The Thuringian Forest , running northwest to southeast, forms a continuous range of ancient rounded mountains posing ample difficulties in transit routing save through a few navigable passes in the southern reaches of the German state of Thuringia. It is about 120 km long and 35 km wide. The highest elevation is the Großer Beerberg, 982 m .
The Rennsteig is an ancient path following its summits along the main ridge. It is now a famous hiking path and it marks the traditional boundary between the hills-dominated terrain of central Germany and the more rugged terrain characteristic of southern Germany, the boundary between central/north Thuringia and Franconia. Dialects and traditional customs and costumes are different on either side of the Rennsteig. The Rennsteig is also the subject of the song Rennsteiglied , the unofficial hymn of Thuringia.
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