This wildly romantic landscape in Rhineland-Palatinate looks a bit like it was created by fairies, trolls and wizards. But it was streams that dug into the slate of the Hunsrück for millions of years and formed spectacular gorges and ravines. 111 dream loops lead through the unique nature. We present five beautiful hiking tours here.
Steep descents, breathtaking ascents, rugged rock formations and expansive views: the Baybachklamm is also called the Grand Canyon of the Hunsrück because of its spectacular scenery. The Baybach rises at an altitude of 450 meters and has dug itself so deeply into the Hunsrück slate rock that the gorge-like valley narrows into a gorge near Waldeck Castle. The eleven-kilometer hiking tour leads from the flattened Hunsrück heights down to the Baybach and over narrow rocky paths, oak and hornbeam forests, and moss-covered slopes to the ascent again. In total, there are 400 meters of ascent and descent. In some places there are rope belays to make it easier for you to master the trail with its often angular rock steps and large tree roots.
At the halfway point, where only the gurgling of the brook and the chirping of birds can be heard, the Schmausemühle invites you to have a snack. A little further on, in the middle of the forest, stands the abandoned Heyweiler Bauernmühle. From here, the trail climbs back up to the Hunsrück plateau, where you can enjoy wonderful panoramic views, for example of Waldeck Castle. But there is still another highlight waiting for you: The rocky cliff Barreterlei, from which it goes down 70 meters vertically. It is guaranteed to become your favorite spot, because from here you can look down into the valley and into the distance to forested Hunsrück hills. All info about the tour
Quietly creaking wooden bridges, Enchanted forest, Schäferbrünnchen and Teufelskanzel (Devil's Pulpit): The dream loop through the Ehrbachklamm gorge is a varied, almost nine-kilometer-long hike with 390 meters of ascent and descent. The trail leads across fields and meadows on the Hunsrück plateau to the first vantage point, Beulslay. The view from there extends over the typical notch valleys of the low mountain range to the Brandengraben mill from the 18th century. A gravel path leads down into the gorge, where the Ehrbach has dug itself deeper and deeper into the hard rock with perseverance. Its water ripples between the rocks. Well-secured bridges and footbridges lead across the stream, which meanders through an enchantingly green forest. The scent of the forest floor, damp and earthy, rises to your nose. Your eyes wander among the crevices in the mossy slate rock, the ferns, and the gnarled tree trunks. What has just moved there, perhaps a fairy or a forest gnome? The only steep ascent of the tour leads in serpentines up the wall of the Ehrbachklamm. At the top, a resting place with a devilishly good view awaits you at the Teufelskanzel (Devil's Pulpit Rock) and the Schäferbrünnchen (Shepherd's Fountain) at Winkelholz. Its water is said to strengthen love ... All info about the tour
Historic colliery trail, beautiful Baybach Valley, Local poets, half-timbered houses and rocky spurs with a dream view: this circular route is so varied and unusual that it was nominated by Wandermagazin a few years ago as Germany's most beautiful hiking trail. It leads from Morshausen, the birthplace of the Hunsrück writer Jakob Kneip, in the direction of Baybachtal. If you want to enjoy a bit of culture before diving into nature, check out the lovingly restored half-timbered houses of the village of 350 inhabitants, the Jakob Kneip Museum in the old bakehouse, and the Schwengelbrunnen fountain.
The historic colliery road, which commemorates the local mining industry with creative sculptures, leads downhill in the direction of the lower Baybach Valley to the Theresia ore mine. Lead, zinc and silver were once mined here. A bridge over the Baybach marks the more challenging part of the eleven-kilometer route. Over an incline you come to "Hampit, the hunter", a character in Jakob Kneip's novel. You can rest on a bench, enjoy the moment and discover the Eselche, a rock spur that gave the trail its name. It can be reached via a rope-secured descent to the valley floor and a serpentine path upwards. The effort is worth it, because the view of the valley and the Eifel is magnificent. By the way, Murscher is the Hunsrück dialect word for Morshausen - and that's where the trail ends. All info about the tour
Wild streams, a defiant castle ruin, a gallows tower, old mills and lots of forest: the almost 14-kilometer hiking trail around the Balduinseck castle ruins leads through solitude and silence, partly open fields and dense forests. The trail starts along the Masterhausener Bach stream over small bridges and footbridges to a clearing. Here you will see for the first time the remains of the mighty castle, which the Trier Archbishop Balduin of Luxembourg had built between 1325 and 1330.
Rugged slate cliffs and many old mills From now on, the path, which winds through enchanted valleys - with a total of 300 meters of ascent and descent - will line your path. With a bit of luck, the gentle murmur of the brook and the play of light and shadow in the trees will put you into a kind of meditative contemplation until, at the Katzenloch rest stop, the huge ruins of the castle suddenly rise up in front of you. It sits enthroned on a prominent rocky outcrop. The climb up the castle hill is steep, but the square and four-story structure is worth it. It was restored a few years ago according to preservation criteria. In the mood for a thrill? Then branch off a bit further to the Geierlay suspension rope bridge. The 360-meter-long pedestrian rope bridge at a height of 100 meters above the Mörsdorfer Bachtal is considered the longest suspension rope bridge in Germany. Via the former Apollo ore mine and the Galgenturm tower, built in 2008 and reminiscent of a Roman watchtower, the purple and white Traumschleifen signs will show you the way back. All info about the tour
Quiet valleys, the bubbling Dhron and a spectacular gorge trail: The eleven-kilometer-long dream loop begins in Morbach at the foot of the Hunolstein ruins. The castle was owned by the bailiffs of Hunolstein for 300 years. Unfortunately, only a few remaining walls of the imposing appearance are preserved today. The first highlight of the hike is the quartzite rock above the castle walls, on which 60 steps lead. The view into the valley and to the wooded Hunsrück heights is a dream! A shady forest path leads you down into the valley of the Dhron, which winds its way between small and large boulders. The next highlight of the round tour is coming up: the 800 meter long path through the Hölzbachklamm gorge. Here you can feel and hear the power of the elements!
A wide forest path After leaving the gorge, the trail takes you down the valley to the Herrenwiesen meadows and the lowest point of the tour. At the Schafpuhl bridge you cross the Dhron. In former times the farmers dammed up the brook here to drive the sheep into it and to clean the fur before shearing. Now the path winds uphill through an oak grove to a long straight with fantastic views back to the starting point, where you will have mastered 300 meters of ascent and 270 meters of descent. All info about the tour
Cover photo: One of the most interesting sights on the Masdasch Castle Trail is Balduinseck Castle, which is threatened by collapse © Rheinland-Pfalz Tourismus GmbH / Dominik Ketz
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