A perfect Nature activity to pair with a visit to Burg Eltz or the Mosel Valley.
Have you been thinking of braving a walk over the 360 meter long and 100 meter high Geierlay bridge in Germany? It’s like an art installation merging cutting edge engineering and Nature in the middle of nowhere and definitely worth a visit.
Geierlay Bridge Facts:
- 360 meters long, 85 cm wide
- 100 meters high over Geierlay Schleife gorge
- 2nd longest suspension bridge in Germany
- Built in 2015
- You can walk in both directions.
- Winter charity festival on 2nd Advent weekend with 7,000 lights, drinks, food
- Dozens of Hiking Trails in Area
- One of the most beautiful suspension bridges in the world
The Geierlay bridge truly is impressive from all angles. It’s possible to walk across it in both directions, either from the village of Mörsdorf or Sosberg. As a bonus, there is a wooded gentle hiking trail between the two sides that make for a great easy hike. (I’ve created a GPS map for you below.)
The problem is that it’s not exactly a hidden gem.
Without planning you might drive all the way there and end up with nowhere to park and therefore have to turn around without seeing it.
One of the things I love most about living here near the Hunsrueck low mountain range is the solitude and freedom to go wherever I want without crowds. That’s why I waited until a snowy winter December day to visit with my spirited Husky named Shadow. In summer there can be 2 hour long lines according to my friend Jana who was disappointed to stay the least.
Don’t risk a wasted drive and check out my detailed parking guide below on the best times to go, how to get good photos and cool places to stay nearby (like in a castle!).
Geierlay Bridge Travel Tips:
- If you don’t like crowds you should not go on a summer weekend.
- If you have to go in summer, go before 9am or after 6pm.
- You’ll have to walk about 2 miles to get to the bridge and back as the closest parking is located about 1 mile away.
- If using a wheelchair and strollers, you should approach from the Sosberg parking side.
- Parking is a challenge in high season.
- Either way, do NOT park on the street as you’ll likely get fined. Parking fees are how they monetize the tour as walking across the bridge is completely free.
Watch a video of my quick webstories to see what it’s like crossing the Geierlay bridge with a husky.
TL;DR: Soak in the impressive Geierlay bridge scenery and mild thrills with this travel and hiking trail guide. It’s open year round, dog friendly and free to cross. The only difficult part is parking in the summer.
Read until the end where you’ll find a linked google maps parking guide with all the prices and GPS locations to make it easy to find parking.
Geierlay Bridge Loop Hiking Guide
**Yes, you’ve got to hike there, but there are easy options.
Location: Between Mörsdorf & Sosberg, Hunsreuck, Germany, About 1.5 hours from Frankfurt
Distance: 4.04 miles, 6.5 km Out and Back
Duration: Approx. 3 hours, summer add time for lines.
Hike In: From Mörsdorf: 30 min, From Sosberg: 25 min (more stroller friendly)
Nearby Points of Interest: Burg Eltz (40 min), Cochem (25 min)
Where to Stay: Best Eco-Friendly Luxury – Schloss Lieser, Best Budget Hotel – Hotel Weinhaus Stettler, Best for Families – BurgHotel Auf Schonburg
Affiliate quote: This post links to products and services I love, which I may make a small commission from, at no extra cost to you. If you click and buy through these links, this is how I can continue to make Sustainable Outdoor Travel Guides!!
Hiking the Kirner Dolomiten : Hate lines? Try the nearby Kirner Dolomiten hike and history tour with an impressive array of ruins, rocks, and an English history free audio app with no lines.
Calmont Klettersteig Travel Guide: Want more action? Try the Calmont Klettersteig adventure hike on the steepest vineyard in Europe with ladders and a mini ferrata.
Hängeseilbrücke Geierlay (Geierlay bridge) – Is it worth it?
Why Go to Geierlay?
Why walk across Germany’s longest suspension bridge? It’s definitely an easy hike to get to a unique experience modeled after Nepalese bridges. It’s got a modern mountain feeling in a rustic, verdant forest.
It’s simply a beautiful mix of Nature and engineering. Beauty was in the mind of the designers and engineers. It’s definitely cool for photographers wanting to catch fog rising over dramatic lines and pops of human color.
Winter might possibly be the best time to visit the Geierlay Suspension bridge. During an annual charity festival, it’s lit up with over 7,000 led lights and hosts a party with food, drinks and winter walks. The “Geierlights festival” is typically held on the third advent weekend but check their website for up to date information on this illuminating and unique outdoor winter festival.
Geierlay Suspension Rope Bridge
Disclaimer: The bridge itself is very safe, but if you have vertigo like me it can induce some symptoms. It is 360 meters long and swings just a little bit. In winter with snow it is a bit slippery so just go slow and keep a hand on the railing. It’s actually quite beautiful with snow cover. I wish I had microspikes on my boots when my husky was pulling on the lead and almost making me fall on my butt.
