Photo by Vitalii Nesterchuk/ shutterstock.com
Story by Ronnie Juhans
I normally take one-day hikes during the winter in the local areas only a short drive away. However, I decided to venture out for an entire weekend after being told to stop being a lazy hiking homebody who goes out for a few hours and retreats back home to binge watch the latest series on TV.
Thanks for that advice because it led me to visiting Oberstdorf.
This region is on the Southern tip of Germany in the Allgäu Alps and has one of the largest winter hiking trail networks in the Alps with over 140 kilometers of hiking fun, relaxation, and enjoyment.
The opportunities were so many that It was a bit overwhelming and hard to decide which trails to take, however, I narrowed it down to suggest the following two treks that I will visit again this winter.
Due to its location this trail can be a day full of sunshine reflecting off the snow and ice so make sure that you bring sunscreen and sunglasses. Although I wore boots with a good grip, they were no match for some of the icy stretches on the trail. Having my boot spikes attached to my backpack saved the day and allowed me to enjoy the amazing 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains and valleys during my trek. Continue on to the Dummelshoos bridge and then the spruce forest along the Trettach River before returning to your start point.
Distance: 5.5 km
Time estimate: 2 hours
Easy to moderate depending on weather conditions, can be icy along some stretches.
This trek has an abundant variety of attractions along the way. You have a view of the Allgäu’s main ridge, meadows in the Stillachtal valley and the Stillach River. You can also visit the leaning tower of Oberstdorf which is open all year long. If you want to gain a little altitude you can climb through the forest to Einodsbach at 1,114 meters. However, the snow can get a bit deep so good hiking boots with gaitors will keep your feet feeling comfortable. Make sure to take a break at one of the many local pubs or local eateries to enjoy a refreshing beverage, excellent food and hang out with the locals.
Distance: 13 km
Time estimate: 3 hours
Easy to moderate and difficult depending on weather conditions. The trek uphill through the forest can have deep snow.
There are also many other activities in the area that include snowshoeing, sledding, tubing, and taking a nap in the sun on a lounge chair during a stop at a valley chalet along your hike.
What to wear:
Warm clothing, a hat, gloves or mittens, snow pants, winter jacket, snow boots, and goggles.
What to bring:
First aid kit, sunscreen, water, snacks, a change of socks, gloves, hat, cell phone, and euro cash. Plastic is not accepted everywhere.
For more information on accommodations, equipment rental, bus schedules, snow conditions, and other regional information and updates visit, https://www.oberstdorf.de/en/