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The south-eastern Spessart is a wonderful place to hike. For example, on the Jossgrund loop, where there are many surprising things to discover. Especially when you're out and about with a guide like Michael.

The Jossa meanders gently through the south-eastern Hessian landscape. "It is one of the wonderfully natural rivers that we still have in the Spessart," enthuses Michael. The hiking and nature park guide accompanies us today on the Jossgrund loop, a twelve-kilometre hiking trail that is one of the so-called Spessart trails. These are certified circular trails that are particularly suitable for a day trip to the Hessian Spessart. 

The Jossgrund loop starts in the village of Burgjoß and runs for twelve kilometers in a wide arc over the Steiniger Berg and Zöllersberg peaks back to the starting point. "It normally takes three hours, but it always takes four for me!" laughs Michael. It soon becomes clear why: our guide simply has so many exciting stories to tell. About the Jossa itself and its former wealth of river pearls, for example. Michael has even written a poem about it: "Soon it was known everywhere, the Jossa, that's pearl country," he quotes as we walk along the narrow path along the little river that meanders leisurely through the landscape. At the start of the hike in Burgjoß's Burgwiesenpark, Michael already had exciting stories to tell about the history of the old moated castle, which attracts everyone's attention. And which is so romantic to look at with its thick protective walls. 

The beavers come out after sunset

As a certified hiking and nature park guide, Michael not only guides guests through the Hessian Spessart Nature Park - and has been doing so for 23 years - he even helped to develop the new hiking trails himself. What he likes about the Jossgrund loop is its typical Spessart character, which it owes to the steep slopes, the open valley floor and the idyllic rushing streams. "Nevertheless, it is also something special," smiles the Hessian. For example, there are the beavers, which have been living in large numbers along the tributaries of the Jossa and in the Sahlensee nature reserve since they were successfully reintroduced there at the end of the 1980s.

"However, they only come out around sunset. It's usually too warm for them before then because of their thick fur."

We now climb steeply uphill, as is so often the case in the Spessart. The path winds its way through sparse beech forest. Rays of sunlight fall diagonally between the trees. At the top of the 400-metre-high Steiniger Berg, we come out into the open again. The view over the Jossgrund and down to Burgjoß is fantastic. Michael shows us a so-called candelabra spruce nearby: After being struck by lightning many years ago, it has developed different treetops - and now resembles a candlestick. "Spruces can grow really old here, up to 300 years," says Michael proudly. 

Up to 30 butterfly species in the sloe bushes

Then we walk on. The path is narrow and inviting, leading first along the forest and then past a juniper heath, fragrant and blooming. "You'll hardly find them anywhere else in the Spessart," says our hiking guide and tells us that the heath is also home to adders. "But don't worry! Even if you get bitten, it's not dangerous for adults." And on we go. First past the Zieglerfeld forester's lodge with its green shutters, then along flowering sloe bushes. Michael knows that anyone passing by here in midsummer can spot up to 30 species of butterfly, whose caterpillars find a habitat in the hedges. "Even the particularly large sail butterfly is among them," he says.

When it comes to sloes, Michael goes into raptures: His wife, also a certified hiking guide, prepares a wonderfully aromatic liqueur from it. Our guide tells us about it for a long time as we walk the Jossgrund loop back to Burgjoß, first over the 427-metre-high Zöllersberg and then on via Oberndorf with its beautiful village church. And Michael always has the best stories to tell about every beech tree and every robin's song, about beetles and berries, ants and nettles. One thing is clear: the Jossgrund Runde is far too short for all there is to tell about it. But that doesn't matter: we'll just do it again!

Through forests and across meadows

On the way through extensive beech and oak forests: Hiking in the Spessart ©Spessart Tourismus und Marketing, Claus Tews

"Spessart trails" and "Spessart tracks" lead you through the magnificent low mountain range. There are also plenty of beautiful views


Children and adults alike return from this Spessart trail full of enthusiasm: the adults, because the premium hiking trail rewards them with beautiful views over the Salz and Kinzig valleys and sections on enchanted forest paths. The little ones, because the trail has also been designated a family adventure trail and they can learn exciting things about the Middle Ages, crafts and nature at adventure stations.
7 km | 2.30 h | 216 vertical meters


This Spessart trail starts at the orangery of Ramholz Castle, which, with its vine-covered facades and many turrets and gables, looks like something straight out of a Grimm's fairytale book. From here, you hike up to the restored Steckelberg castle ruins with a magnificent view over the Kinzig valley. You return to the starting point through the Ramholzer Schlosspark, an 80-hectare historical landscape park with magnificent old beech trees.

5.9km | 1.45h | 180 vertical meters


With all the beautiful viewpoints along this Spessart trail, you have to make sure that you don't lose sight of the hike's destination! The magnificent panoramas start at the starting point, the 18-metre-high Rodfeldturm, from whose platform you can enjoy a rewarding view as far as the Taunus. The hike to Neuses also offers many other magnificent views.

6.3 km | 1.45 h | 186 vertical meters

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