On an expedition to explore the storks. This cycle tour takes you along the Altmühl past many nests in the Franconian Lake District and lets you learn more about the white stork. Let's go!
A bike tour for explorers, families and nature lovers.
Arrive relaxed and use rental bikes from the local rental companies. The capacity for taking bicycles on trains is limited and taking your own bike on the train cannot be guaranteed, depending on the capacity.
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.
There are 186 bicycle parking spaces in the immediate vicinity of the station.
Take a look at the city map in one of the information showcases on the right at the station forecourt. This way you can familiarise yourself with the route of the first stage through the old town centre, which is well worth seeing.
From Gunzenhausen station, the route first leads to Bahnhofstraße. Keep to the left there.
At the second set of traffic lights, the path leads across Gerberstraße to the right and then in bends directly across the town hall square and market square.
Then turn left onto the promenade and towards the first stork's nest of the tour.
If you did not come with your own bike, you have the option of renting one in town. Then it is recommended to walk the good kilometre to the first stork's nest.
From there it is only 200 metres to the bicycle rental Zweirad-Center Gruber on Weißenburger Straße.
By the way, at the cycle path signpost at the town hall you have the opportunity to get an overview of the entire route of the cycle path.
Radsport Gruber rents out bicycles, e-bikes, rickshaws and accessories directly at the Altmühlsee in Seestraße - whether for a sporting ambition or for a leisurely outing.
You drive back a bit, via the short path Zur Altmühl you reach the promenade.
The old malthouse stands on the promenade above the Altmühl. The first stork nest in Gunzenhausen is perched high on the chimney of the former malthouse. An information board explains details of the life of Master Adebar. With a bit of luck, you can even take a look inside the stork's nest. A webcam transmits its images directly to the nearby restaurant "Zum Storchennest".
From the Storchenhorst on the former malt house, follow the "Meister Radelbar" cycle path in a southerly direction until you leave Gunzenhausen.
At the roundabout, go straight ahead towards Weißenburg and after about 700 metres turn left onto the cycle path to Oberasbach.
There you turn right at a small lake. The road to Oberasbach goes up about 50 metres, but is relatively straight ahead. In Oberasbach, turn right towards Unterasbach until you reach the church of St. Michael.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. Michael stands as a landmark exposed above the village of Unterasbach on a hill on the Michelsbuck. From here there is a wide view over the valley of the Altmühl.
A legend explains the unusual location of the church, which is remote from the village. Supposedly, the church was to be built in the village at that time. But what was built during the day always appeared on the heights overnight. At God's beckoning, the church was finally built at the top, so the legend goes.
Well, how many storks have you seen circling so far? Keep your eyes peeled, because while you are going downhill, you will have a wonderful view of the Franconian Lake District.
At the church of St. Michael, follow the signs in an easterly direction. From Dornhausen you will be drawn south like storks at the end of summer.
The route continues through open fields to Gundelsheim. There, not only the unusual art nouveau church of St. Bartholomew invites you to take a short break. The storks on the roof of a private house at the Theilenhofen turn-off are also worth a detour.
Continue on the local connection road to Alesheim. From Alesheim, follow the "Meister Radelbar" cycle path.
On well gravelled field paths through the scenic, wide plain of the Altmühl, you head towards Trommetsheim.
Shortly before the village, you will meet up with the local connecting road again and follow it into the village. In the centre of the village next to the Raiffeisen bank, the Trommetsheim storks are waiting for you on the chimney of the former dairy.
Trommetsheim has been home to storks for a long time. Their nest in the centre of the village has a long tradition. For decades, the former dairy chimney has been adorned with a stork host. And so the birds are certainly grateful to the citizens of the village who were able to prevent the threatened demolition of the chimney years ago and preserve the long-term nesting site.
If you can tear yourself away from the stork eyrie in Trommetsheim, look for the sign from the "Meister Radelbar" cycle path (MR3), which you want to follow. Continue to the right in the direction of the church square.
Now the path leads you about 1 km out of Trommetsheim and for a good six kilometres on field paths and partly on the Tauber-Altmühl cycle path to Windsfeld.
Here the Meister Radelbar cycle path crosses the Altmühl with the Roman road, then (only after) about 700 m on the Tauber-Altmühl cycle path, but this does not end in Windsfeld, instead we follow it to Gunzenhausen.
Once in Windsfeld, ride straight into the village to pay a little visit to the eyrie on the roof of the "Schwarzer Adler" restaurant.
Shortly after the church, turn left and head out of the village again.
After a few 100 metres, cross the state road and ride parallel to the railway tracks to Aha, partly on the Tauber-Altmühl cycle path again. Once there, head for the Margrave's Church.
The Margrave Church of the Holy Cross in Aha is a hall church built in 1721 by Carl Friedrich von Zocha according to plans by Gabriel de Gabrieli in the so-called Margrave style. The three-storey church tower by Johann David Steingruber is crowned by a domed helmet with a spire. Its basement is the only remnant of the previous building.
Have you discovered it yet? Right next door on the vicarage is another stork's nest. For you, the route finally turns left after the church and takes you along the Tauber-Altmühl cycle path back to Gunzenhausen and the starting point.
Have you actually counted? How many storks did you meet today on your tour of the Franconian Lake District and how many nests did you see?