The oldest and best-known hiking trail in Germany, the Rennsteig, covers almost 170 km through the region of central Germany, linking the Thuringian Forest Nature Parks and UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. It sure does pay to be well connected! The dense mixed and coniferous woodland is broken up with moors and streams, providing a stunning backdrop for the traditional practice of collecting up natural ingredients and creating remedies, which is still prolific in many areas to this day. This close relationship with nature is also reflected in the many local myths and legends that are alluded to everywhere you turn.

You really have chance to understand, experience and explore nature in the three major natural landscapes of the Thuringian Forest – the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and the two nature parks. And they are all conveniently connected via the Rennsteig ridgeway hiking trail, which you can even follow by bike, with special cycle paths running alongside the footpath in places. If you prefer to travel by train, you'll be pleased to know you can explore the destinations in the Schwarza Valley up in the mountains on the Oberweissbacher Bergbahn railway.

The Thuringian Sea, Europe's largest artificial lake complex, is the perfect spot for a swim or water sports activities, including diving, water skiing and rowing, on a summer's day. And the snowy countryside attracts skiers to the many ski resorts in the region during the winter months for a different kind of adventure in the great outdoors.

Getting there
The Thuringian Forest has excellent rail connections. Enjoy a comfortable journey on board a long-distance train via the stations in Erfurt, Gotha, Eisenach or Würzburg. You can find the best train route here or on the DB Navigator app. Top tip: Make sure you enter your exact starting and finishing points when searching for a route.   For example: Stephensonstrasse 1, Frankfurt am Main to Brunnenstrasse 1, 98528 Suhl. You can also find international super saver fares on the Deutsche Bahn website. 

Travel for free in the local area with the Rennsteig Ticket
Many local accommodation providers will give you a Rennsteig Ticket upon your arrival. This will allow you to use the buses and the RennsteigShuttle in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve free of charge. In the nature park, you won't have to pay to travel on the hiking bus or the train in the Schwarza Valley, making no end of destinations in the region easily accessible to visitors.

You can find out more about the Rennsteig Ticket online.