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River Saale Cycle Trail

Höhe und Position

Sometimes wild, sometimes dreamily romantic

A skywalk for luck, party atmosphere by the river and a night in a shiny caravan - all this awaits you!

It is a little easier to think when you are pushing a bike - and there is a lot of pushing to do on the last part of the trail leading up from the Saale Valley to Leuchtenburg Castle. It looms majestically on a rock above the small town of Kahla and is a small but worthwhile detour on our cycle route through the Saale Valley. The Porcelain Worlds up there tell in an entertaining way the story of the "White Gold", which was decisive for Thuringia's development for centuries.

In Thuringia, the cycle tour on the River Saale Cycle Trail begins in the village of Sparnberg near the former inner German border. Then, cycling through wonderful low mountain country, you pass the Bleiloch Reservoir and finally arrive at the holiday resort of Saalburg. Here the Fairytale Forest, the high-ropes course and summer toboggan run are of especial interest for children. On a boat trip, you can also discover the flora and fauna of Germany's largest reservoir.

Burgk Castle with its Silbermann organ, the Ziegenrück Hydroelectricity Museum and the fjord-type landscape of the Hohenwarte Dam Lake are further stops on your route to Saalfeld. Here, you can visit the Saalfeld Fairy Grottoes, the most colourful show grottoes in the world. Via Rudolstadt with Heidecksburg Castle, you continue to Uhlstädt. Here timber rafting has a long tradition, which is attractively presented in the Rafting Museum. High above the Saale Valley stands Leuchtenburg Castle, before the trail continues through the lively university town of Jena with the Zeiss Planetarium and passes the Dornburg Castles. During the last few kilometres to Camburg, there are an ever-increasing number of vineyards and seasonal wine taverns. There is a direct link to the Ilm Valley Cycle Trail in Kaatschen-Weichau and to the Rennsteig Cycle Trail in Blankenstein. The Thuringian section of the cycle trail includes mountain regions with some steep ascents and descents and is suitable for cyclists with sporting ambitions. The section between Saalfeld and Kaatschen-Weichau is family-friendly with no more than small hills.

Up and off on an e-bike
Heights? No problem! Ascents? No problem! Long distances? No problem!
Get on an e-bike and off you go. Cycle without effort and tackle challenging and hilly routes. It is great fun and good for the environment too. You will have plenty of time for breaks, whether to look around or enjoy the regional cuisine. And luggage boxes are available at some locations for safe accommodation of your bags.

Charging stations:
Döbritschen, Leuchtenburg, Eisenberg, Nickelsdorf, Schkölen,

Luggage boxes

List of current construction sites and trail detours.

Please note: The Mill Ferry on the Hohenwarte Dam Lake between the landing points Linkenmühle and Altenroth will cease to operate as of 18 September 2018 due to low water. The bike and hiking shuttle will also cease operation as of this date.

Recommended circular cycling tours

Romanticism and Classicism by bike.
Beautiful rivers - fine vines. The Saale - Unstrut tour.
White gold and mill wheels in a river setting.



Route data

  • Total length: 403 km
  • Length in Thuringia: 180 km
  • Departure point in Thuringia: Sparnberg
  • Destination point in Thuringia: Kaatschen-Weichau
  • Difference in altitude: 120 to 550 m above sea level
  • Degree of difficulty: Medium to difficult
  • Type of trail: 246 km asphalt, 0 km concrete, 0 km cart track, 0 km cobbled road, 0 km sandy forest track, 128 km gravel, 0 km forest path, 29 km forest track, 0 km forest-field track, 0 km water-bound surface