The Lake District was created by an Act of the Bavarian Parliament (Landtag) in 1970 with the aim of transferring excess water from the rather "wet" Old Bavaria to the rather "dry" Franconia and as a secondary purpose for tourism, recreation and to boost the local economy. It would take several years until all lakes had reached their desired size and water level. The Lake District comprises 7 lakes and several “waters”. The total combined surface area of the lakes is about 20 km².
- 1 Great Brombach Lake (Großer Brombachsee). 8.7 km²
- 2 Small Brombach Lake (Kleiner Brombachsee). 2.5 km²
- 3 Igelsbach Lake (Igelsbachsee). 0.9 km²
- 4 Altmühl Lake (Altmühlsee) (near Gunzenhausen). 4.5 km²
- 5 Roth Lake (Rothsee). 2.2 km²
- 6 Hahnenkammsee (Hahnenkammsee). 0.23 km²
- 7 Dennenloher Lake (Dennenloher See). 0.22 km²
The Franconian Lake District is comparable in size and infrastructure to the Upper Bavarian Lake District: the Altmühlsee, for example, is the same size as the Königssee, and the Große Brombachsee has the same area as the Tegernsee.
The biggest lake of the district is the Great Brombach Lake, a storage lake of about 12.7 km², with about 17.5 km (10.9 mi) of shoreline. Its depth is about 32 m. The scenic Small Brombach Lake is situated in the Brombach and Igelsbach valley. Full beaches and the activity on the water show the highly attractive nature of the recreational Small Brombach Lake. With its 2.5 km², the lake invites to people to go swimming, surfing, sailing, fishing, and boating.
The biggest European Trimaran passenger ship, "MS Brombachsee", crosses the Lake daily. The coastline is unspoiled; there are bike paths and hiking trails around the lake. Four recreational establishments and 1,000 sailboat berths make this an ideal surf and sailing destination. A great viewpoint is the Two-Lake-Place in Enderndorf am See.
The Altmühl Lake, situated in the broad valley of the Altmühl, sits between single villages and meadows. It was created as the first lake in the lake district and has a length of 4 km (2.5 mi) and an area of roughly 4.5 km². The ship "Gunzenhausen" crosses the lake.
The Roth lake, which is 2.2 km², is divided into a economic part and a swimming area. Surfing and sailing are possible in most parts. In the north western corner there is a large nature reserve. The Roth Lake also has three recreational areas.
- Cities, towns and villages
While the region is comparatively rural there are a few train lines and buses run under the VGN Verkehrserbund (meaning you can get one ticket for both train and bus) can get you all the way to the lake or your lodgings.
If you're arriving from further away, Nuremberg is the most likely point to change trains and the closest city with ICE service.
- 1 Roth station. Served by and regional trains this can be your entry-point into the region
- 2 Bahnhof Allersberg (Rothsee). A station on the Nuremberg-Ingolstadt high speed line served by regional trains. While it is right next to federal highway A9 and thus conveniently reachable by car, it is basically in the middle of nowhere and you'll need to take a bus or taxi to your final destination or take a bike with you to make much use of this station going into the area.
- 3 Bahnhof Hilpoltstein.
- 4 Bahnhof Pleinfeld.
- 5 Langlau station.
- 6 Bahnhof Gunzenhausen. Even served by the occasional IC train and some heritage trains from Nördlingen on weekends as well as regular regional trains from Würzburg/Ansbach and onwards to Pleinfeld
- 7 Muhr am See station.
An easy way to get into the region is to follow the Main-Danube Canal (which has bike paths along its banks) right until you get to Hilpoltstein and then heading on towards the Rothsee.
Autobahn A6 (Nuremberg–Heilbronn), exits Roth, Schwabach-West or Ansbach, or A9 (Nuremberg–Munich), exits Allersberg, Hilpoltstein or Greding; B2 from Augsburg, or B13 from Ingolstadt or Ansbach.
- 1 Wakeboard and water ski, Zeltwiese Absberg, Badehalbinsel am Kleinen Brombachsee, 91720 Absberg, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Beginner courses every weekend during times of warm weather. Opened in 2016 and still being extended, this brings additional water sport fun to the region. Online booking and courses available.
- Weißenburg in Bayern, 21 km southeast of Gunzenhausen
- Ansbach, 28 km northwest of Gunzenhausen
- Nuremberg, 30 km north of Roth
- Dinkelsbühl, 35 km west of Gunzenhausen