The mountain biking destination of Germany boasts a rich variety of bike parks, trail centres and an almost infinite number of routes. Beginners and pros alike are guaranteed fun on trails and adventures on two wheels in the rich countryside. Out of respect for the countryside and other users, cyclists must adhere to the International Rules of the Trail.
Granite pillar curtains and volcanic cones offering panoramic views: the German Central Uplands are spectacular, fascinating and multifaceted. Extensive networks of routes in the Sauerland, Ore Mountains, Bavarian Forest, Harz Mountains and Palatinate Forest are just waiting to be explored. Here is a list of ten mountain biking destinations in Germany.
Cycling in the heart of nature
Quirky rock formations, intertwined paths, romantic castles and so much countryside: cycling through the Palatinate Forest means adventure at all times in Germany's largest continuous woodland area. One of Germany's most extensive networks of trails is the perfect place for adventures both large and small.
Spanning an area that equates to more than 250,000 football pitches, 20 signposted and varied routes will lead you through the biodiverse Palatinate Forest Biosphere Reserve. With a fabulous 900 kilometres to explore, the potentially record-breaking network of routes takes cyclists past sandstone formations in Dahner Felsenland, to rapid single tracks in the centre of the Palatinate Forest, and right across to the German Wine Route – Germany's oldest tourist wine road – for some southern flair.
Adrenalin rushes and the force of gravity
Welcome to one of the largest and most modern bike parks in Germany. Breathtaking downhill trails, challenging slopestyle kickers and speedy Flowshore routes. Bikepark Winterberg in the Upper Sauerland has everything thrill-seekers could ever ask for. The range of routes attracts mountain bikers from all over Europe to the Kappe adventure mountain.
Always on trend: a jump line was added to the park in 2019, adding a taste of Canada to Winterberg in the Sauerland. A modern chairlift quickly transports people to the top of the mountain. Eleven varied routes offer fast banked turns and decent jumps for beginners to try in a safe environment, while experienced cyclists are sure to have a great time here, too.
The nine peaks of emotion
Two countries, nine peaks, a 4,400-metre altitude gain – the Stoneman Miriquidi is a highlight for every nature-loving cyclist who enjoys challenging tours. Germany's first and only Stoneman is a 162-kilometre route that snakes its way through dense forests and the myth-enshrouded Ore Mountains. The challenging ascent on the Queen stage to the Klínovec summit, the fantastic panoramic views from the Fichtelberg, Saxony's highest mountain, the view of a seemingly endless sea of dark treetops in the Miriquidi forests: the Stoneman begins with a dream and leaves you with profound memories.
From a pro who wants to do it in a day on the Gold Ride to a family group on a three-day adventure: each cyclist can set their own benchmark when they embark upon the Stoneman trails. There's no hustle and bustle as you would find at a race event. One-, two- or three-day stages? Your route can be planned to suit your own personal tastes. This circular mountain biking tour is well-signposted and has more than 20 official specialist mountain biking logistics partners on hand. You can find a tool to plan your route at: www.stoneman-miriquidi.com
Freiburg – the home of outdoor activities
In Freiburg, you get the feeling that cycling is in the locals' blood. So it's no wonder that so many trails start on the city's doorstep. The Mountain Bike Club in Freiburg enlisted the help of a group of volunteers to create nine thrilling trails around the home of outdoor activities in Baden-Württemberg. The experience is multifaceted: from the Flea Trail for children right through to the Baden to the Bone technical downhill trail, all routes are well maintained and have been designed with great attention to detail. The Canadian Trail is another highlight. Canadian professionals helped to set up a 3.6-kilometre textbook flow trail here. There is a variety of lush forest floor, sweeping banked turns, fun bumpy ground and small jumps here and there to contend with. An entertaining trail for young cycling fans and trail bike pros alike. And if you want to get to know more about the city's cycling vibe and the people behind the club, we recommend visiting Freiburg Bike Festival, which is held every year at the start of the cycling season. You can find more information on the routes and the festival at: www.mountainbike-freiburg.com.
Roller coaster vibes and narrow wooden boards
Leaning in to the perfectly placed banked turns and gaining momentum on the bumpy ground: the flow and, to a lesser extent, the obstacles, are the focus of one of Europe's oldest bike parks. Feel like you're on a roller coaster as you dance through the bends in the bike park on the Geißkopf, a mountain that reaches more than 1,000 metres above sea level in the Bavarian Forest. This is where trail-building legend Didi Schneider designed Germany's first Flow Country trail, where beginners can cautiously try out bends for the first time and experienced cyclists can get their money's worth.
