Skip to content. The mile naked hiking trail opened last year in central Germany following a series of altercations between nudists and clothes-wearing hikers on regular trails. See a slideshow of nudist hikers on the trail, some photos NSFW. The tradition dates back to the late 19th century, and nude bathing is especially popular at designated beaches on the Baltic Sea coast in northern Germany.
A 'free body': Germany's nudist culture
The Germans already lay claim to the world's first nudist hotel, have hundreds of nudist beaches and even hold the odd nude tobogganing race. But now ramblers can fully enjoy the Teutonic cult of stripping-off with the opening of the country's first nude hiking trail. The mile path - upon which wearing anything other than sturdy hiking boots is strictly verboten - winds its way through the wooded hills of the upland Harz district in the centre of northern Germany, whose rugged beauty once inspired Goethe to write poems about it. Clothed walkers need not fear. Those who find exposure to the bare facts of nude hiking distinctly un-beautiful are forewarned. The project is the work of Heinz Ludwig, a restaurant and campsite owner from Dankerode village who claims to have enjoyed unsanctioned hiking in the nude for years. He said that although the nude trail was already open to hikers, he had been obliged to postpone its official launch until the spring of next year. Germany may have a 50,strong nudist society with members keen to hike without clothes, but they are bashful when it comes to exposing their nakedness to the media.
Facebook Twitter Email. CNN — When I was a kid, my father always used to sunbathe nude in our garden at weekends. In public pools, children of all ages were allowed to run around naked all the time. Even now I'm comfortable with getting naked in the sauna or gym changing room. Maybe it's because I'm German. Nudism is traditionally popular in Germany, a country considered buttoned up and conservative compared with, let's say, Italy. When you travel there, you'll see that baring all is normal in saunas, swimming pools, the park and on the beach.
In the Harz mountains in the north of Germany, there is a dedicated kilometre mile trail from the town of Dankerode to the Wippertal reservoir and back that is dedicated to naked hiking. France is also generally open to naked hiking, but do take care in other countries. A couple of years ago, Switzerland had to pass a law banning nude hiking because so many naked Germans were wandering over the border that local sensibilities were offended. Whether you join up with an existing group or give it a go on your own, remember to put sunscreen and insect repellant in with the Schnapps. A scarf or small towel might be useful too, just in case you find yourself suddenly in the company of people who might not appreciate a full view of you in all your your glory. How to Hike Completely Naked in Germany. Add to Plan. In North America and Britain, mosquitos are only too happy to take advantage of the increased real estate. Luckily, there are very few mosquitos in Germany , no poisonous snakes or spiders and no predators large enough to be interested in a bite of something human-sized.