Taunus – Grosser Zacken

There is a hidden big boulder in the middle of the Taunus. Enjoy great views from its top and walk a short loop in the forest.

4 hours Views from the top of the rock
Hiking a 3.5 km loop Suitable for families and groups

1. How to get there

You want to get to Schnitten-Niederreifenberg, Rotes Kreuz.
Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Konstablerwache Take S5, direction Friedrichsdorf Bahnhof
1st Change: Oberursel, Bahnhog Take bus X26, direction Wiesbaden Platz der Deutschen Einheit
2nd Change: Königstein, Stadtmitte Take bus 57, direction Bad Homburg v.d.H. Bahnhof
Arrival: Schnitten-Niederreifenberg, Rotes Kreuz Start your hike here, check the map below.

OR:

Start: Konstablerwache Take S3, direction Bad Soden Bahnhof
Change: Bad Soden, Bahnhof Take bus 253, direction Königstein Stadtmitte
Change: Königstein, Kreisel Take bus 80, Schmitten Kirche
Arrival: Schnitten-Niederreifenberg, Rotes Kreuz Start your hike here, check the map below.
Bus stop

Good to know

Travel duration: approx. 1 hour and 10 minutes (one way)

2. Activity on site

Hike a 3.5 km loop

Explore the forest of the Taunus. First, you will pass a historic glass furnace site. Locals made glass here in the 15th century. When you see this guy, you know you are close to this destination.

Historic glass furnaces

Continuing your walk through the forest, you will have to go uphill for a bit. Make the detour to a hidden cave. It is worth it.

Finally you will arrive on top of a big boulder, the Grosser Zacken. Enjoy stunning views of the surrounding area from here.

Check the map below for details.

3. Map

4. Tips

Take your time – Lümmelfelsen

Locals call the top of the Grosser Zacken “Lümmelfelsen, which translates to slouch boulder. Definitely a good spot to rest for a while.

Interested in rock climbing?

Grosser Zacken has bolts. Check the topo here.

Hungry?

At the bus stop Rotes Kreuz is one building, this is a restaurant. Bon appetite.

Restaurant Rotes Kreuz

Explore Königstein

If you have more time to spare, then explore Königstein. They have a pretty neat city center and a castle.

Castle Königstein

5. How to get back

Just do your outbound journey reverse.

Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

6. Costs

Outbound journey: Adult – one way: € 8.5
Round trip: Adult – day pass: € 16.55
Group day pass (5 people): € 28.9

7. Highlights

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Historic glass furnaces - Explore this historic site in the middle of the forest.
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Sand dunes in Schwanheim

This hidden nature reserve is close to Frankfurt. Natural sand dunes are rare in Germany, and are special habitat for rare species.

4 hours Wodden plank path
A walk in a nature reserve Suitable for groups and families

1. How to get there

You want to get to Frankfurt, Alter Friedhof Schwanheim.
Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Konstablerwache Take tram 12, direction Rheinlandstraße
Change: Ferdinand-Dirichs-Weg Take bus 51, direction Industriepark Höchst
Arrival: Alter Friedhof Schwanheim From here it is a 5 minute walk, check the map.

OR:

Start: Konstablerwache Take S2, direction Niedernhausen Bahnhof
Change: Höchst Bahnhof Take bus 51, direction Trift-/Frauenhofstraße
Arrival: Alter Friedhof Schwanheim From here it is a 5 minute walk, check the map.

Good to know

Travel duration: approx. 50 minutes (one way)

2. Activity on site

Walk a 3 km loop

Hop off the bus and walk a loop in this hidden nature reserve. Check the map below for details.

Map of the sand dunes in Schwanheim

In the 20th century, they collected sand here. Sand dunes away form the sea are rare, and protected species live here. Don’t leave the paths!

3. Map

4. Tips

Bring a picnic

There are a bunch of benches close to the lake. Have a picnic here.

Inhale deeply

The air is fantastic here. It feels like being in a very southern country in the middle of the summer.

5. How to get back

Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Alter Friedhof Schwanheim Take bus 51, Industriepark Höchst Tor Ost
Change: Höchst Bahnhof Take S1, direction Offenbach
Arrival: Konstablerwache

6. Costs

Round trip: Adult – one way: € 2.75
Adult – day pass: € 5.35
Group day pass (5 people): € 11.30

7. Highlights

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Wooden plank path - It will lead you through the nature reserve.
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Duisburg – Former steel mill

Visit a former steel mill, now turned into a public open air park. Come and play on this impressive industrial heritage site.