There is plenty on offer at the bike park with two lifts. Downhill mountain bikers will need to grapple with roots, stony paths and road gaps, while freeriders can fly over the jump line. The Evil's Eye, a Canadian-inspired trail, is another highlight, where cyclists can sweep through the wooden banked turns and over North Shore-style bridges.
Something – for – everyone!
The views across the idyllic high-altitude heath seem to go on forever: the perfect reward for climbing to the top of the Langenberg peak. After all, it is the highest mountain in the Rothaar Hills and a highlight of one of the many well-established tours in the Bike Arena Sauerland,
of which there are many: the Land of a Thousand Mountains attracts people from all over with Germany's largest network of signposted mountain biking trails. With 1,700 kilometres of routes and an altitude gain of 34,000 metres, touring fans can set off on an adventure with exciting and varied stages here. Twenty towns and municipalities provide an excellent infrastructure of accommodation and eateries for mountain bikers. You will need a good road book if you want to take on the small portion of trails within this network of routes, which includes nice, flowing nature trails, such as the one on the undulating Eimberg ridge. Alternatively, you can visit the trail parks in Winterberg and Brilon.
Germany's largest trail centre is suitable for all
Welcome to the Home of Trails, Germany's first and largest trail centre. Taster Loop, Peak Orbiter and Black Raven: resonant names describe the five varied routes in Trailcenter Rabenberg's network. More than 20 extraordinary passages on 73 kilometres of trails are tucked away under the dense branches of the forests in the Ore Mountains.
From beginners right through to seasoned pros, there are routes suitable for all levels here: the Taster Loop is an easy, gently sloping trail, perfect for those starting out in the single-track world. The Rollercoaster is sure to put a smile on your face: this trail is all about sweeping through lots of bends throughout the forest. The Electric Line is a sun-drenched, flowing route with plenty of banked turns down into the valley. If you want to take your mountain bike for a spin, this is the trail for you.
Those wanting a change of scenery can visit the sports park next door, where a forest rope park, pump track, beach tennis and beach volleyball courts and two indoor swimming pools promise plenty of action.
Flying high on the jump line in the Vogtland region
This jump line, the linchpin of the Bikewelt Schöneck bike park, is the only one of its kind in Germany. The 34 jumps, all designed by renowned trail-building pros, are reminiscent of the legendary A-Line trail near Whistler in Canada. On the around 1.5-km trail, experienced mountain bikers can take the jumps without even touching the pedals: flying high through the Vogtland region on the border to the Czech Republic. But this bike park isn't just for experienced mountain bikers.
The variety of routes easily strikes a balance between the needs of advanced mountain bikers and beginners of all ages. You can gradually improve technique on the practice course and the flow trail. The bike school's coaches help you set up for perfect turns and jumps. Once you're ready, you can enjoy the flow on the routes, which build in difficulty.
Little Canada in seven days
Water bottle filled, energy bar and waterproofs packed? Let the adventure in the Bavarian wilderness begin! On the 700-kilometre Trans Bayerwald route, cycling trailblazers can roam across the pristine countryside in what is probably Germany's oldest low mountain range. Embark on eventful outdoor adventures in the Bavarian Forest in pre-planned one-day stages.
The Southern Route takes adventurous cyclists along the Danube ridge, past the single tracks on the Predigtstuhl mountain and the MTBZone bike park on the Geißkopf mountain to the picturesque town of Passau. The Northern Route is a high point, in the truest sense of the word: at 1,456 metres above sea level, the route leads across the Arber ridge, the highest elevation in the Bavarian Forest. Cyclists' spirits will soar at the spectacular views of each of the four summits in the ridge of mountains, which reach far into the distance.
On narrow trails to lush greenery
Looking down from the famous Witches' Dance Floor into the Bode Gorge, the "Grand Canyon of the Harz" opens up before your very eyes. Surrounded by deep green forest, the cliffs of the Rosstrappe crag tower high. Once visitors take in their surroundings, they soon understand why the Harz mountains are a popular destination for mountain bikers. After all, the tallest mountains in northern Germany sprawl out across the federal states of Lower Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia here.
The abundance of misty weather in the Harz mountains leads to lush, dense greenery that mountain bikers would only otherwise find in the most remote corners of the world. Flowing paths barely wider than an open book wind and undulate under lugged tyres. Even touring mountain bikers have so much to choose from here: there is something for every fitness level and mountain bike type in the Volksbank Arena Harz, with 74 circular routes totalling 2,300 kilometres with an altitude gain of 50,000 metres. If you prefer downhill to uphill trails, there are four bike parks perfect for you: Hahnenklee, Sankt Andreasberg, Schulenberg and Braunlage.
You can find more information on eco-friendly cycling at www.bike-booklet.de.