Outstanding hiking and walking.

The administrative office for the RheinSteig has drawn up the following quality criteria, broadly based on those of the German Hiking Association with added detail in some areas.

The aim is to manage and structure the RheinSteig in accordance with the quality criteria listed below in order to create an attractive and high-quality trail that offers hikers exactly what they are looking for.

1. Path format

  • Narrow paths have priority (walkable width of less than 1 m)
  • Natural paths have priority (earthy, grassy, springy)
  • Avoid asphalt surfaces wherever possible
  • Avoid paths on and alongside roads with traffic as far as possible

2. Route

  • Variety: Avoid monotony; aim for frequent changes of landscape
  • Shape of route: curvy, zigzag, winding (keep straight sections to a minimum)
  • The aim is an attractive path, not a short one (provide signs to indicate short cuts where appropriate)

3. Landscape potential

  • Priority to be given to a high-level route in close proximity to the Rhine (where possible neither directly on the bank of the river nor too far east of the Rhine)
  • Where it is necessary to pass through a town or village, only include attractive parts (historic centres, leafy neighbourhoods, avenues, promenades)
  • Touch on particularly attractive natural landscapes
  • Pass close to natural waterways, lakes and ponds
  • Integrate natural attractions in the vicinity
  • Integrate impressive views in the vicinity
  • Link cultural sights and monuments in the vicinity directly, or provide access paths

4. Infrastructure

  • Local providers of food and drink can be linked via access paths
  • Local hotels etc. can be linked via access paths
  • Signs can be erected at bus stops, railway stations and in car parks

5. Route guidance system

  • Basic route marking: free of errors, clear, consistent
  • Marking, signs: user-friendly, clear, with direction and distance information, positioned where they can be seen
  • Network: with other major marked paths, access paths to villages and towns, integration of existing nature trails etc.
  • Rest options: benches, groups of seating, shelters
  • Information boards: for orientation, information and advertising

6. Suppliers of quality food and drink on the RheinSteig

  • Meet the German Hiking Association criteria for hiker-friendly businesses
  • Can be booked via an online reservation system
  • Share the hiking philosophy
  • Offer RheinSteig literature for purchase
  • Knowledgeable about local hiking routes
  • Recognisable from the RheinSteig logo
What hikers want
  • To enjoy the outdoors, in alternation with cultural highlights
  • Rest and relaxation in fresh air, the peace of nature, a soft surface underfoot, forests and benches
  • To be stimulated by inclines and climbing sections, views and panoramas, plenty of variety, narrow paths, rustic landscapes
  • Reliable route-finding with frequent marking and signage
  • Regional food and drink and overnight accommodation in quality establishments