An increasing amount of people are looking for nature experience at leisure or vacation, while staying active at the same time. Ruhla can offer both: Hiking through dense forests, along clear brooks and over sunny meadows. Whether well-marked hiking trails or the nature trail for kids and families – discover the unique mixture of nature and recreation. Do you need the right equipment for your field trip to the nature trail? At Tourist Information Ruhla you can rent a hiking backpack, filled with utensils for exploring nature, like magnifying glasses or binoculars. Don’t hesitate to ask the employees in the Tourist Information Ruhla.

The well-known ridge walk - the Rennsteig trail

Length: approx. 169.3 km

Dense forests and sun-drenched meadows, steep slopes and gentle valleys, that’s how one could describe the Rennsteig region, one of Germanys most beautiful hiking areas. On the Rennsteig, near Ruhla, you can discover the stone monument “Glöckner”, a group of granite boulders, as well as Rennsteig Falconry next to “Ruhlaer Skihütte”. There are 7 crossings along the Rennsteig, where you descent from the trail to the mountain town of Ruhla. The first one is the so called “Rennsteig-Leiter” with a length of 2 kilometres, which leads to the park “mini-a-thür”. Another slip-road from the waypoint “Große Meilerstätte” ends in 1 kilometre distance at “Ferienhaus Lichtung”.

Difficulty: medium

Marking: white R

Starting Point: Hörschel near Eisenach

Destination: Blankenstein int he Thuringian Slate Mountains

> more about the Rennsteig

Nature Trail

Length: 2.4 km

The challenging Nature Trail is part of the circular hiking trail around Ruhla and is located at Breitenberg Mountain with a height of 697 metres above sea level. Discover the trail with the offer “Rucksackschule”, a filled backpack full of utensils for exploring nature, which is available for rent at Tourist Information Ruhla.

Difficulty: medium to hard

Marking: Wuwwerbözer

Starting Point: Kindergarten Krümmespatzen (D-99842, An der Krümme 61)

Destination: Kindergarten Krümmespatzen


Circular hiking trail "Around Ruhla"

Length: approx. 22 km

The circular trail offers magnificent views of Ruhla, Thal and Kittelsthal. Partially it follows the same road as the trail of the GeoRoute 9 “Tropical Island of Ruhla”.

Difficulty: easy to medium

Marking: white square with green diagonal stripe

Starting Point: Hiking parking lot "Ententeich"

Geological Trail "Tropical Island of Ruhla"

Length: 13 km

This circular trail is dedicated to geology, mining and the formation of the Thuringian Forrest. The trail leads from the Dripstone Cave in Kittelsthal to the Castle Ruins Scharfenburg, over Meistenstein, through Öhrenkammer and along the hiking trail “Thüringen Weg” back to Ruhla.

Difficulty: medium

Marking: "GeoRoute 9" in blue on white ground

Starting Point: Tourist Information Ruhla

Destination: Tourist Information Ruhla

> more about the Geological Trail

Castle Ruins Scharfenburg
© K. Fink

Circular hiking trails in Ruhla, Thal and Kittelsthal

There are various circular trails surrounding the mountain town of Ruhla with its villages Thal and Kittelsthal. For example a hike to the lookout tower Carl-Alexander-Turm on top of Ringberg Mountain. The historic tower was dedicated to the former Grand-Duke Carl Alexander of Saxony-Weimar-Eisenach and offers a unique panoramic view over the western Thuringian Forrest and Rhoen Mountains. Other circular hiking trails lead to Meisenstein, Gerberstein or the view point “Tempelchen” in Thal. Information and hiking maps are available in Tourist Information Ruhla.

Gerberstein Mountain
Tempelchen Thal
Tempelchen in Thal
Wanderer im Wald
© Pixabay

Rent a Backpack

Neuer Markt 1 D-99842 Ruhla

Discover nature with a backpack full of utensils!

To escape the hectic of everyday life and experience nature with all senses, the Tourist Information Ruhla provides the environmental education offer “Rucksackschule” (literally backpack school). Explore the nature with a filled backpack full of utensils, like binoculars, magnifying glasses, compass, determination books and much more useful equipment. You can rent a backpack for free in the Tourist Information Ruhla by depositing an identity document.

If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to call (+49 (0) 36929 89013) or ask the employees of the Tourist Information Ruhla.  

Hiking around Ruhla

Booklet with circular hiking trails in Ruhla and around. Just download and hike on. (Booklet in German)

Cycling Fun

Whether leisure cyclist or professional one, whether e-bike, mountain bike or touring bike, the area around Ruhla offers activities for everyone. The cycle path Ruhla – Thal – Farnroda – Wutha combines the Rennsteig Cycle Trail with the “Thuringian Chain-of-Towns” Long-Distance Cycle Trail and others. Below we will introduce you to some of the most beautiful cycle trails.

