A family-friendly lake perfect for people who want a break from the city
Are you interested in getting out of the city and into a beautiful park designed for walkers, cyclists, and casual beachgoers? Look no further than Brombachsee! There are a myriad of activities to choose from, ranging from completely stationery activities to something that will allow you to work up a sweat and tire out your children. Enjoy a day or just a morning in this beautiful piece of paradise just thirty minutes from Nuremberg.
As our first official event together with English Stammtisch Nuremberg, English Post organized a trip to Brombachsee! The event promised a lovely hike and chill around the lake as well as a chance to meet and engage with other English speakers! If you were able to join us, excellent! It was wonderful to meet you! If you weren’t able to join us, join me now as I recount our journey and other fun excursions around Brombachsee.
We start our journey at Nuremberg Hauptbahnhof, taking a train in the direction of Munich. Thirty-two minutes and an ice-breaking conversation later, we arrive at a small station that was recently flooded, or so it seems from the pallets we had to walk on in order to get out of the tunnel below the train tracks, Pleinfeld Bahnhof.
As we exit into the fresh air of the village of Pleinfeld, population only a little more than 7,000, we start our walking journey through the quaint neighborhood. Up a slight slope and a bit to the left, we continue our journey through a wooded area abounding with cyclists and other walkers set to go see Brombachsee for themselves. Some small families have taken the opportunity to find fresh herbs off the trail while serious cyclists are zooming past our group ringing their bells to signal that they will be passing shortly.
2.7 kilometers from the station, we arrive at the southeast corner of Großer Brombachsee. It is equipped with a small boat ramp and a beautiful view of the ferris wheel across the water. We spot boats and windsurfers, people on bikes and people out for a Sunday stroll, all enjoying the glorious weather on this beautiful afternoon. To toast our journey, and to assist in forgetting how far we are about to walk, we each have a glass of prosecco, salute Mother Nature and thank her for our most fortunate weather.
Taking a turn to the left and choosing to go in a counter-clockwise direction, we start our journey. Our first stop is at Ramsberg beach, in order to quench our thirst, where we find “Ristorante,” written in Italian, even though we are in Bavaria, as well as a biergarten, a kiosk and a waffle cart. Scanning the area, we see cyclists trying to make their way through the crowd so they can continue around the lake, a group playing on a beach volleyball court, a dozen or so families enjoying picnics in the sunshine and lots of kids and adults alike swimming in the water.
Continuing on, not far this time, we come across another spot to sit and order another beer. In fact, as we walk, there is no shortage of beach stops with kiosks allowing walkers and cyclists to stop for food and drink along the way. The furthest distance between stops was a short thirty minute walk through a beautiful forest on a dirt and gravel path, which was, quite frankly, a nice change from the paved road on our already sore feet. It is perfectly accessible to strollers and wheelchairs, walkers and bikers.
We round a corner and see a pier full of yachts and a floating village at Brombachsee. There are a total of 19 floating homes, each equipped with two queen beds, a kitchen, a living room, and a bathroom. We wave at the holiday goers sitting on their floating water terraces.
Grafenmühle is next up. It is a nature preserve with signs identifying interesting birds and wildlife. We were not allowed inside, as it is a breeding ground and a nice shelter for the wildlife, so we continue to walk, admiring the landscape and waving hello to all of the lovely families riding around on rickshaw bicycles and electric bicycles.
After crossing two nature bridges, we came across an area for food and drink. We decide to take a break and sit on a circle of stones beneath a tree with enough stones for us all to sit. English Stammtisch meets King Arthur’s round table! Supplying ourselves with french fries, sandwiches, and beer and we mingle for thirty minutes as the sky turns grey and the rain gives us a nice refreshing cool down.
Once our quick snack has been consumed, we start walking again and find a glorious area full of activities, people, and dogs. There is a location that allows people to rent bicycles and boats: tandems, electric bikes, and 2-4 person rickshaw type bicycles with small baskets on the front for toddlers or for storage of bags, stand up paddle boards, pedal boats, and canoes. The prices are not unreasonable and we all vow to come back again to try them out. Even nicer, there are several locations around the reservoir to rent them. The only thing is, you have to return them to the same location you got them from, which is not a bad deal seeing as there is plenty of parking just out of view and behind the buildings housing bathrooms and lifeguards. If you look further down the path, you see multiple beach volleyball courts, lots of grass and picnic tables, a lovely wooden playground with lots of things to climb on and swing from, and more people swimming in the lake.
A few kilometers later and we reach the beach with the ferris wheel. We walk through the sand, glad to take off our shoes, and it is soft and warm. The weather is quite windy, perfect for wind and kite surfing, which we see plenty of people doing. There is a comfortable grassy area behind the beach where groups are lounging and enjoying their picnics. Just beyond a set of trees is a kiosk that sells food and drinks which also has an outdoor dining area. We relax in the grass, a few people play tennis over the beach volleyball net, others sit on benches and talk to their families, a bungee trampoline seems to be all the rage, and children run around and hurl themselves into the water the first chance they get, all while the ferris wheel takes up the occasional passenger and plays a variety of music from ABBA to Pharrell Williams.
Our walk is another 20 minutes to get back to where we started at the southeast corner and we speed up as much as we can as we walk back through the beautiful, colorful houses so that we don’t miss our train. We arrive in time to hop on board and relax on our way back to Nuremberg.
The total walking time for us, a group of slow walkers with a tendency to stop and get beer at as many of the locations as we can and take lots of pictures and eat snacks, was about five and a half hours. It was a path that was 17.5 kilometers around Großer Brombachsee and, adding in the walking to and from the train station in Pleinfeld, the total was around 22 kilometers. It is long and flat so it is good for a hiker who has the endurance to walk a long way and it is not technical at all. There is a longer path around the entire reservoir that would be a total of 32.2 kilometers around Großer Brombachsee, Kleiner Brombachsee, and Igelsbachsee, but we took the shortest route.
If you decide that walking the route around Großer Brombachsee isn’t your cup of tea, consider taking the ferry. A round trip tour is about 90 minutes and it stops at five different locations around the reservoir at a fairly reasonable price of 12€ for adults and 6€ for children. The ferry carries up to 750 passengers and has food, drinks, conference rooms, and three levels of decks that you can wander about.
Consider taking this wonderful trip out with friends or family and enjoy the variety of activities. Let us know what you think and send us pictures of yourself at Brombachsee using the hashtag #englishpostfranconia and come along with us on our next adventure!