View of the Saar Bow
View of the Saar Bow ©Tourismus Zentrale Saarland GmbH (Eike Dubois)

The Saar-Hunsrück Trail - a thrilling route

No other hiking path in Europe connects so many nature trails. The Saar-Hunsrück is the European champion of the single trail. The paths are often so narrow that hikers need to walk in single file – as if they were in the jungle. It is the perfect 410 kilometre hike.

We start by following the Upper Moselle river at the Franco-German-Luxembourg tripoint. We cross meadows, some of which are scattered with fruit trees, to reach the spectacular Saar Bow. Water is a major theme on this trail, which boasts reservoirs; major rivers, i.e. the Moselle, Saar and Rhine; and every now and then a pretty little stream to hike alongside. We can cool off our feet in Kneipp basins and do some Alpine climbing up phenomenal rock formations. We spot castles and Celtic settlements. Our route also takes us through Idar-Oberstein, a town famous for its gemstones. With a little bit of luck, you could get rich by finding a valuable stone on the ground.

We hike through the Hunsrück low mountain range, a wild and untouched landscape with vast forests as well as fields and meadows. We visit the picturesque municipality of Herrstein with its half-timbered houses and the wild and romantic Baybach Valley with its sleepy mills. Climbing over jagged rocks has to be done almost Alpine style. Just like life, it goes up and down. The final stage of the Saar-Hunsrück Trail is colossal. The paths, the views and the vineyards along the Rhine guide us towards the town of Boppard. At this point, we would love to turn around and hike the whole way back to the Upper Moselle.

TIP: Geierlay suspension bridge

Manuel Andrack, editor, presenter, author and hiking blogger:
"I have a confession to make: I'm afraid of heights. So I haven't yet built up the courage to give the Geierlay suspension bridge a go. At 360 metres in length, it is the second-longest free-floating (and wobbling!) rope bridge in Europe. Not for the faint-hearted hiker!"

At a glance: Saar-Hunsrück Trail

Starts: Perl

Ends: Trier or Idar-Oberstein

Length: 410 km

Number of stages: 27

Altitude variation: lowest point 78 m, highest point 817 m

Terrain: 70% unmade, 5% asphalt, 25% other, e.g. farm tracks

Certified quality hiking trail

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