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Hiking trails by the water

Hiking by the water in the Zugspitz region

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Anyone looking for a much-needed way to cool down will find it on selected hiking trails in the Zugspitz region: cool rocky gorges, calm lakes, clear rivers and one of the highest waterfalls in Germany can be found on the five hiking tours with refreshment guarantee. 

In the Zugspitz region in southern Bavaria, numerous hiking trails lead to the water - ideal for hikers who want to pursue their hobby even when temperatures are around 30 degrees. Gorges through which roaring water makes its way, rivers and lakes, some of which allow crystal-clear views down to the bottom, and impressive waterfalls make it possible to escape the heat and at the same time to explore the Zugspitz region on beautiful and refreshing paths.   

The five water hiking tours at a glance 

  1. Hellstalk Gorge: (around 11 km) An adventurous hiking experience that takes visitors along winding paths through a cool gorge. 
  2. Staffelsee hike: (about 21 km) A hike around the picturesque lake with its seven islands. 
  3. Isar nature adventure trail: (about 7 km) Along the Isar there are partly interactive stations that make you want to get to know the flora and fauna of the area. 
  4. Bayersoien Lake: (about 5 km) The Moorsee is still one of the insider tips in the region and promises a quiet place by the lake and lots of moor even on hot days.  
  5. Kuhaway Waterfalls: (around 5 km) You can feel the unbridled power of the water up close when you visit one of the highest waterfalls in Germany, the Kuhaway Falls.


The water spectacle of the Höllentalklamm  

Adventure meets hiking holidays in the Höllentalklamm. Between two mountain ridges, the roaring Hammerbach has dug a deep gorge in the mountain - small waterfalls alternate with light blue rock pools and cool tunnels that meander through the rugged mountains.  

A suitable hike to avoid the sun, especially on hot days. Cool temperatures prevail in the gorge even in midsummer and even on dry days the water drips from the surrounding rock walls. Rainproof clothing is recommended. Surefootedness is required in the gorge.  

The starting point of the tour through the gorge is the Hammersbach hiking car park. From there, an approximately one-hour, pleasantly shady forest path leads to the entrance of the Höllentalklamm; Crossing it takes around 45 minutes. If you want, you can also start the stage of the top hiking trail from Kreuzeck to Grainau and hike through the Höllentalklamm on this tour.  

Hiking trail through the Höllentalklamm to the Höllentalangerhütte

Hiking tour Zugspitze


Lake Staffelsee with its seven islands is only a stone's throw away from Murnau, between green forests and surrounded by an impressive mountain panorama. Due to its pleasant water temperature, it is widely known as a bathing lake and offers various pedal and rowing boat rentals with which you can explore the water world on your own. The Staffelsee can be circumnavigated on foot on a signposted 22-kilometer hiking trail. Along the way there are bathing spots to cool down.   

With the electric passenger ship MS Seehausen, the Staffelsee can also be admired from the water. On the approximately 70-minute round trip, the passenger ship heads for the towns of Seehausen, Murnau-Achele and Uffing. In this way, the circular hiking trail can easily be shortened with a boat trip.

The Staffelsee is also very popular for water sports enthusiasts

With the e-passenger ship on Staffelsee


On the approximately two-hour Isar nature adventure trail, inquisitive hikers will find exciting stations and information boards to learn a lot about the flora and fauna of the Isar. Stops such as the barefoot path, the tree telephone or various water features make the path a varied and informative experience. 

The numerous play opportunities along the way inspire the youngest hikers in particular. You can cool off along the entire hike on the flat banks of the turquoise-green Isar - towels and bathing suits should be in your backpack on warm days so that the clear water of the Isar can be enjoyed at a suitable bathing spot.   

Tour tip: The Isar nature adventure trail near Krün

hiking water tour


Bayersoiener See, colloquially known as Soier See, is located near Bad Bayersoien in the Oberammergau catchment area. It is a moor lake, the water of which warms up quickly due to its shallow depth and therefore scores with pleasant bathing temperatures. Even in midsummer, the lesser-known lake is not overcrowded and it is easy to find a quiet place to relax. The hike around the lake also leads to the moor nature trail.

In addition to information boards that clearly convey the healing power and special features of the moor, there are adventure stations where feet and calves can get up close and personal with the moor. Seating and resting areas made of wood also make it easy to switch off and meditate between the moor and the most beautiful nature.  

Lake circuit

Lake hiking trail in Oberammergau
Hiking by the water with children


The water plunges 270 meters into the depths - the Kuhaway waterfalls near Farchant are among the highest waterfalls in Germany. The imposing group of three waterfalls can be easily reached via the forest adventure trail and the "Königsweg". The Kuhawaybach flows parallel to the Königsweg, and its rapids can be viewed from viewing platforms. The hike is suitable for children - the nature trail in particular is a special experience - and suitable for pushchairs.  

The three cow escape waterfalls

Route to the falls via the King's Road

Hiking at the waterfall


Prudent, nature-friendly and with full passion on the move in the mountains is the motto in the Zugspitz region. Arriving intelligently and using the many offers in public transport is just as much a part of it as consciously protecting the flora and fauna. There are numerous hiking trails around the water Accommodation options, from which vacationers with the guest card can use local public transport free of charge. All hiking starting points can be reached comfortably and easily without a car.  


You can find out more about the tours here.


© Photos: Zugspitz Region, The Blue Land / Wolfgang Ehn, Alpenwelt Karwendel, Ammergau Nature Park Alps / Dietmar Denger, Simon Bauer Photography


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