Round the Lusen in the Bayerischer Wald (Bavarian Forest) National Park
The oldest national park in Germany is always well worth a visit – not least because of its peaks and their many legends.
One of the most beautiful peaks of the Bavarian Forest is without doubt the Lusen (1,371 m). Not just because it can be climbed via a huge variety of different routes that require different skill levels, which makes it perfect for families.
The “Blockmeer”, or sea of blocks on the Lusen, is its most striking feature: mighty granite blocks form the top of this mountain, which has given rise to many myths about its origins. Another characteristic is the pristine nature that surrounds this mountain. Due to its location in the heart of the Bayerischer Wald (Bavarian Forest) National Park, nature has had more than 40 years to regenerate of its own accord. Where some decades ago it had been reduced to a few meagre remnants of woodland, today it has demonstrated an impressive ability to heal itself. Lush new growth and breathtaking views of the Bavarian Forest and the Böhmerwald (Bohemian Forest) ensure, quite literally, a “high” degree of enjoyment.
The simplest route up the Lusen starts in the mountain village of Waldhäuser. From the hikers’ car park, the so-called “Igelbusse” (Hedgehog Path) leads up to the entrance to the hiking trail, directly beneath the peak. From here two paths lead to the top – the winter and summer trails. Hikers wishing to do a circular route are advised to ascend via the summer trail. It leads up through thick forest, past the “Glass Arch”, an imposing piece of artwork, and on to the mighty rocks that make up the sea of blocks. The last stretch is not without its challenges: it ascends the so-called “Himmelsleiter” (Ladder of Heaven) – a natural staircase comprising irregular rocky steps – and goes directly across the sea of rocks to the summit cross. Once at the top, a wonderful panorama opens up across the Bavarian Forest and the Bohemian Forest, which starts on the eastern edge of the Lusen.
A rustic mountain hut provides welcome refreshments before hikers embark on the easy descent down the Witnerweg – a gently sloping forestry track. As well as offering other possible routes to the summit, the walk can also be extended into the Bohemian Forest or up the Großen Rachel (1,453 m).