The Urach Waterfall was one of those attractive limestone type waterfalls with that mossy, weeping characteristic which we tend to see a lot of back in the coastal regions of California. That kind of made it more unique amongst the 50+ waterfalls we had visited in our trip to Germany and Austria in 2018.
In terms of its characteristics, this waterfall was where the Bruhlbach (Brühlbach) was said to plunge 37m before taking its time cascading an additional 50m in cumulative height over a limestone surface full of long grass-like growth and moss. And while this waterfall in the limestone-rich Swabian Alb was beautiful, it seemed like this excursion was very popular with German families as I had seen many of them bring toddlers along for this family-friendly experience.
Indeed, from the huge car park (P23) in near the spa in Maisental Valley (see directions below), I followed a very flat and wide trail that went alongside the Bruhbach Creek off to the east side of the broad pastures of the valley. Given the calm nature of the creek, there were plenty of spots along the trail where people (especially the kids) would play in the water. The flat terrain allowed multiple generations of people to enjoy the experience.
After around 1km, I finally started to see the Urach Waterfall in the distance towering over the hikers at its base. The flat stretch of hiking persisted for another 300m more or so before reaching the base of steps that then climbed alongside the limestone slope of the waterfall.
After another 200m or so of going up the steps, I reached a couple of ledges yielding closer views of the main plunge of the Urach Waterfall, including one spot where I noticed people scramble to almost get behind that main drop.
The trail continued to climb up towards the top of the waterfall where there was apparently a meadow and a cafe. I didn’t go up there, however, as I was content with the waterfall experience, and then returned the way I came.
Altogether, my GPS logs suggested that this was a 4km round trip hike, and it took me around 90 minutes to do it. However, I’d bet it would take at least 2 hours at a more leisurely pace while allowing for a little more exploration.
This excursion would take most of the day if had I done the entire 10km Wasserfallsteig loop hike that would have also encompassed the Gütersteiner Waterfall in addition to the Urach Waterfall. It was about 4.3km from the base of the Urach Waterfall to the Gütersteiner Waterfall according to the signage.
When I was done with my excursion, we had lunch at the Maisentalstüble, which was a reasonably-priced lunch spot and beer garden by the car park. And given its close proximity to Bad Urach (bad means bath in German), it wasn’t surprising to see a spa area as well.
Indeed, there was quite the diversity of activities on offer here, and it was no wonder why this waterfall was as popular as it was (even though it seemed like we were one of the few foreign tourists that were here).
Finally, for some nomenclature semantics, I’ve seen this waterfall referred to as the Uracher Waterfall as well as the Bad Urach Waterfall. In German, it seems to be most commonly referred to as der Uracher Wasserfall.
From the Stuttgart vicinity, we exit the A8 autobahn for the B27 (near the Stuttgart Airport or Flughafen Stuttgart). We then drove nearly 10km south on the B27 freeway before taking the ramp for the B312. After another 14km, the B312 junctioned with the B28/B313 interchange.
We kept right and followed the ramp leading to the eastbound B28 towards Bad Urach, where we then drove for about 10km before turning right onto the Vorderes Maisental. We then drove another 600m along the fairly long and extensive car park area, where we ultimately parked at the P23 lot.
It costed us 3 euros via pay and display to park for the entire day.
Overall, it took us about 40 minutes to leave the A8 autobahn and make it to the Maisental car park. We actually started our drive from Baden Baden, which took us around 2 hours in total mostly because there was quite a bit of stau (stopped traffic) in and around the A8 autobahn near Karlsruhe.
For geographical context, Stuttgart was about 73km (over an hour drive) east of Karlsruhe, 95km (under 90 minutes drive) northwest of Ulm, and 112km (around 90 minutes drive depending on traffic) east from Baden Baden.
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