Hiking From Starnberg To Munich (And Shorter Options)
Updated: Feb 1
This week I would like to present the longest tour posted so far in my "The Circle" series. But actually, just in case hiking thirty kilometres in one go is not right up your alley I should probably mention that there are multiple options to cut the hike up in more manageable pieces. Actually, there are perfect options available for shortcuts, every ten kilometres. So with my more relaxed readers in mind, I would like to present my hike from Starnberg to Munich, divided into three sections.
Leg One: Starnberg to Gauting
The first section of our tour originates directly at the Starnberg Lake's shore. We are brought here in a very comfortable manner by the suburban train, as its station is located directly next to the lake. If the weather is favourable, we can take a moment to admire the alpine panorama presenting itself in the south. Then we turn east and follow the pedestrian paths along the lakes shore. At least for a short while, because soon the way turns from the coast, giving precedent to boathouses and yacht clubs. After passing the Strandbad Starnberg, we cross the Nepomukbrücke. Here, on the bridge across a clubs basin, is also the last chance for us to look at the Starnberg lake. Because immediately after we leave the shore behind and start our short walk through the Village Percha. We follow a relatively busy street for a short while until we get to an underpass beneath the Highway.
There is still a short section to complete on usually roads after reaching the other side, but already we have the Leutstettener Moos on our left. But soon we leave the village behind us and continue on a gravel road until we reach the very edge of the moor. The path changes in character, as it is now a mix of gravel roads, on the more solid parts and wooden piers over the soft moory sections. Soon we reach a fork between two paths, choosing the smaller one of the lot. This very narrow, sometimes muddy track will lead us in many twists and turns directly along the edge of the moor. Soon we fully step out the trees' shadow, now hiking under open skies toward the village of Leutstetten. But before we reach it, there is actually a short chance for some sightseeing. To our right, just up a small hill, we passing the Villa Rustica, the ruins of an ancient roman house. If you are on the road with children, it sure would be an excellent opportunity to take a short break and look at the ruins.
As we enter into Leutstetten, we also have a chance to walk past some pastures with horses and soon turn left, hiking down the main road until we reach the Schlossgaststätte Leutstetten. If we are done with Covid one day, and if you only intend to complete the first leg anyways, here would be for sure an excellent opportunity for a break and a meal. No matter, if we stop here, we have to get past this location. Our path is situated directly behind the restaurant, and we follow it uphill until we reach a viewpoint on a hill. From here we can see Lake Starnberg, as well as the Alps in the distance. A shot up and downhill later, we reach the banks of the river Würm, right at a bridge. We walk along the river for quite a while, always following it downstream. If you are interested, there would be the possibility to climb up the bank, toward the so-called Schlossberg. The path up and along the high bank is less frequented, and the ascent adds to the athletic challenge. But if you want to keep it more relaxed, and just follow the river below, there is nothing wrong with that. Even if you had chosen the climb, it is soon time to descend again, as on this route we get to a marvellous break spot, directly along the river.
And just a short hike later we would reach the Reismühle. On the bridge beneath the mill, we can take a nice picture of the river. This is also the spot to decide whether to cut the tour short. In case you would like to, cross the Würm to its western side and continue on a short hike until you reach the Gauting Trainstation. And if you would like to continue, here is the start of the second part.
Leg Two: Gauting to Fürstenried
From the Reismühle we walk a short while along a public football field until we reach a small gravel road, leading us up the high bank of the Würm river. We follow the gravel road straight through the forest, and over a field until we reach the town of Buchendorf. Despite the village being absolutely tiny, there are a few things to discover here. Right after entering the hamlet, we can spot an old water tower, now transformed into a house, that looks straight out of a fairy tale. Also, as we leave the city, we hike past the Keltenschanze. This is a leftover of a Celtic settlement, and ties nicely in, with the roman house we have visited on the first leg. Also, from the top, of its embankment we have a nice view over the surrounding area.
The route we follow from here on out is mainly an endurance exercise. We are walking on gravel roads that are as straight as they had been drawn with a ruler. And we are walking through the ever similar-looking forest. Only a few things bring a change to the monotony, for example when we cross over an avenue with giant, old trees on either side. Or when we discover, somewhat later, an open meadow with some benches in the sun inviting us for a break.
Once we reach a tiny lake, the Achterlacke, we have actually already reached the end of our second leg. We could continue straight south here and soon arrive at the Fürstenried West Subway station if we wanted. Or we turn east and continue on the third leg of our tour.
Leg Three: Fürstenried to Wettersteinplatz
Here we will follow another straight and wide road through the forest. That is until we use another underpass, to cross beneath another highway. Here we actually have to walk on the road for a short time. Car traffic is almost non-existent here; however, you should pay attention during the summer as this is a popular road cycling route.
After leaving the underpass, we enter through a game fence into the Wildpark Forstenried. Here, in these fenced of, former hunting area, you will be with some luck able to spot wild pigs and deer roaming around. It is now noticeable how close we are to the city, as the number of hikers increases drastically. However, we continue on some less used paths, until we reach the town of Pullach on the other side of the forest. Here we have to hike, quite a while, along the roads of the village. Soon we have a third underpass, this time beneath the train tracks and shortly afterwards enter into the town Großhesselohe. Here we finally reach the river Isar's high bank and use the Großhesselohe Bridge to cross to the rivers eastern shore. We continue on the high bank, passing the Beergarden Menterschwaige - another excellent break spot. Especially if we had hiked the full distance from Starnberg, we would have the best chance here to take a break and reward ourselves for the massive accomplishment. That is of course, if you plan to hike this tour during the summer, and if Covid-restrictions are somewhat lifted then.
Afterwards, it is only a short and easy hike until we reach the Wettersteinplatz, where we finally can call it a day and bask in the glory of our achievements.