Rheinsteig hiking trail, © Tourismus NRW e.V.

Rhein­steig hik­ing trail

Rhine ro­man­ti­cism in the Siebenge­birge

The Rhine has cap­tiv­ated vis­it­ors, in­clud­ing many artists, for cen­tur­ies. Hikers who ex­plore the Rhein­steig trail will dis­cov­er why.

Known as the “Grand Canyon of Ro­man­ti­cism”, the Rhein­steig is where hikers can ex­plore the Rhine Val­ley from Bonn to Wies­baden along 320 kilo­metres of well-marked paths and forest trails.

Even the open­ing Bonn sec­tion in NRW is im­press­ive, since the home of Beeth­oven is also the gate­way to the Middle Rhine Val­ley, a breath­tak­ingly beau­ti­ful nat­ur­al and cul­tur­al land­scape. The sweep­ing Rhine Val­ley al­tern­ates between cliffs, wooded slopes and vine-clad ter­races. Here and there for­mid­able castles ap­pear in the dis­tance and small me­di­ev­al towns are also scattered along the banks of Ger­many’s largest river.

Vis­it­ors who hike the Siebenge­birge sec­tion of the Rhein­steig will un­der­stand why this re­gion was already cap­tiv­at­ing trav­el­lers, artists and writers two hun­dred years ago, prompt­ing them to im­mor­tal­ise their im­pres­sions in po­etry and paint­ings and make a de­cis­ive con­tri­bu­tion to the move­ment known as “Rhine Ro­man­ti­cism”. Start­ing from Bonn, it is only a few kilo­metres up the Rhine be­fore vis­it­ors have the chance to climb the le­gendary Drachen­fels.

The per­fect trail for fit hikers

The Rhein­steig route of­fers plenty of vari­ety and some un­usu­al ex­per­i­en­ces: hikers walk along the right bank of the river, of­ten away from well-known trails, jour­ney­ing through vine­yards, nar­row cliff paths and even rope­ways to dis­cov­er pre­vi­ously un­known views – even ex­per­i­en­ced hikers will en­counter the odd chal­lenge.

There is no need to worry about tak­ing the wrong path on the Rhein­steig, though – 8,000 logo mark­ers point walk­ers in the right dir­ec­tion and 450 sign­posts of­fer in­form­a­tion on dis­tances, trans­port ser­vices and places to eat.

The Rhein­steig has been cer­ti­fied as a premi­um trail by the Deutsches Wan­der­in­sti­tut e.V. (Ger­man In­sti­tu­te of Hik­ing).

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Rhein­steig hik­ing trail