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Long-Distance Hiking recommended route

DER HOCHRHÖNER® Hochrhönrunde - Poppenhausen - Rhön

Long-Distance Hiking · Rhoen
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Rhön GmbH Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Radom Wasserkuppe mit Wanderern
    / Radom Wasserkuppe mit Wanderern
    Photo: Wolfgang Fallier, CC0, Rhön GmbH
  • / Sonnenuntergang mit Paraglider auf der Wasserkuppe
    Photo: Katharina Happel, CC0, Rhön GmbH
  • / DER HOCHRHÖNER auf der Wasserkuppe
    Photo: Wolfgang Fallier, CC0, Rhön GmbH
  • / Moorsee am Roten Moor
    Photo: Wolfgang Fallier, CC0, Rhön GmbH
  • / Aussichtsturm im Roten Moor
    Photo: Wolfgang Fallier, CC0, Rhön GmbH
  • / Bohlenpfad im Roten Moor
    Photo: Wolfgang Fallier, CC0, Rhön GmbH
  • / Unterwegs auf dem Bohlenpfad im Schwarzen Moor
    Photo: Wolfgang Fallier, CC0, Rhön GmbH
  • / Bohlenpfad durch das Schwarze Moor
    Photo: Wolfgang Fallier, CC0, Rhön GmbH
  • / Ausblick von der Milseburg
    Photo: Wolfgang Fallier, CC0, Rhön GmbH
  • / Milseburg
    Photo: Wolfgang Fallier, CC0, Rhön GmbH
  • / Ausblick von der Milseburg
    Photo: Wolfgang Fallier, CC0, Rhön GmbH
  • / Milseburg
    Photo: Wolfgang Fallier, CC0, Rhön GmbH
  • / Milseburg
    Photo: Wolfgang Fallier, CC0, Rhön GmbH
  • / Freilandmuseum Tann
    Photo: Wolfgang Fallier, CC0, Rhön GmbH
  • / Gelbes Schloss Tann
    Photo: Wolfgang Fallier, CC0, Rhön GmbH
m 1000 900 800 700 600 500 400 300 200 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 km
The unwooded heights with their wide views make the land of the open distance unmistakable and an Eldorado for hikers. The DER HOCHRHÖNER® premium hiking trail runs here.
difficult
Distance 87.2 km
24:40 h
2,127 m
2,127 m
DER HOCHRHÖNER® extends through the heart of Germany. The excellent premium hiking trail crosses three national borders:

On the Hochrhönrunde, the connection between the two HOCHRHÖNER pegs, we hike over the highest elevation in the low mountain range: the Wasserkuppe wher we experience highlights such as the cradle of gliding. We also explore the legendary rocky ridge of the Milseburg, a Celtic fortress with a ring wall, and the highest Rhöndorf Frankenheim.

In the west the Kuppenrhön, in the east the plateau of the Hochrhön: On the Hochrhönrunde of the HOCHRHÖNER premium hiking trail you can hike via the most diverse facets of the low mountain range. The peace and quiet and the view make hiking here a very special experience.

Author’s recommendation

Artistically designed benches, adorned with animals and plants typical of the region, invite you to rest along the HOCHRHÖNER. Here you can enjoy the wonderful landscape in peace.
Profile picture of Katharina Happel
Author
Katharina Happel
Update: November 12, 2021
Difficulty
difficult
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
949 m
Lowest point
353 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

  • Crossing of federal road 284 near Obernhausen,
  • crossing of federal road 458 at Grabenhöfchen,
  • crossing of federal road 278 at the Roten Moor

The tourist routes of the Rhön are mostly used by other active people (hikers, mountain bikers, cyclists, walkers, riders, cross-country skiers, etc.).

We ask all active nature sports enthusiasts to show consideration for one another. The same applies of course to nature - it is worth protecting. In the Rhön, therefore, nature sports should only be practiced in daylight on designated paths and areas.

