In anticipation of moving to Germany I scoured the internet for tips on how best to prepare for the move from one culture to another. Among the internet resources I found was a military spouse blog that used a featured image that became lodged in my head. Living in America at the time, it looked like a German fairytale. There was a seemingly medieval bridge in the center of town, castle ruins high above the town, and charming structures dotted throughout the town. I would revisit that blog after living in Germany in a hotel 25 minutes away only to realize that village was Kallmunz.
I have hiked the Kallmunz Castle several times and have found the best time to go is the winter when crowds are thinner. Because the Regensburg crowd both drives and bikes out to Kallmunz on warm sunny weekend days, these tend to be days when it is most crowded. Crowded as in probably 100 people at the summit.
At the bottom of the page you will find a GPS link where you can park either your bicycle or your vehicle just outside of town near the trailhead to the castle ruins.
From these locations you can also leave your transportation behind and walk into town when you are done with your castle hike. The walk to town is probably fifteen minutes and runs along the scenic Naab River. The path from the castle parking lot to town will take you through what appears to have been the town gate at one point.
Just prior to the old city gate is a side street that provides access to another trailhead from which you can climb to the Kallmunz Castle ruins. I did not focus on this ascent as parking is more scarce in this area.
However if you wish to select this option, you will find the trailhead up this street to the right.
The path from the parking lot where parking is plentiful to the Castle ruins runs along a fairly hard packed road with some loose gravel here and there. The path cuts over to the base of the mountain, jogs to the right for only a few minutes and then turns left for the long straight ascent to the top.
If you visit the ruins on a nice weekend, plan on sharing the path with bicyclists. During our last visit, we saw probably ten bicyclists in total both going up and coming down. The journey up is difficult enough that at one point we saw a father coaching his maybe 12 year old daughter on making the ascent without getting off her bike.
Speaking of children, while mine are 11, 9, and 7 years old, we did spy a number of toddlers making their way slowly up the path. Parents definitely used this hill to tire out their children for a good nights sleep.
Part of what makes this castle hike one of the best in the area is the view you have while hiking. As you walk higher and higher you will look down upon the village of Kallmunz located on the Naab River nestled below the castle ruins.
On our last visit, a sheepherder was working his flock on the hillside with his working dogs. At one point he directed his dogs to have the flock cross the path which was a great experience of being right in the middle of one hundred sheep swarming around you.
Once you reach the top there is a place to pause, rest, or take photographs before entering the area occupied by the castle ruins. Previously I mentioned there can be 100 people at the summit on a busy weekend day. This is possible because these ruins offer so much space to explore.
There is the entryway where people gather. Then once through the entryway there is a large grassy area to the right that is bordered by significant ruins forming a clear perimeter. Additionally, the area straight ahead and to the left presents castle walls, archer windows and multiple rooms (without roofs). Finally, there is also a tower at the very top that has been retrofitted with a modern stairwell so that you can climb to the top for an even more expansive view of the surrounding area.
At some point I will post a picture of the plethora of ruins located at the summit but at this point that’s simply not possible due to European Union rules restricting the publication of photographs without written consent of those photographed and the crowds that always seem to be present.
Readers who are parents will be happy to know that on none of our visits have our children asked to leave. There is so much to explore and see we have always told our children that it was time to go and that we would plan on visiting again.
This hike is rated easy for adults.
This hike is rated moderate for young children due to a consistent climb over one mile as well as the edge of the road that declines steeply.
The pathway is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
There is no fee for parking.
Total Walking Time Including Photo Time At Top: 1 hour 29 minutes
Total Walking Distance: 2.50 miles
Total Elevation Gain: 488 feet
Park your car here.
Park your bicycle here.