A hiking trail that links the Eifel with the Rhine
At 90 kilometres, the Ahrsteig is one of the shorter long-distance hiking trails in Germany. But when it comes to variety it can more than hold its own.
Hikers can choose from two ways to walk the Ahrsteig trail: the red route begins at the source of the Ahr in Blankenheim, NRW, and finishes just before Altenahr in Rheinland-Palatinate. The blue Ahrsteig route then continues along the river to the wine-producing area of Walporzheim and onwards to where the Ahr joins the Rhine at Sinzig. The two routes are connected by four connecting trails, which give hikers the opportunity to choose their favourite path.
Excluding the connecting trails, the Ahrsteig hiking trail covers some 90 kilometres of constantly changing landscapes. Idyllic forest tracks, peaceful meadows, narrow rocky paths, isolated high plateaus and lively wine villages ensure wonderful variety. Hikers should be aware of one thing before starting out, however: while there are easy stretches here and there, this is a challenging trail. But the steep uphill hikes are worth it: those who reach the top are awarded with some amazing views.
The first stage of the Ahrsteig begins in Blankenheim
Fitness is definitely required for the first stage, which begins in Blankenheim in the Eifel mountains and continues for eleven kilometres to Freilinger Lake, a popular nature reserve and recreation area. Hikers can look forward to impressive views once they cross the Birker Berg plateau.
Even more challenging is the second stage, as hikers leave North Rhine-Westphalia and cross into Rhineland-Palatinate and the village of Aremberg. Here too, hard effort will be rewarded with some fantastic views. Walkers will also get a chance to take it easy as the trail passes through idyllic forests and grazed orchards. At the top, views of the Ardennes or the majestic Nürburg will open up if the weather is kind.
The Ahrsteig trail has six official stages plus a number of connecting trails. Hikers can of course take a break whenever they want – for accommodation tailored to their needs they should look for hosts with the “Qualitätsgastgeber Wanderbares Deutschland” seal of approval.
The Ahrsteig trail was opened in 2012 and received the “Qualitätsweg Wanderbares Deutschland” quality seal just one year later.