Tips and hints

Located directly on the route:
  • Haus am Roten Moor
  • Gasthof-Pension Mühlengrund
  • Hotel I Restaurant & Café Peterchens Mondfahrt Wasserkuppe
  • Berghotel Deutscher Flieger Wasserkuppe
  • Märchenwiesenhütte Wasserkuppe
  • Enzianhütte
  • Lothar-Mai-Haus
  • Schwarzes Moor
  • Thüringer Rhönhaus
  • Eisenacher Haus
  • Ellenbogen
  • Nohas Segel

Located near the route:

  • Radom Wasserkuppe
  • Rhön Hotel Grabenhöfchen
  • Gasthof Zum Schwarzen Adler
  • Gaststätte "Rhönhof"
  • Gasthof "Landhaus Kehl"
  • Hotel Am Rathaus
  • Gasthof zur Krone
  • Rhön Park Hotel Aktiv Resort
  • Flechsenberger Hof
  • Pension Dreiländereck
  • Berggasthof Sennhütte
  • Wellness Bauernhof Weihersmühle
  • Hotel Sonnentau
  • Gasthof Zur Einkehr

Start

Hiking car park Grabenhöfchen, Poppenhausen (688 m)
Coordinates:
DD
50.521315, 9.905491
DMS
50°31'16.7"N 9°54'19.8"E
UTM
32U 564189 5596987
w3w 
///remarried.gating.wilts

Destination

Hiking car park Grabenhöfchen, Poppenhausen

Turn-by-turn directions

1st day stage (16.9 km)
  • Grabenhöfchen
  • Bubenbader Stein
  • Milseburg
  • Oberbernhardser Höhe
  • Langenberg
  • Schwarzbach
  • Gotthards

From the Grabenhöfchen it goes uphill to the Bubenbad, a small lake in the forest. Legend has it that a girl turned into a boy here when she was baptized and thus gave the family an heir. After the Bubenbad, we get back to the open terrain under the rocky slopes of the Milseburg. Celts once settled at the foot of the mountain, a reconstructed section of a wall shows how they secured their village back then. We climb up a rocky path and reach the Gangolf chapel and a baroque crucifixion group on the summit of the Milseburg. Various information boards point to the summit wall, the Celtic settlement terraces and the former gate. From history it goes back to nature, because silver thistles and orchids bloom in the nature reserve Oberbernhardser Höhe. Via a short access road we reach the Lothar-Mai-Haus, on whose terrace a panoramic view to the north is impressive. The narrow meadow path leads to the road between Dörmbach and Elters. We hike through a varied meadow landscape towards Harbach. We keep to the west and reach a large refuge with information boards about the HOCHRHÖNER®. Behind it we follow a moss-covered path and halfway around the northern slope of the Kirschberg. Here is the HOCHRHÖNER® bench with a fantastic view of the Nüsttal and the Kuppenrhön. Then it goes to Langenberg, we walk through the village and turn right after the last house. At the aisle we have a magical view of the valley towards Schwarzbach. We go around Ulrichshauck and walk down the outskirts of Schwarzbach. After the sports field we pass the sour cherry and apple trees and reach Gotthards.

 

2nd day stage (15.2 km)

  • Gotthards rest area
  • Ahorn Platz
  • Kettenborn
  • Habelstein
  • Tann (Rhön)

In Gotthards the mountain road climbs steeply and we see a good part of the previous stage. Through the forest we come to Ketten, where we cross the Hessian-Thuringian border. Here there are hardly any memories of the division of Germany within Germany, which ran less than 100 meters further east. From the road we walk on gravel forest paths up the Katzenstein and along the height in the forest. Back in the open area, the view wanders south to the Milseburg and the Wasserkuppe. Boxberg can only be reached by a green-marked feeder path that continues to Hilders. Above Boxberg we walk downhill on the road through a forest towards Habel and up to the summit of Habelberg (718 m). At the small refuge on the edge of the path, we can take a last look down into the village of Habel. The steep descent to Tann leads to the Ulster bridge. Along the park and city walls we come to the city gate with the distinctive, round towers. We reach the city through the gate built in 1557. Here you can visit the Elf Apostel House, the town fountain on the market square, the Ochsenbäcker half-timbered house, the St. Nicholas Church and the Rhön Museum Village as well as the palace complex of the Barons von und zu der Tann with the palace fountain.