Warning: Summer weekends can feel crowded. Go before 10 am or after 6 pm to avoid the crowds.
Parking Lots : How to Get There – Geierlay Bridge
How long is the hike to the bridge from parking?
It depends 😉 There are several approaches to the bridge. You can come from the Sosberg side or the Mörsdorf side of the bridge. If you want to go to the visitors center or go to a cafe, notice that it is located on the Mörsdorf side. Sosberg is a very quiet small village with little amenities.
There is a hiking trail that descends into the gorge so you can hike in between them also.
Getting There by Car
Do not try to park on the street. There is no charge to walk across the bridge, so they use parking fees to keep the trails maintained. The timing also limits people from staying too long and overcrowding the area. In winter there is no problem with crowds.
List of Parking Areas from Sosberg Side
Most Stroller Friendly:
P1: Sosberg Wanderer parkplatz. .98 mile or 1.6km, 25 min on flat gravel road or wide path. 2 electric car charging stations and bathrooms appear under construction.
Best for Campers
Sosberg Wohnmobil parkplatz: You can park your RV or camper here for a maximum of 12 hours. 1.15 miles on flat road or path.
Cost of Geierlay Bridge Parking
4 Hours : 4 euros
6 Hours : 5 euros
8 Hours : 6 euros
12 Hours : 10 euros – RV maximum
Download Mobilet app or coins to pay.
List of Parking Areas from Mörsdorf Info Center Side
List of Parking Areas from Morsdorf Side
Download Mobilet app or bring coins to pay.
P1 : Central Parking lot INFOCENTER. Park here if you want to be near the visitors center. It is 1.3 miles or 2.1 km to walk to the bridge from here on a mix of dirt road and hiking paths. First 4 hours are 8 euros. Each additional 15 minutes are 1 euro.
Parkplatz P2 Windorf: Park here and walk 1.6 miles or 2.6 km to get to the bridge on a mix of road and hiking paths. For RV and campers also with electric hookups. RV costs 18 euros for 24 hours.
P3 Sportplatz: Park here and walk 1.6 miles or 2.6 km to get to the bridge on a mix of road and hiking paths. First 4 hours are 6 euros. Each additional hour is 2 euros.
P4 Free Parking : Park here for free and have a nice hike to the bridge. 2.2 miles or 3.5 km.
Getting there by Bus or Train Transit
It’s not ideal with many connections. It’s not worth it without a car.
Frankfurt to Geierlay : 1.5 hours
The closest airport in Germany is the Frankfurt international airport. From there it’s about 1:30 – 2:15 hour drive to get to the trailhead. Frankfurt Hahn airport and Luxembourg airport are also nearby.
When You Can Walk to Geierlay – It’s Open Year Round
Best time to Hike to Geierlay is After a Fresh Snowfall
No crowds, easy parking. That’s December – April in Geierlay on weekdays. I spent about 4 hours there in December on a weekday and I saw about 15 people total.
The bridge only closes if there is a significant act of God-like weather event. It is modeled after nepalese suspension bridges and wind-safe up to 200 km/hour and a fresh snowfall makes it even more beautiful.
I would generally avoid August if at all possible. Most kids are off school for only 6 weeks in Germany and France. While districts try to stagger vacation, the month of August is the most common time for family vacations and can be challenging with crowds.
If you are on summer vacation and want to visit, I would wake up early and be there before 10 am or go after 6 pm.
The autumn colors also provide a stunning view and it’s typically between mid October and late November for dramatic colors.
This part of Germany is located in the Hunsrueck low mountains and experiencing typical German weather with the exception of frequent hoarfrosts. This is a foggy but icy weather event that makes things really beautiful, but slippery. Think of frozen spider webs with crystals. Bring shoes with good traction and something to change into to avoid mud in your car.
In December – June it will likely be pretty muddy on the trails and in summer it will be warm and temperate.
Bored in the office? Watch the webcam pointed at the Geierlay Hängebrücke and see how many people wuss out and how many people cross.
Geierlay Brücke Loop Hike Report : Hunsrück National Park
Geierlay Bridge Loop Hike from Sosberg
I wanted to approach the bridge for the best photo spots and Sosberg is definitely the way to go. It also is pretty much paved or a solid dirt path the entire way from parking so would be best for strollers or wheelchairs. The best views are from the Geierlay hike that goes under the Sosberg side of the bridge on the way to the Mörsdorf approach.
To experience the visitor center, you’ll want to approach from the Mörsdorf side and its path is smooth except the last 100 meters.
Most people will walk to the bridge, walk over it and return back the way they came but this loop lets you enjoy the entire Geierlay experience and the hike is beautiful. My favorite place was from a hilltop to the east of the bridge to get a side view of the impressive bridge engineering.
- Distance: 4.51 miles, 7.25 km Loop
- Elevation: 575 ft up/down
- Duration: Approx. 2 hours, with lots of photo stops
- Difficulty: Easy
- GPS: Hiking App with Free zone
Start/end point: Paid Parking Sosberg P1
Kid-friendly: yes, 2+. Small children will likely need more time to walk.
