The queen of bridges

Your breath falters. The planks wobble. With every step, the suspension bridge trembles a little more. The distance down into the valley gets further and further, reaching 100 metres in the middle of the gorge. Many hold on to the steel cable as a precaution, feel every step over the abyss carefully and breathe a sigh of relief when they get to the other side.

Since it was opened in 2015, the Geierlay Bridge has attracted over a million visitors. It is a majestic structure in the north of the Hunsrück built by Swiss experts based on blueprints from the Asian kingdom of Nepal. It is 360 metres long, weighs 62 tons and cost over one million euro to build. Guests come from far and wide, and are fascinated by this technical masterpiece that has been built into one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in the Hunsrück, an area in the Mittelgebirge mountains to the south of the Moselle.

It can only be reached on foot from the car parks in the villages of Sosberg and Mörsdorf, the latter of which also has a visitor centre and a restaurant. There is a shorter circuit of just 3.6 kilometres, and a longer one of 5.5 kilometres.

Crossing the Geierlay suspension bridge, Hunsrück

Crossing the Geierlay suspension bridge, Hunsrück

Geierlay visitor centre in Mörsdorf, Hunsrück

Geierlay visitor centre in Mörsdorf, Hunsrück

The Saar-Hunsrück Trail is also linked to the bridge. The main route passes through the valley, but there is a detour up to the suspension bridge. There are lots of guided nature trails through this wild, unspoilt area.

The Geierlay Bridge takes its name from the historic name of the ‘Geierslay’ field over which it passes. This, in turn, probably comes from the large numbers of birds of prey around the rocks (‘Geier’) and the slate seams typical of the region (‘Lay’). There was a local competition that came up with this mysterious, unusual name, which also has a hint of adventure, like something out of a book by Karl May.

In fact, camera footage reveals that 20 per cent of visitors turn around when they see the suspension bridge as they lose their nerve. But by the end, most realise that, while it is exciting, it is not actually dangerous. It is a wonderful way of getting over a fear of heights on one of the most spectacular hiking trails the Hunsrück has to offer.

Geierlay suspension bridge, Hunsrück

The Geierlay suspension bridge in the Hunsrück region: 360 metres long and 100 metres high

More leisure tips for nature lovers in the Hunsrück region:

More information about holidays in the Hunsrück

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