 

3rd day stage (18.2 km feeder to Kaltensundheim 2.5 km)

  • Tann (Rhön)
  • Dietgeshof
  • Andenhausen
  • Horbel
  • Pinzler
  • Marschlerhof
  • Kaltensundheim

Through the alleys of the town of Tann we walk past the cemetery, it goes steeply uphill and over the grass path to Dietgeshof. We reach the wide plateau via Andenhausen. At the edge of the forest we walk along the row of bushes and trees that mark the border between Thuringia and Hesse. The slab path, which belongs to the former border system, leads to the table and benches - ideal for taking a break. We walk into the valley and past the gardens of Andenhausen and through the village. From Andenhausen we walk uphill to the Horbel (665m). Shortly before its summit, turn left towards the Pinzler (661m). Before we pass this in the forest, we can make a detour to the Hexenlinde. Now we reach a resting point with benches and tables, from where we can see the ridge between Felda and Ulstertal. We reach Kaltennordheim via a steep descent lined with fruit trees and continue through fields and meadows to Mitteldorf. We now walk over a feeder to Kaltensundheim, the stage location of the day.

 

4th stage of the day (12.7 km feeder from Kaltensundheim 2.5km and feeder to Birx 1.5 km)

  • Kaltensundheim
  • Mittelsdorf
  • Ellenbogen
  • Frankenheim
  • Birx

Via a feeder path, marked with a green "Ö", we walk back to the premium hiking path DER HOCHRHÖNER, which we start again at Mitteldorf. After crossing a watercourse, a steep ascent begins. From the valley of the Lahrbach we climb one of the Rhön mountain ranges along yellow blooming monkshood and the Turkish lily, which line the roadside in June. The hiking trail runs uphill for a long time through a forest area before we emerge from the forest and reach the tree-free areas of the Ellenbogen, the second highest mountain in the Thuringian Rhön. Noah's sails vantage point offers a sweeping view to the north. Shortly afterwards we reach two places to stop for a break, one after the other, namely the Eisenacher Haus and the Thuringian Rhönhaus. After crossing a small piece of forest, we come to a hiking car park with a seating area before we reach the Schnitzersberg, recognizable by the mobile phone mast, which is the highest mountain in the Thuringian Rhön at 816 m. The red kite often circles over the meadows and pastures. This will be our companion on the hike to Frankenheim, the highest place in the Rhön, and on to Birx.

 

5th day stage (25 km + feeder from Birx 1.5 km) INFO: The stage can be subdivided again on the Wasserkuppe (19.2 km + 5.8 km)

  • Birx
  • Schwarzes Moor
  • Stirnberg (mountain)
  • Schornhecke car park
  • Heidelstein
  • Rotes Moor
  • Fuchsstein
  • Fuldaquelle
  • Wasserkuppe
  • Abtsroda
  • Enzianhütte
  • Grabenhöfchen

Between Frankenheim and Birx for the HOCHRHÖNER® on the Plattenweg past former GDR border installations. We walk towards the Black Moor, which is home to a number of rare plants, such as the round-leaved sundew, which has adapted to the rough conditions of the Rhön. From the high moor, the hiking trail now leads us up the Melpertser Rasenberg with a slight but steady ascent. We walk over the long peak of the Stirnberg to the Rhönklub memorial stone on the Heidelstein. Over the mats of the Lange Rhön, the home of the black grouse, DER HOCHRHÖNER leads us to the Schwabenhimme, on which the red and white mast of the television station stands. From here the hiking trail runs downhill through a forest to the house on the Red Moor. We take the moor path and turn right at the refuge. Next to the Carpathian birches we see the lookout tower. Those who walk up can enjoy the view of the entire moor and the Heidelstein. The attentive hiker discovers one or two boulders of basalt between the forest and meadows. Through the dark spruce forest we reach the Fulda spring and finally the summit of the Wasserkuppe. Here is the last radome, the silver dome that hid one of four radars during the Cold War. We walk steeply down the northern slope of the Wasserkuppe and come to the grass hump of the Weiherberg, where model planes and machines often take off. Then we reach the Enzianhütte. From the Enzianhütte we walk a steep path to the Grabenhöfchen.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Arrival at the Poppenhausen-Grabenhöfchen bus stop -> LNG Fulda
  • Line 30: Wüstensachsen - Hilders - Eckweisbach - Dipperz - Fulda
  • Line 32: Tann - Simmershausen - Hilders - Reulbach - Fulda