Mountainbiker im Thüringer Wald
© Lars Schneider / Bildarchiv TTG

"Tannhäuser" Cycle Trail

Length: 26.6 km

Tannhäuser - cycle trail for the passionate, just like its name-giver

The trail starts at the base of Hörselberg Mountains, following the former railway line to Ruhla. While cycling trough Ruhla, you pass the Watch and Clock Museum and the Tourist Information Ruhla. From now on, the ascent gets steeper. At Hubertushaus / Ascherbrück it’s possible to take the more challenging Rennsteig Cycle Trail uphill to the old forester’s lodge at Kissel Mountain. The Swiss-style lodge was built in 1869 from the Duke Georg II of Saxony-Meiningen. Carved wooden figures stand aside the trail, as part of the Pummpälz Trail. Near Schweina you can make a detour to the Altenstein Palace or proceed towards Barchfeld and Werra River. You can continue along the Werra Valley Cycle Trail in the direction of Bad Salzungen or Meiningen. For the way back you can use the railway “Südthüringenbahn” between Immelborn and Wutha-Farnroda.

Mountainbiker im Thüringer Wald
© Lars Schneider / Bildarchiv TTG

Rennsteig Cycle Trail

Length: 200 km

Since the year 2000 ambitious cyclists can challenge themselves along the completely marked Rennsteig Cycle Trail which runs most of the time parallel to the well-known hiking trail.

To get there, you can follow the so called “Rennsteig-Leiter” (literally Rennsteig-Ladder) with a length of 2 km. This gravel slip-road starts at the park “mini-a-thür”. Another, equally sweaty, ascent to the Rennsteig trail runs through the side valley Bermbachtal on a 2.5 km long asphalt street.

The Rennsteig Cycle Trail isn’t for untrained recreational cyclists, because of the demanding differences in altitude, fast descents and sporting sections, the cyclists have to expect. However, you will be rewarded by breath-taking views and a unique combination of nature experience and German history.


More about the Rennsteig Cycle Trail

"Thuringian Chain of Towns" Cycle Trail

Length: 230 km

The long distance cycle trail “Thuringian Chain of Towns” combines 7 of the most beautiful Thuringian towns and leads through scenic areas, which are characterized by a rich history. This trail is especially for culture enthusiasts and touring cyclists. As part of the D4-Route, the trail is connected to the national network of long distance trails and connects the Wartburg city of Eisenach in the west with the “Skat city” of Altenburg in the east.

Starting in Ruhla, you reach the “Thuringian Chain of Towns” Cycle Trail via the “Tannhäuser” Cycle Trail towards Wutha-Farnroda.

"Werra-Valley" Cycle Trail

Length: 306 km

From the two Werra sources near the Rennsteig Trail in the Thuringian Forest Nature Park, the “Werra Valley” Cycle Trail leads you to the city of Hannoversch Münden, where the confluence of Werra and Fulda River forms the Weser River. The family friendly and well-marked trail runs through scenic and divers landscapes: from the Thuringian Forest Nature Park, the Rhön Mountains, the Werra Valley, the Hainich National Park to the Frau-Holle-Land Nature Park in North Hesse. With the Werra River always in sight, you pass interesting culture towns and rustic villages with half-timbered houses.

Starting in Ruhla, you reach the “Werra Valley” Cycle Trail via the “Tannhäuer” Cycle Trail towards Barchfeld. Alternately, you can take the “Tannhäuser” Cycle Trail towards Wutha-Farnroda and follow the “Thuringian Chain of Towns” Cycle Trail towards Eisenach till Hörschel. Or you follow the Rennsteig Cycle Trail from Ruhla/Ascherbrück to its start near Hörschel.

Splashing Fun

Do you need a cool-down after all the adventures you’ve come along in nature? Just visit one of the public swimming pools or Kneipp facilities nearby.

Public swimming pool Ruhla

Altensteiner Straße D-99842 Ruhla
  • +49 (0) 36929 63402
Opening hours: June 1st until August 31st
Daily 11am - 7pm

Responsibility: Association ‘Förderverein Ruhlaer Schwimmbad e.V.’

Public swimming pool Thal

Am Sportplatz 10 D-99842 Ruhla/Thal
  • +49 (0) 36929 63097
Opening hours: June 1st until August 31st
Mon closed
Tue - Sun 10am - 8pm

Responsibility: Municipality of Ruhla


Public swimming pool Mosbach

(Surrounded by forest) Am Grasrain 11 D-99848 Wutha-Farnroda/Mosbach
  • +49 (0) 36921 91186
Opening hours: May till September

This modern public swimming pool is located in the quiet village of Mosbach, close to the forest and the well-known long-distance hiking trail Rennsteig. It can be reached within 15 minutes’ drive from Ruhla.

Kneipp facility Thal

(Next to the public swimming pool Thal) Burgstraße D-99842 Ruhla/Thal
  • +49 (0) 36929 89013
Opening hours: May till September

Water trading basin in Ruhla

(Inside the public swimming pool Ruhla) Altensteiner Straße D-99842 Ruhla
  • +49 (0) 36929 63402