Zurich – Stuttgart by Bicycle

View on Engen

This trip has been on my bucket list for quite a while and in May 2021 we finally made it. We made around 300 km in 3 days, starting in Zurich (CH), crossing the Swiss-German border in Thayngen and then heading North on the “Hohenzollernradweg” via the “Schönbuch Forest” to Stuttgart.

Day 1:
We started in Zurich around midday and used the amazing Swiss bicycle trails in order to get to Germany via Bülach – Schaffhausen – Thayngen to Engen where we stayed for the night. The Swiss trails are very well marked and you basically can’t get lost. This situation changed a little bit when we entered Germany.

Day 2:
On day 2 we headed further North to Tuttlingen where we entered the Hohenzollern-Radweg that would lead us close to Stuttgart. Generally, the trail signs were ok, but in various cases we missed them since they were not placed at very visible spots. Also – while the Swiss signs are red, the German ones are on white background, making them less visible.

The trail is pretty hilly on this section with the highest points on around 1000 meter altitude. This is caused by the outskirts of the Swabian Alps which you need to climb. We ended the day in Hechingen after we saw the impressive Hohenzollern Castle from a distance.

Day 3:
The last part leads you through the “Schönbuch Forest” which was really an amazing experience, although the weather was quite bad. If you want to omit the altitude meters through the Schönbuch, you can take from Tübingen the Neckar Radweg which goes along the Neckar River with almost zero altitude. But I recommend to take the route through the Schönbuch and even stop for some hikes, in case you have time.

Conclusion:
This trip was a great choice for spring time. Not too many altitude meters for untrained bikers like us, but a lot of beautiful countryside along the way. We had bad luck with the weather – but as long as the temperatures don’t fall too much, wet clothes are not the issue. I recommend to download the GPS file for the Hohenzollern Trail here since it will protect you from some frustration. There are enough places to stay for the night – or you take some of the huts along the trail for cowboy camping.

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