One day Former steel mill
Explore an industrial heritage Family suited

1. How to get there

You want to get to Duisburg, Landschaftspark-Nord.
Click here to get the up to date timetable: DeutscheBahn website*

Start: Frankfurt main station Take a train to Duisburg, main station
(there is a direct ICE)
Change: Duisburg, main station
Take the tram 903, direction Duisburg Watereck
Arrival: Duisburg, Landschaftspark-Nord From here it is a 10 minute walk

Good to know

Train: There is a direct ICE to Duisburg. Otherwise you’ll have to change in Mainz or Köln.
Travel duration: approx. 2 hours (one way)
Costs: Check out the section “6. Costs” below, keep in mind that kids under 15 travel for free with “Deutsche Bahn”, if they are accompanied by an adult family member.

2. Activity on site

Explore an industrial heritage – “Landschaftspark Duisburg – Nord”

Wonder on site of a former steel mill, which used to have 5  blast furnaces. It was turned into a public park in 1991. The Guardian has it listed as one of the top 10 parks in the world.

No admission fee!

You can make a nice 4 km round trip on site. Check out the map for the highlights you’ll pass on your tour. For example, it is possible to climb up one of two remaining furnaces. Click here for more information.

3. Map

The map describes a round trip, starting and ending at the tram stop.

4. Tips

Bring a picnic

There are many great picnic spots, e.g. next to the climbing area. And there is a bbq area as well.

Check out the events

They have great open air events (open air movies, etc.) on site, click here.

Stay late

The blast furnaces are illuminated at night.

5. How to get back

Check the Deutsche Bahn website for up to date timetable.

Start: Landschaftspark-Nord Take tram 903, direction König-Heinrich-Platz, Duisburg
Change: Duisburg, main station
Take a train to Frankfurt, main station
Arrival: Frankfurt, main station  

Heads up

The last possible connection to arrive in Frankfurt on the same day is at 9:21 pm (at Landschaftspark-Nord).

6. Costs

Train:
Frankfurt to Duisburg
Adult (one way): between € 20 and € 80
–> Book early!
Tram:
Within Duisburg
€ 1.60 (one way)
per adult and per child

Click here to get your ticket: DeutscheBahn website*

Did you know?

Kids under 15 travel for free with Deutsche Bahn, if they are accompanied by an adult family member. Otherwise they have to pay 50% of the ticket price.

Suggestion

Purchase the train tickets as early as possible. It is cheaper if you pick a specific train. Read my blog post “How to get a cheap train ticket” for more information.

7. Highlights

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Blast furnace - Climb on top of this impressive industrial building.
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Notes:
* Links marked with an asterisk are affiliate links.

The Weil valley – a bike tour

Take your bike on to public transport to go up the Taunus. From here it is joyful downhill ride along the river Weil.

Day trip Beautiful valley, castles along the way
Biking, mostly downhill Family suited

1. How to get there

You want to got to Schmitten-Arnoldshain Sandplacken.
Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Hauptwache, Frankfurt U3, direction Oberursel (Taunus)-Hohemark
Change: Oberursel (Taunus)-Hohemark
(this is the last stop of the U3)
Bus 245,* direction Weilburg ZOB
Arrival: Schmitten-Arnoldshain Sandplacken

Alternative

Take the S5 to Bad Homburg v.d.H. Bahnhof, then get on bus 245, but heads up: bus 245 runs at 8:22 am and 1:03 pm only.

Good to know

Timetable bus 245 *:
(from Oberursel-Hohemark)
AM:   8:38  and  11:18
PM:   1:18  and  3:18
Travel duration: approx. 1 hour (one way)

*Bus 245 with  bike trailer: Only from May 1st to October 31st, on Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays.

2. Activity on site

Biking – “Weiltalradweg” (Weil valley biking trail)

It is a 50 km trail along the creek “Weil”. It follows the creek from its spring to its outlet. The path is mostly downhill and will lead you through beautiful forests and fields.

The actual start is at the restaurant “Rotes Kreuz”. Starting in Sandplacken, just follow the “Limesweg” to get there (see map below).

