When you live in Frankfurt and have the urge to get away from streets, noise, cars and people, the closest is of course the Taunus. But if you want to have wide ranges of nature you can actually get lost in, try the UNESCO-designated Palatinate Forest-North Vosges Biosphere Reserve, one of the biggest forests in Western Europe.
A good entry point is Neustadt, which can be reached by train from Frankfurt in just over an hour. From there on, you can walk a LONG time without necessarily hitting a major settlement let alone a town. If you hiked straight southwest into the Vosges, you’d walk about 200 km mostly in forest.
(Source: Google maps)
The further away you get from Neustadt on a south-westbound course, the greater the wooded ranges become, and after a while it’s hard to believe you are still in Central Europe, a densely populated, highly industrialized area.
Although I regularly go hiking in the area even if it’s just for a day or two getaway, I m keeping my awe and wonder for the beauty of the forest and the solitude and relative wilderness still to be found so close to home.