Stroller-friendly: No. But you can easily go to the bridge with a stroller and leave it on the side and walk across holding hands or carrying a child and return back the way you came.
Fees: Yes, parking is paid. 4 hours is 4 euros. No hiking pass needed.
More Great Hikes Around Hängebrücke Geierlay
Check out this Komoot Collection of more great hikes around the Soonwald national park in Germany.
For you multi-day hikers, the Romantic Rhine Castle to Castle Hotel Hike is just a 30 min drive away and offers a unique experience of backpacking between renovated castle hotels.
Geierlay Bridge Loop Hike Map
How to use this map: Use your computer mouse or fingers to zoom in and out. Click on the icons to get more information. Click the arrow on the top left corner for the written index. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your google maps account. To view the saved map on your smartphone or PC, open google maps, click the menu button, and go to “your places”/ “maps.”
Geierlay Travel Trail Guide
A perfect day trip combined with Burg Eltz Castle
With a soaring suspension bridge and a woodland trail this area is quite beautiful and popular. Its location close to Burg Eltz makes it a great companion activity.
Some small children might be able to tolerate the incline, but most will likely need to be carried at least part of the way in a hiking child carrier like this trusty Osprey kid pack.
Also, if you’re the kind of hiker that wants absolute solitude then this hike is not for you. It is popular with hikers and walkers and everyone in between.
Where to Stay to Walk Across Geierlay Suspension Bridge
Most people will be staying in the Mosel river valley as it’s filled with adorable B&bs, guesthouses and hotels with plenty of restaurants and wineries to explore.
Hotels Near Geierlay Bridge Loop Hike
Check out the links here from Booking – I always use them for my city and multi-day hikes because they are trustworthy and helpful to keep organized.
Best Accommodation – Stay in A Castle!
The fairy-tale like BurgHotel Auf Schonburg will make this a memorable German experience for you and the kids or your loved ones. A four course dinner, breakfast, garden tours and a tour of the tower with all kinds of fun surprises are included.
Best Castle Hotel Spa Luxury
Stay at Schloss Lieser and have the best stay at an exceptional spa castle hotel on the Mosel river right in the middle of wine country.
Hotel Weinhaus Stettler is a great value for the money with an extensive and hearty breakfast and comfortable rooms that are easy to access from the highway.
Super Budget: Car Mattress
Summer can be challenging to get accommodations if you don’t plan early! If you’re out of luck finding a room, try getting a mattress for the back of your SUV as it’s totally legal to sleep one night in your car in a legal parking spot in Germany.
Photography Tips for Geierlay
Oriented north-south, this bridge is perfect for blue hour, sunrise and sunset photography. Winter and fall colors can be quite amazing. I prefer the Sosberg side for photography as you can easily hike under it and get some very cool shots. It simply less crowded as well.
The real key is get there before the crowds or go off-season as it’s quite crowded on summer weekends. Use the photo pill app to determine your light and weather.
5 Best Things to do Near Geierlay Germany Beyond Nature
Burg Eltz is one of Germany’s most famous fairytale castles and on this small group tour you can learn about the history, architecture and more and have a delicious dinner on the Romantic Rhine River included.
The ancient Roman city of Trier is about 1.5 hours away and you can take a private cocktail making class with a professional bartender. Go out and explore the gorgeous Roman ruins in this famous city on the northern border of the Roman empire.
It’s always memories that count. Get a Geierlay bridge photo that is truly unique.
Goddess Lens Photography is a backpacking, hiking, Nature Loving woman’s dream team for doing legacy-worthy photos of her in wondrous places like the Alps, Mediterranean, Morocco and more in Europe.
The Romantic Rhine River is 40 min drive away and not to be missed. There are over 40 castles or castle ruins located in this UNESCO world heritage site.
Discover “the second Rome” in this unforgettable journey, visiting Germany’s oldest town.
What to Bring to Geierlay Hangbrug & Recommend Travel Resources
It really doesn’t take much to do this hike other than a healthy appetite for views. The hiking paths can get muddy in winter so I would bring an extra change of shoes not to get your car dirty.
The official website is www.geierlay.de and you can find times for information center opening, special festivals or events occurring.
FAQ About Geierlay Bridge – 2023
When is the Geierlay Hängeseilbrücke Open?
It is open year round and does not close unless there is a significant weather event.
Is there a Christmas Market?
Yes, and it’s absolutely magical with 7,000 led lights and all proceeds going to charity.
How much time do you need for the Geierlay Bridge hike?
3-4 hours is plenty of time to take photos.
How long is Geierlay hike?
There are multiple options but you’ll need at least 2 hours to explore it if moving fast. In summer the time needed will be considerably more if you go on a weekend. I’ve heard time of 2 hours or more just waiting to get onto the bridge in the high season.
With 💞, Crave the Planet
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