Naked hiking: it's not for everyone. Photo: 3 Neus CC-BY-2.0

Naked hiking: it's not for everyone. Photo: 3 Neus [CC-2.0]

Walkers who love the feel of the wind in the Trossachs can indulge themselves on a new trail in Germany.

Campsite owner Heinz Ludwig has set up a hiking route for minimalist walkers. No Gore-tex or Polartec necessary on Heinz’s trail: it’s for naturists. The 18km (11-mile) track leads through the Harz mountains of the central state of Saxony-Anhalt.

Previously best known for the phenomenon named after the range’s highest mountain, the Brocken, which has given the its name to the enlarged shadow cast by mountaineers on cloud inversions, the Harz will now be the scene of some more extraordinary sights, as ramblers clad only in boots and rucksacks pound the trail.

A Brocken Spectre. Photo: Σ64 CC-BY-3.0

A Brocken Spectre. Photo: Σ64 [CC-3.0]

Although naked hiking has a determined following in Germany, Herr Ludwig claims the route near the village of Dankerode will be the first official nudist route. Signs will be erected to warn those who may be offended, but clothed walkers will still be welcome.

The trail will officially open next May, though naturist walkers are already using it.

Naturism – Freikörperkultur – is big in Germany: its body, the German Society of Nudists, has 50,000 members.

Karla and Stuart admire the view to Meall Ghlas

Karla and Stuart admire the view to Meall Ghlas

Naked walkers have not always trodden a smooth path, with the conservative Swiss canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden threatening a fine of 200 Swiss francs to those who let it all hang out. Britain’s home-grown Naked Rambler, Stephen Gough, has spent more time in Scottish jails than out on the mountains as he battles the legal system north of the Border. And a young couple called Karla and Stuart had to take down their Naked Munros website due to excessive prurient interest from certain representatives of Her Majesty’s Press.

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