Bavarian Forest
National Park

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Hiking Area

Summit of the Großer Falkenstein (1315m) (Photo: Alice Alteneder)

Großer Falkenstein

From the summit of the Großer Falkenstein (1315m) the view opens up to the west and southwest to the Großer Arber and to the mountain chain of the western Bavarian Forest. The deep circular valley of the Zwieseler Winkel lies at your feet. The Schutzhaus on Falkenstein is open daily in summer and at weekends in winter (with overnight accommodation possible).

Relics of primeval forest

Two areas were placed under protection as early as before the first world war: the oldest nature reserve of the Bavarian Forest, the Höllbachgespreng, and the particularly important relics of primeval forest around the Mittelsteighütte. With the extension of the Bavarian Forest National Park in 1997 these areas were included within the large scale protected area.

Höllbachgespreng with Höllbach Falls

The Höllbach springs in a depression and plunges into the Höllbachgespreng with its steep, tall-as-houses rock formations, in several cascades and waterfalls as well as numerous rivulets down to the Höllbachschwelle. The Höllbachgespreng instilled fear and horror in our forefathers. They thought that in this remote wild mountain region, with the rock overhangs coloured yellow by a rare lichen, was the entrance to hell.

Pastures (Schachten)
Former cattle pastures in the higher mountainous areas of the Bavarian Forest are known as “Schachten". The last of these forest pastures was given up in 1963. On the hiking trail from Zwieslerwaldhaus to the Falkenstein is the largest of these mountain pastures in the Falkenstein area, the Ruckowitz pasture. From here there is a particularly beautiful view to the massif of the Großer Arber, at 1456m the highest point in the Bavarian Forest.

Ascents to the Großer Falkenstein

All the ways up to the Großer Falkenstein are arduous in places. Clothing suitable for all weathers and sturdy footwear are necessary.

Blueberry Hiking Trail
Ascent: 3 ½ - 4 hours; Height difference: 620 m

From the entrance into Zwieslerwaldhaus (P1) the path leads along the Schillerweg to the Ahornriegel, where an impressive view opens up to the south towards the Großer Rachel, at 1453m, the highest mountain in the national park. After crossing the ash tree hiking trail and the Kleine Höllbach you get to the Höllbachschwelle via the Schwellweg. It then goes steeply upwards in to the primeval forest area of the Höllbachgespreng with its high-as-houses rocks and the Höllbach waterfalls. With a slight uphill gradient the path takes you over the Hüttensteig to the Großer Falkenstein (1315m). (Not recommended in winter).

Ash Hiking Trail
Ascent: 3 hours; Height difference: 700m

From the Waldbahn stop in Ludwigsthal (Haus zur Wildnis car park) the hiking trail crosses the south side of the Falkenstein massif and after crossing the Blueberry hiking trail in the Ahornriegel area takes you on a winding route steeply uphill to the Großer Falkenstein.

Yew tree Hiking Trail
Ascent: 2 ½ hours; Height difference 620 m

This is the shortest and steepest route and begins at the car park P1 in Zwieslerwaldhaus. The trail crosses the primeval forest area of the Mittelsteighütte and leads steadily uphill. After half an hour the charming area of the Steinbach waterfalls begins, where the mountain stream plunges through a rocky area and over cascades down to the valley. A wonderful view can be seen on clear days from the imposing rock massif of the Kleiner Falkenstein (1190 metres). In addition there is also a small but impressive area of primeval forest that extends out amongst the rocks. Through mountain spruce forest one finally reaches the summit. (Not recommended in winter).

Honesty Plant Hiking Trail
Ascent: 3 hours; Height difference: 650 m

From the car park or the Igelbus bus stop at Weiße Brücke you soon find yourself in pristine forest. Together with the path from Scheuereck, with its green triangle marking, the next part of the hiking trail runs along the natural Höllbach to the Höllbachschwelle. From here the path leads steeply uphill into the rocky region of the Höllbachgespreng and its primeval forest remnants. A little more uphill and you reach the summit of the Großer Falkenstein.

Green Triangle Main Hiking Trail

The ascent to the Großer Falkenstein takes you from Zwieslerwaldhaus to the Ruckowitz pastures (3 hours). Not far from the summit the route divides into the long distance European trail (E6) through the Höllbachgespreng to Scheuereck, Spiegelhütte and Frauenau, and the Höhenweg (Heights path), which takes you across the typical mountain meadows of the Bavarian Forest, the Schachten.