One month into our new overseas adventure, we’ve had a little time to explore the area and go on a few dog-friendly hikes in Germany. Today, I’m sharing our hike up Fortress Hohenurach! FYI: The German word for Fortress is Festung.
Dog-Friendly Hikes In Germany: Location of Fortress Hohenurach
The Fortress Hohenurach is an impressive ruin located in 72574 Bad Urach, Germany. That’s in the Swabian Alb, a low mountain range in southwest Germany. That said, it’s about 45 minutes away from our new home in the general Stuttgart area.
Parking at the bottom of the mountain is free but limited, so my advice is to show up before 11 am when it gets busy! It’s open 24/7/365. I didn’t see any poop bag stations in that parking lot, so make sure to bring your own poop bags!
However, there was an (overflowing) trash can, and I noticed one more 5 minutes into our walk up the mountain. Thankfully Wally pooped right away, as in 2 minutes after he hopped out of the car, so I was able to throw out his used poop bag fairly quickly.
There were no trash cans up at the Fortress, and there are also no bathrooms since it’s a ruin. Something to keep in mind!
The hike up the fortress is only about 2.2km (1.3mi) long for a roundtrip of just shy of 4.5km (2.6mi). That’s obviously not super long, BUT it’s steep, so be prepared for that. It took us 45 minutes one way at a medium speed. The view from the top is definitely worth the climb, and it’s a great workout for humans and dogs alike.
History of The Fortress Hohenurach
The construction of the fortress first began in 1025 but it wasn’t finished until 1428. Until its demolition in 1765, it served mainly as state prison for more or less famous prisoners.
It’s a bummer that all that’s left are ruins, but at the same time it’s fun to imagine life there throughout history! I kept thinking about how much of a pain it must have been to get produce and any goods up that mountain and into the fortress. I mean, that climb up there is no joke. Even horse-drawn carts and carriages must have struggled back then.
Dog-Friendly Hikes in Germany: Wally’s Dog Hiking Gear
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Wally wore all of my favorite dog hiking gear:
- One Tigris dog backpack. It provides an increased workout and gives him a job. I can also fit a water bottle into each side pocket AND my jacket through its handle, ha! That really came in handy because I got warm on the hike up there.
- Mighty Paw’s Sport Collar 2.0. It’s neoprene-padded, durable and adjustable.
- Mighty Paw’s Dual Handle Bungee Leash. It’s 4ft (46″) long, extends to 5.5ft (68″) when the bungee is fully stretched, and has an additional built-in traffic handle closest to Wally’s head. That’s very convenient when I need Wally to stay right by my side, for example when we’re passing other dogs.
A word about dog backpacks in general – there are quite a few different brands that make dog backpacks. Besides One Tigris, I also recommend Ruffwear. Wally has their Commuter backpack, and my previous pups had their Approach Pack.
Outward Hound makes dog backpacks as well at a much lower price. However, their quality is definitely inferior to Ruffwear and One Tigris. I used to have one of their DayPaks for my Boxer pups, but it only lasted a few months.
My Human Footwear
By the way, my own hiking gear consisted of a pair of Merrell’s hiking shoes, the Siren Edge 3 for $99 to be exact. You definitely need a good pair of hiking shoes to walk up that trail. It’s a mix of gravel, forest soil and some moss, all of which combined can be slippery.
Features of the Merrell Siren Edge 3 Hiking Shoe:
- Textile and Synthetic
- Rubber sole
- Shaft measures approximately low-top from arch
- Breathable – Air can flow in and out for ventilation.
- Moisture Wicking – As you begin to sweat, it is removed efficiently and effectively.
- Toe Protection – The forefoot is protected from bumps and knocks by thicker material.
- Heel Support – The heel is held in a firm and secure position to prevent injuries from occurring.
- Hyperlock Heel Counter – Personalised mould to your heel for increased comfort.
Dog-Friendly Hikes in Germany: Fortress Hohenurach in the Southwest Region – Bottom Line
We’re excited to put a checkmark behind our first of many dog-friendly hikes in Germany up Fortress Hohenurach! Stay tuned to learn more about our overseas adventures; I’ll publish them here on the blog as we experience them.
My suggestion is to wear proper hiking shoes for good traction when you’re walking up this type of gravely terrain. If your pup wears a backpack, you can fill it with water bottles for your pup and yourself, you’ll need them, ha! Remember that it’s a short but VERY steep hike, so take your time walking up there or you’ll run out of energy halfway up the mountain.
Spoiler alert: There’s a nearby waterfall about a mile away that’s beautiful as well, and we’ll be venturing there soon.
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