mainly blue circle with a cyprus tree and a couple of flying birds. It’s quite easy to follow the signed route, which first leads out of town.

Wild flowers in grass in the Lauterach Valley, Germany
Yellow wildflowers by a logpile walking on the Wacholderwanderweg in Bavaria in Spring

After walking along a cycle track for a while, the route heads left along a track and up through the trees to an open area at the top. It’s covered with fields here, and you’ll see lots of barley and spring flowers in the season. After walking through more woodland and fields, the route returns back down to the Lauterach Valley.

Walking through Lauterach Valley

Before reaching the main road at the bottom, turn right to walk through the grass along the bottom edge of the trees. You’ll see the hiking signs, but the path itself can be unclear when the grass is long. There are lovely flowers here, and you have a nice view of the valley below.

Walking through Lauterach Valley
Views on the Wacholderwanderweg Hike

The route contours along, occasionally heading a little up or down. If you follow the signs you’ll stay on the correct route. After the village of Adertshausen, with the little church on the left, the Wacholderwanderweg heads along the top of some rocks, with more great views.

You’ll soon reach the main road on the outskirts of Hohenburg. Instead of continuing to follow the Wacholderwanderweg hiking signs, turn left along the main road. Follow it into the village to reach Pension Stauber*, the overnight accommodation. This is the end of the first day of hiking.

Extra Excursion: From Hohenburg, it’s about 1.5 km with 120 metres climb to Burgruine Hohenburg, a ruined castle at the top of a nearby hill. It’s a very worthy excursion if you still have the energy!

Accommodation in Hohenburg

The best and only place to stay near the Wacholderwanderweg in Hohenburg is Pension Stauber*. Hohenburg is roughly halfway through the two-day hike, so makes the perfect place to stop. Nearby is Hammermühle Cafe, a great place for a snack or early dinner.

Day Two: 16 km, 400m climb

Hohenburg Village
Views of Hohenburg village while walking the Wacholderwanderweg in Bavaria, Germany

The second day of the Wacholderwanderweg goes from Hohenburg to the town of Kastl. It’s a mix of smaller paths, cycle routes, and tracks through forests and fields before the final descent into town.

To return to the official Wacholderwanderweg hike, turn left along the road from the Pension. Follow the road right across the bridge and on the other side, turn right up the hill. At the next junction, turn left and you’ll again find the Wacholderwanderweg hiking signs.

Grass, meadows, forests and a church tower on the Wacholderwanderweg Hiking Route in Germany

The first part of the walk leads upwards and you get great views back down to town and the castle on the other side. There’s a mix of fields and forests before you reach the village of Ransbach in the main valley. From here, the route follows the cycle track for about 3 km, through the grassy valley full of flowers.

When the valley splits in two, you leave the Lautertach River and the cycle track to turn right along a smaller path. This leads upwards and eventually into a forest. After a stretch of woodland, you reach an open area. Here you’ll find your first views of the impressive Klosterburg in Kastl.

Klosterburg in Kastl, at the end of the Wacholderwanderweg walking trail
Red poppies and grassy fields in Germany

The route now leads through a few trees to a new section of town before heading downwards into the valley. You come out at a large car park, which is officially the end of the Wacholderwanderweg hike. However, if you head across the main road and walk on for about 100 metres, you come to a stream and a bridge with another lovely view of Kastl Klosterburg.

Returning from Kastl to Schmidmühlen

Unfortunately, after walking the Wacholderwanderweg, there’s no direct bus from Kastl to Schmidmühlen. Instead, you have to take a bus to Amberg (Bus 460, 30 mins) and then to Schmidmühlen (Bus 454, 35 mins). There are buses every 1-1.5 hours.

Guidebooks to explore more of Germany

Explore nearby Nuremberg or Regensburg or discover other great hikes on our Germany Hiking Page.

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