Do you sometimes have a hard time deciding which hiking trail to choose, and especially which one has the quality you desire? Who wouldn't like to be sure in advance that the routes are in a good condition and adequately signposted?
Lower Saxony appreciates the increasing significance of hiking for tourism, and that hikers increasingly demand appealing, high quality routes.
In order to ensure uniform quality across Germany's hiking routes, a number of bodies (Deutscher Wanderverband [German Hiking Association], Deutsches Wanderinstitut [German Hiking Institution]) have developed a set of quality criteria. These criteria aim to create and maintain the special quality of the hiking route infrastructure and to ensure sustainable development within the landscapes they traverse.
The "German Hiking Seal" indicates walking trails with particularly user-friendly features that promise a great experience. They become quantitatively measurable on the basis of continuously updated surveys of hikers. The quality of the trail is recorded on the basis of an extensive catalogue of criteria that serve to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the route. The "
" in Goslar in the Harz Mountains has been identified recently as a premium route.
As hikers’ demands in regard to the quality of the trails have significantly increased in recent years, and as they increasingly want varied trails with scenic views in a natural environment, with reliable signage and a good infrastructure, the German Hiking Association has developed quality criteria which make the attractiveness of a trail measurable. Thus the "Qualitätsweg Wanderbares Deutschland" determines the Germany-wide standards for hiking trails. Hiking trails are marked against nine core criteria and 23 elective criteria and are thus honoured with the "Qualitätsweg Wanderbares Deutschland" distinction. In Lower Saxony, the following hiking trails have so far received this distinction:
- Ith-Hils-Wanderweg in the Weserbergland region
- Heischnuckenweg in the Lüneburger Heide
- Harzer-Hexen-Stieg in the Harz Mountains
- Karstwanderweg in the South of the Harz Mountains