Follow these signs:

3. Map

4. Tips

The right equipment

Make sure to bring a bike suitable for gravel trails. The path is half paved and half graveled.

Watch out for the path signage

The signs are sometimes hard to spot. Check GPS on your phone from time to time.

Make it a two day trip

Staying overnight: In Weilburg or camping in Odersbach. Day 2: Bike along the river Lahn, towards Limburg.

5. How to get back

Check the Deutsche Bahn website for up to date timetable.

Train: Weilburg to Frankfurt, via Limburg
Weilburg to Frankfurt, via Gießen
Bus: You can take bus 245 back to Oberursel (Taunus)-Hohemark, but it takes much longer than the train

It can get real crowded in the bike carriage.

6. Costs

Outward run (one way):
Frankfurt to Sandplacken
Adult:    € 8.50
Return (one way):
Weilburg to Frankfurt
via Limburg:  € 12.20 (adult)
via Gießen:     € 15.80 (adult)

My suggestion:
Purchase the “Hesse Ticket”. It is valid after 9 am for one day, for 5 people. Costs are only € 35. Read my blog bost “Hesse ticket” for more information.

7. Highlights

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Weil creek - Follow the Weil creek from its spring to its junction with the river Lahn.
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Taunus – Sandplacken to Ruppertshain

Stunning views of the Main valley on this full-day hike. This is a great hike for summer and winter for sporty individuals.

One day Great views from the Feldberg summit
Hiking, 12km Suited for sporty individuals

1. How to get there

You want to get to Schmitten-Arnoldshain Sandplacken.

Check the RMV website for the up to date timetable.

Start: Konstablerwache, Frankfurt S5, direction Bad Homburg v.d.H. Bahnhof
Change: Bad Homburg v.d.H. Bahnhof Bus 50, direction Weilrod-Rod a.d. Weil Schule
Arrival: Schmitten-Arnoldshain Sandplacken

There is an additional bus in the summer months on the weekend: Bus line 245 towards Weilburg. It will pop up in your RMV search.

Good to know

Travel duration: approx. 1 hour (one way)

2. Activity on site

Hiking – Summer and Winter

We made this trip during winter, but it is certainly great during summer as well.

It is a 12km trail, up and downhill. Start off following the signs to the Feldberg summit. Enjoy the view of the skyline of Frankfurt.

Then walk around the “Kleiner Feldberg”, following the red squirrel signage.

 

From there on, go downhill, enjoy the walk through the forest, all the way to Ruppertshain.

3. Map

4. Tips

Heads up

There is a ton of signs at the intersections of the forest paths. Make sure to check your location on the map frequently.

The right equipment

Make sure to wear good hiking boots. The snow will get into regular shoes, plus some parts of the path are quite steep and get slippery.

Make a shortcut

If 12 km is too long, you can hop on a bus at “Eselsheck”, this is waypoint 3 on the map. This way you’ll only walk 7,5 km. Take bus 57 or bus 60 to Königstein (Taunus) Bahnhof , from there take a regional train to Frankfurt main station.

Make a detour – Go tobogganing

Tobogganing down the Feldberg summit is a real winter adventure. Watch out for fast and fearless kids.

5. How to get back

From Kelkheim (Taunus)-Ruppertshain Zauberberg to Frankfurt main station.
Check the RMV website for up to date timetable.

Option 1

Start: Bust stop “Kelkheim (Taunus)-Ruppertshain Zauberberg” Take bus 805, direction Eppstein Bahnhof,
get off at the last stop
Change: Eppstein Bahnhof Take S2, direction Frankfurt main station
Arrival: Frankfurt main station

Option 2

Start: Bust stop “Kelkheim (Taunus)-Ruppertshain Zauberberg” Take bus 804, direction Sulzbach
Change: Kelkheim Bahnhof Take a regional train,  direction Frankfurt main station
Arrival: Frankfurt main station

6. Costs

Outward run (one way):
Frankfurt to Sandplacken
Adult – one way: € 8.50
Adult – day pass: € 16.55
Group day pass (5 people): € 28.90
Return (one way):
Ruppertshain to Frankfurt
Adult – one way: € 4.90

7. Highlights

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Feldberg summit - Make sure to sign the register book at the cross.
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