Arrival at the Gotthards bus stop -> LNG Fulda

  • Line 20: Tann - Hofbieber - Petersberg - Fulda
  • Line 75: Schwarzbach - Nüsttal - Hünfeld
  • Line 85: Nüsttal - Mackenzell - Dammersbach - Hünfeld

Arrival at bus stop Tann -> LNG Fulda and Wartburgmobil

  • Line 20: Tann - Hofbieber - Petersberg - Fulda
  • Line 23: Hundsbach - Theobaldshof - Schlitzenhausen - Tann
  • Line 24: Tann - Wendershausen - Lahrbach - Hilders
  • Line 25: Tann - Elsbachgraben - Aura - Hilders
  • Line 32: Tann - Simmershausen - Hilders - Reulbach - Fulda
  • Line 110: Eisenach - Vachaer Stein - Vacha - Geisa - Tann
  • Line 136: Dermbach - Theobaldshof - Geisa

Arrival at the Kaltensundheim bus stop -> MBB-MGN and Wartburgmobil

  • Line 133: Dermbach - Andenhausen - Empfertshausen - Klings - Diedorf - Fischbach - Kaltennordheim - Kaltenlengsfeld - Kaltensundheim
  • Line 409: Meiningen - Stepfershausen - (Geba) - Kaltennordheim - Reichenhausen - Birx
  • Line 411: Meiningen - Kaltensundheim - Oberweid
  • Line 413: Kaltensundheim - Kaltenlengsfeld - Unterkatz - Oepfershausen
  • Line 414: Wasungen - Kaltensundheim

Arrival at the Birx bus stop -> MBB-MGN

  • Line 409: Meiningen - Stepfershausen - (Geba) - Kaltennordheim - Reichenhausen - Birx
  • Line 410: Birx - Frankenheim - Unterweid (only on school days)

Arrival at the Wasserkuppe bus stop -> LNG Fulda

  • Line 35: Wasserkuppe - Poppenhausen - Weyhers - Künzell - Fulda
  • Line 37: Poppenhausen - Gersfeld - Wasserkuppe - Wüstensachsen
  • Line 90 - Rhönradbus: Gersfeld - Wasserkuppe - Hilders - Milseburgradweg - Fulda

Getting there

Arrival at Grabenhöfchen

The Grabenhöfchen can be reached via the A7. Here you take the exit 92 Fulda-Mitte and turn in the direction of Hilders. The course of the B485 leads directly to the Grabenhöfchen, which is located on a ridge. There are parking spaces on both sides of the street.

Arrival at Gotthard

Gotthards can be easily reached via the A7. Use exit 92 Fulda-Mitte to exit and turn towards Fulda. Shortly afterwards you turn right onto the L3174 in the direction of Hofbieber. Past Hofbieber, follow the road until shortly before Gotthards. At Schwarzbach you turn onto the L3293 and reach Gotthards.

You can park with your host. Please discuss with them before arrival whether the car can be parked there for several days.

Arrival Tann

To get to Tann, take exit 92 Fulda-Mitte of the A7. Here you turn towards Fulda. Shortly afterwards, following the signs, you turn right to Tann. The L3174 now leads to the Tanner district of Lahrbach. In town, turn left onto the B278 and shortly afterwards you will reach the small Rhön town of Tann.

