Hiking & Exercising

The BERG & SPA HOTEL GABELBACH in the middle of the Thuringian Forest is the ideal starting point for nature lovers, sports enthusiasts and active visitors.

The Thuringian Forest is known for its numerous trails and paths through magnificent landscapes, forests and idyllic little towns. Whether you fancy hiking, Nordic walking, mountain biking or cycling in summer or cross-country skiing and snow hiking in winter – the excellent network of trails offers challenging routes for every level of difficulty. The "Rennsteig", probably the best-known high-altitude hiking trail, as well as more than 6,000 kilometres of signposted cycling trails lead to rewarding destinations and remarkable overlooks with panoramic views. Bathing fun for young and old is offered by the numerous reservoirs, outdoor and indoor pools in the area. The heated open-air pool in Ilmenau invites you into dive in even on cooler summer days. Boating, canoeing or fishing are just a few of the other leisure options.



Popular hiking routes around Gabelbach:

  • To shepherd's meadow (‘Hirtenwiese’), 2 km, 1 hour, difficulty level: easy
  • To ‘Bobhütte’, 6.5 km, 2 hours, difficulty level: moderate
  • Goethe trail, 8 km, 2.5 hours, difficulty level: moderate
  • Waldromantik, 9 km, 2.5 hours, difficulty level: moderate
  • Through the Schorte valley, 15 km, 5 hours, difficulty level: difficult, for advanced hikers
  • Goethewanderweg (Goethe Trail), approx. 20 km, 6-7 hours, difficulty level: moderate
  • Bobsleigh and sledding trail, 9.2 km, 2-3 hours, difficulty level: easy
  • Ilmenau nature trail, 13 km, 4 hours, difficulty level: moderate
  • Around the Kickelhahn, 10.6 km, 3 hours, difficulty level: moderate

Please do not hesitate to contact our reception team for route recommendations or hiking maps. We will be happy to assist you.


Outdoor pools and lakes in the area:

  • outdoor pool Ilmenau, Hammergrund
  • Forest Swimming Pool, Plaue
  • Outdoor pool Großbreitenbach
  • Outdoor pool Stadtilm

Spas and indoor swimming pools in the area:

  • Ilmenau indoor swimming pool (only during winter season)
  • Arnstadt sports and leisure pool



The Tennis Club 1920 e.V. Ilmenau has one of the most beautiful 5-court tennis facilities in Thuringia. The tennis courts are located only approx. 1 km from the BERG & SPA HOTEL GABELBACH, in a relaxed forest setting and not far from the pond "Ritzebühler Teich". The tennis courts are available on a rental basis, subject to request and availability. Please inform us before or during your stay about your wish to rent a tennis court. After reserving a court, please contact our hotel reception. There you will receive a key to open the entrance gate of the facility.

Court rental: € 15.00 per hour.

We kindly ask you to carry out court maintenance after use.
You can get more information at:


For mountain bikers and cyclists the thuringian forest has a lot to offer, too. Whether on the cycling & hiking trails or through the middle of the forest, anyone with a 2-wheeler will get their rewards. You can cycle along one of the paths or simply get on your bike and set off directly in front of the hotel. Of course, you also have the possibility to rent bikes from us. For more information, please contact our reception team.

Popular cycle paths from Ilmenau:
  • Ilmtal cycle path: from the Rennsteig to the river Saale
  • Gera cycle path: via Arnstadt to Erfurt
  • Rennsteig cycle path
  • Ilm-Rennsteig cycle path: link between Ilmtal cycle path and Rennsteig cycle path


Whether cross-country or downhill, skiing is also great fun in the beautiful Thuringian Forest. Around our hotel there are a lot of great cross-country skiing trails, which are perfectly prepared, tracked and groomed with the first snow. With our snow app you are perfectly prepared, please ask our reception team. You don't have the right equipment? Don't worry, you can rent it in our region.
We wish you lots of fun and happy skiing!



Am Gabelbach 1, 98693 Ilmenau

Tel: +49 (0) 36 77 / 860-0

Fax: +49 (0) 36 77 / 860-222

E-Mail: info[at]


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