From the 'roof' of the Swabian Alb along the Albtrauf down into the Upper Danube Gorge and up to the peaks of the Swabian Alb, the boulder field landscape offers spectacular views throughout.
The Danube Zollernalb trail starts from Beuron in the Upper Danube Nature Reserve and winds its way through the Upper Danube valley all the way to Sigmaringen and its famous castle. The path then takes you along the Lauchert valley and up on to the Alb plateau. You can't fail to be struck by the distinctive scenery of the Albtrauf – the escarpment stretching along the Swabian Alb for miles. Continuing along the Albtrauf en route to Balingen you walk through the boulder field and the small town of Messstetten. The trail features impressive viewpoints on Lochenstein rock (953m) and Hörnle hill (956m) as well as Plettenberg hill, which juts out of the Albtrauf most dramatically. On a clear day the view stretches to the Black Forest, the Vosges mountains, the Alb foothills beyond Stuttgart, Upper Swabia, Lake Constance and even the Alps. You can cool off with a dip in the Schömberg reservoir before continuing along the trail to the country park in Upper Schlichem Valley. If you still have energy to burn, head up the Lemberg, the highest peak in the Swabian Alb, and along the Danube Peaks Trail, which the Danube Zollernalb trail conveniently leads straight onto. Both trails have the Wanderbares Deutschland (Walking in Germany) seal of approval and they combine to create a 230-kilometre circular tour of the Swabian Alb.
The stretch of the Danube valley between Tuttlingen and Sigmaringen is one of Germany's most spectacular landscapes. Despite its youth, the river fights its way through the limestone of the Swabian Alb and meanders through dense woodland and steep, rocky slopes in wide, sweeping arcs.
At a glance:
Starts and ends: Beuron – Lemberg
Number of stages: 10
Altitude variation (approximate values): ascent 5,500m, descent 5,200m
Terrain: 42% unmade, 19% asphalt, 39% other, e.g. gravel