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Outdoor Activities

From the ancient beech forests of Nordhessen and the rugged scenery of volcanic Vogelsberg to the romantic rolling vineyards of the Rheingau, Hessen offers a wealth of natural landscapes to explore.

Enjoy a bracing hike across through the Rothaar mountains or a gentle cycle through the peaceful meadows of the Lahn Valley. Spot unique flora and fauna in the UNESCO World Heritage Kellerwald-Edersee National Park, or meander gently down the River Werra in a canoe, spotting castles along the way.

Hessen's well-marked networks of hiking trails and cycle paths ensure both leisurely and more challenging routes for outdoor enthusiasts, many of which are also accessible on horseback. Hessen's low mountain ranges mean snow and winter sports too, from downhill and cross-country skiing to winter cycling. The lakes and winding rivers here provide ample opportunities for water-based activities such as canoeing and swimming. With plentiful cultural highlights including fairytale castles, Roman ruins and historic villages along the way, there are countless scenic spots to stop for a break.

If you're keen on more unusual outdoor activities, you'll also find rollerskiing, summer tobogganing and in-line skating; and if you'd like to see Hessen from the air, there are opportunities for hang-gliding, gliding and paragliding available - and even hot air ballooning!

Don't forget to factor in a bit or relaxation after all your outdoor adventures. If you don't fancy camping or sleeping in a hiking hut, Hessen's landscapes are peppered with gorgeous half-timbered villages that offer welcoming guesthouses for overnight stays. Why not regain your strength with some of Hessen's culinary specialties, and soothe your muscles with a long, hot soak in one of its many thermal baths.