Arrival at Kaltensundheim

Kaltensundheim can be reached via the A71. Leave the autobahn at exit 22 Meiningen-Süd. Follow the L3089 in the direction of Meiningen and turn left onto the L2621 just before the city. You then reach Kaltensundheim via Herpf, Stepfershausen, Oberkatz and Aschenhausen.

You can park with your host. Please discuss with them before arrival whether the car can be parked there for several days.

Arrival Birx

Birx is best reached via the A7. To do this, take exit 92 Fulda-Mitte and turn off in the direction of Hilders. Follow the B458 and drive to Hilders-Batten. In Batten, turn right onto the B78 to Ehrenberg. In the Seiferts district, turn left onto the L3476 in the direction of Hochrhönstrasse. Shortly after leaving the village, turn left again onto the L1123 and shortly afterwards you will reach Birx.

You can park with your host. Please discuss with them before arrival whether the car can be parked there for several days.

Arrival to Wasserkuppe

It can be reached via the A7. To do this, take exit 92 Fulda-Mitte and turn off in the direction of Hilders. Follow the B458. At Dietges, follow the signs to the Wasserkuppe and turn left and then right again. The path leads through the village of Dietges uphill to the Wasserkuppe.

Parking

Arrival at Grabenhöfchen

Grabenhöfchen car park, 36136 Poppenhausen / Wasserkuppe | Google Maps

Arrival at Gotthard

There are only a few public parking spaces here. Please talk to your host about whether your car can be parked there for several days.

Arrival Tann

Parking lot opposite the Rhönmarkthalle, Am Kalkofen, 36142 Tann (Rhön) | Google Maps

Arrival at Kaltensundheim

There are only a few public parking spaces here. Please talk to your host about whether your car can be parked there for several days.

Arrival Birx

There are only a few public parking spaces here. Please talk to your host about whether your car can be parked there for several days.

Arrival to Wasserkuppe

There are several parking spaces on the Wasserkuppe. Please follow the parking guidance system.

Wasserkuppe car park, Wasserkuppe 1, 36154 Gersfeld | Google Maps

Coordinates

DD
50.521315, 9.905491
DMS
50°31'16.7"N 9°54'19.8"E
UTM
32U 564189 5596987
w3w 
///remarried.gating.wilts
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

  • Dehler Verlag – Hochrhöner Wanderführer; ISBN: 978-3-00-025704-9

Author’s map recommendations

  • Kompass Kartenverlag - Wanderkarte Rhön | ISBN-10: 3990446045 | ISBN-13: 978-3990446041

Book recommendations for this region:

Show more

Recommended maps for this region:

Show more

Equipment

  • Sturdy shoes
  • Rain clothes
  • Sun protection at high temperatures
  • First aid kit
  • GPS navigation device or map
  • Sufficient drinks and provisions
  • Camera to capture the wonderful views

Basic Equipment for Long-Distance Hikes

  • Sturdy, comfortable and waterproof hiking boots or approach shoes
  • Layered, moisture wicking clothing
  • Hiking socks  
  • Rucksack (with rain cover)
  • Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket and suitable legwear)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hiking poles
  • Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
  • First aid kit
  • Blister kit
  • Bivy / survival bag  
  • Survival blanket
  • Headlamp
  • Pocket knife
  • Whistle
  • Cell phone
  • Cash
  • Navigation equipment / map and compass
  • Emergency contact details
  • ID

Camping Equipment

  • Tent (3- or 4-season)
  • Stove (including fuel and utensils)
  • Sleeping mat. Sleeping bag with suitable temperature rating.
  • Food
  • Toiletries and medication
  • Toilet paper

Things to Bring if Staying in a Mountain Hut

  • Toiletries and medication
  • Quick-drying towel  
  • Ear plugs
  • Sleeping bag liner
  • Sleepwear
  • Alpine club membership card if applicable / ID
  • Coronavirus mask and hand sanitizer
  • The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
  • For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
  • Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.

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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
87.2 km
Duration
24:40 h
Ascent
2,127 m
Descent
2,127 m
Circular route Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Geological highlights Botanical highlights Summit route

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