September 20, 2018

Are you planning a trip to Garmisch or any of the surrounding southern Bavarian areas and looking for additional activities beyond Munich and Neuschwanstein Castle?  Mommy and Me Travels is checking out the Highline 179 supsension bridge.  You should consider adding it to your vacation.

"This is nothing Mom!"
“This is nothing Mom!”

Shortly after driving into Austria on your way from Garmisch to the Neuschwanstein Castle, you can’t help but notice a walking bridge high in the sky between two hills.  If you are like me, you start to wonder what it is and why it’s there.  Well low and behold we ended up stumbling across Highline 179 which is the largest suspension bridge of its kind.  Highline 179 forms a walkway between Fort Claudia and the Ehrenburg fortification.  It is 114,60m high, 406m long, and provides 360 degree views for your enjoyment. The bridge opened to visitors in Nov 2014 and then in Dec 2014 it was named as “Longest Tibet-style footbridge” by Guinness World Records.

It's official! Guinness World Record.
It’s official! Guinness World Record.

When driving along B179 you will have no problem spotting the bridge. Although, We did have a little difficulty trying to figure out how to access it. Learn from our mishaps and follow the signs for Burgenwelt Ehrenberg to the parking lot.  Don’t forget to pay for parking before you head up to the entrance.  From the parking area to the entrance you have to hike up a foot path for about 15 to 20 minutes.  Along the path are fun story boards, in both German and English, that make an adventure hike for kiddos and also allow for quick short stops. The path is well marked and can easily be accomplished with children. My 5 year old was able to walk it on his own and it was an easy enough hike to carry my infant.

Map highlighting the areas to see and hike to.
Map highlighting the areas to see and hike to.
Kids story that was popular when the castles were inhabited.
Kids story that was popular when the castles were inhabited.
Another kids story on the way up the hill.
Another kids story on the way up the hill.

The cost to access is the bridge is 8 euro for adults and 4 euro for children 4-14 years old.  This is the cost for crossing the bridge rounrip.  It allows for you to walk around both ruins on each side of the bridge and then hike down the way you started.  For the avid hiker, there is another path you can hike down on the other side of the bridge but it was not as clearly marked nor was it as smooth of a walk from what we could see.  We chose to re-cross the bridge (bonus) and then hike down the way we walked up.  The ruins at Fort Claudia and Ehrenburg Fortification are free.  This makes a budget friendly (and healthy) way to spend a few hours or a whole day.

View of the bridge from below. It looks way high up!
View of the bridge from below. It looks way high up!

When you reach the top you can explore around Fort Claudia before crossing the bridge to Ehrenburg fortification and hiking around it. These are 2 of the 4 structures that are part of what is known today as the “Burgenwelt (Castle World) Ehrenberg”. Both structures are ruins but interesting sights for kids to see what happens to buildings over time.  My eldest was making a game out of the different structures of trying to guess what each place was used as. He was very creative about where to be protected against the dragons. LOL.

Exploring the ruins...
Exploring the ruins…
...looking for dragons.
…looking for dragons.
Fort Claudia from the other side of the bridge.
Fort Claudia from the other side of the bridge.

The highlight of the trip is of course crossing Highline 179 bridge. The bridge is secure but does sway a little on a windy days.  My son thought it was the neatest thing being able to “walk across the sky”.  The day we went it was not too crowded but it was windy.  The lack of crowds made accessing the bridge easy.  We were able to get great pictures with very little wait time for a location.  The wind might have kept the faint at heart away.  What about you, Are you adventurous enough to try it out?

Pleasant welcome to the hike. You can pay once you go through the arches for vehicles in the gift shop doors on your right.
Pleasant welcome to the hike. You can pay once you go through the arches for vehicles in the gift shop doors on your right.
Medieval babysitting.
Medieval babysitting.
The trail quality varied from semi-maintained, as shown, to some weathered areas in steeper areas.
The trail quality varied from semi-maintained, as shown, to some weathered areas in steeper areas.
View of the bridge and B179 below.from the Fort Claudia side.
View of the bridge and B179 below.from the Fort Claudia side.
Mommy and the boys before crossing.
Mommy and the boys before crossing.