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There can be only one thought after hours of hiking in the Thuringian nature: Where can I find a cozy hut that satisfies my hunger and warms my heart?

New Gehlberg hut

Werraquell hut

Forest inn Auerhahn

Dining car Oberweißbacher mountain railroad

Ruppberg Hut

Miner's hut

Forest tavern Dreiherrnstein


New Gehlberg hut - it lives high, high, high ...

The Schneekopf is the second highest mountain in Thuringia, and if that's not enough of an incentive, I'll give you a quote from Goethe to take with you on the sometimes arduous summit hike in Suhl: "The view is beautiful on the Schneekopf - I'm delighted by the wide vistas that open up to me". The old master did not even have the chance to climb the viewing platform of the Schneekopf tower, which has only existed since 2008. One year later, the "New Gehlberg Hut" was opened right next door at the proud height of 978 meters. This makes it the highest managed hut in Thuringia - but this may only be of secondary interest to a hungry hiker. More important in this case is the fact that the hut has a cozy guest room with a tiled stove and a menu that offers regional specialties from roast venison to Finkeböff. Never heard? That's potatoes in their skins with roasted ham, onions and scrambled eggs..... Cheers. Who shies away after such delicacies the way in the valley, could secure theoretically one of the 19 beds in the camp of the hut. Only then does it get really romantic. snowhead.eu

The Neue Gehlberger Hütte is the highest managed hut in all of Thuringia © Dominik Ketz

Werraquell Hütte - a feast for connoisseurs

The hiking area around the source of the Werra near Masserberg is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful of the entire Rennsteig region. It's fitting that the Werraquellhütte located there between Masserberg and Fehrenbach is also striving for higher things: "Eating is a need, enjoying is an art," they confidently write on the menu. The Thuringian Vesper platter will be enjoyed by connoisseurs from the region, the juicy steaks come from the fine lava stone grill. There are said to be people who take the long hike to the Werraquellhütte only to dine in the idyllically located hut in front of fir trees. But this special place also offers options for the smaller members of the family: The petting zoo, a small lookout tower and the mysterious forest right near the hut are sure to keep kids busy for quite a while. werraquell-huette.com


Waldgasthaus Auerhahn - where Goethe once hiked

There is no getting around it: The old Goethe was not only a general scholar, but also a restless wanderer, who with a good nose for the beautiful sides of life stopped wherever special specialties awaited him. It is said that he spent his last birthday in the restaurant of the Auerhahn. Sounds quite plausible, because the forest inn has always been considered a place for special culinary specialties. In modern times, VIPs such as Norbert Blüm, Theo Waigel and Fritz Pleitgen, among others, have also appreciated this. Only poor Walter Ulbricht didn't have a good plan for the inn: on the day he showed up there, the Auerhahn was closed for the day. Ulbricht probably liked it in Thuringia anyway, because around the Auerhahn you can go on excursions to the Schortetal or to the "Finsteren Loch", but you can also go on a hike along the Goethe hiking trail that runs here - in winter, beautiful ski tours await accordingly. If you can't get enough of Goethe, head up to Ilmenau's local mountain, the Kickelhahn, and enjoy the view over the countryside from the Goethehäuschen. It was here that the good Johann Wolfgang wrote the Wandrers Nachtlied. And in nearby Stützerbach there is, of course, the Goethe Museum. waldgasthaus-auerhahn.de

More information about Goethe and his time in Weimar can be found here: Classic: The UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Weimar


Dining car Oberweißbacher Bergbahn - the tickets please!

Presumably the dining car would be in the Mountain station of the Oberweißbach mountain railroad quite offended if you were to call it a plain "cabin". After all, the smart steel cabin has a long and eventful past as a mobile restaurant. It was only in more recent times that the Zetsche family in Lichtenhain permanently relocated the chic piece to the mountain station and now entertains hiking guests and train enthusiasts with homemade cakes and delicious pies on the magnificent viewing platform. Anyone who wants to chow down on the sumptuous offerings of the "dining car" at least has a good excuse for staying on site longer: the magnificent view of the Schwarza Valley just takes a couple of hours. oberweissbacher-mountain railroad.com


Ruppberghütte - snack at the weekend

Hello? What is this? At first glance - well, you usually risk it from a great distance - the charming hut really does look like one of the huts in Casper David Friedrich's paintings. But even in the close-up view, the hut located on the Ruppberg loses nothing of its flair. After a fire in 1946, it was lovingly rebuilt by citizens of Zehla-Mehlis - organized since time immemorial in an association - and has been operated since that day by 30 association members in an honorary capacity. But beware to all hikers who want to enjoy the diverse hiking area around Zella-Mehlis within the week without their own trail food: The Ruppberghütte is only open on weekends and offers its guests a small snack and a warm welcome. ruppberg.com

The Ruppberghütte provides hikers with a hearty snack and refreshing drinks on weekends © Heinrich Held Visuals

Bergmannsklause - Fresh fish from our own pond

The miner's hut near of Steinach and the well-known glassblowing towns of Lauscha and Haselbach lies at the center of a widely ramified network of hiking trails through the almost untouched low mountain landscape of Thuringia. The desired effect: Here, nature lovers hike along the most beautiful paths and routes, and they do so on long, very long tours. No wonder that the idyllic "Bergmannsklause" has become the perfect place for those seeking relaxation. The former colliery house for miners who mined slate here offers many exquisite delicacies of the region, plus trout from its own pond and, among other fish dishes, traditional game dishes. A wonderful place to do good to the soul and let the blisters heal in a cozy guest room and on an outdoor terrace for a total of about seventy people... In winter, a bonus provides additional joy: the ski trails around the house are tracked. thueringen.info/bergmannsklause.html


Forest tavern Dreiherrnstein - a poem

What exactly the Rennsteig is, everyone in Thuringia knows, at least thanks to Victor von Scheffel. The poet Scheffel wrote his famous poem "Der Rennsteig" (The Rennsteig) as early as 1863 and made it clear: "It's the Rennsteig, the old land divide that runs from the Werra to the Saale and separates law and custom, game and gejaide of the Thuringians from that of the Franks". Good to know... Who rests in the dignified forest tavern Dreiherrnstein near Brotterode-Trusetal, is confronted again with the poetic wisdoms of Scheffel, because beside the guest room and the large hall one finds in the good-civil ambience of the restaurant also still the cosy Scheffelstübchen in memory of the Rennsteig-Verseschmieder. However, the inn is famous for a completely different reason: The landlady serves excellent venison goulash and first-class roast venison with cranberries. But if you really want to have the dish of the house and a sensation, you can safely stop at the top of the menu: The roulade with red cabbage and Thuringian dumplings is said to have already elicited screams of delight from people. innrennsteig.com

Good-bourgeois ambience directly at the Rennsteig - the Waldschänke Dreiherrnstein © Waldschänke Dreiherrnstein

Cover photo: Great panorama - the Schneekopf with the New Gehlberg Hut © Paul Hentschel

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