This region holds fabulous surprises for hikers. Especially for those who like to be by the water. Why? Because Thuringia has a sea, even though it is not on the coast. And a number of dreamlike paths - through forests with streams, along the Saale, past enchanting lakescapes. If you get involved, you'll quickly be swept off your feet by the Thuringian Forest be enchanted.

The exciting Hiking routes at Slate Mountains/Upper Saale Nature Park have fabulous stories to tell - and we'll tell you which stops you shouldn't miss on your hikes.

1

Burgk Castle at Bleiloch Reservoir: Nature Meets Culture

One of these stories begins at Burgk Castle - the gateway to the past and window to the Thuringian Sea. An impressive place, which probably also convinced the founders of the residence in the 14th century. Today, the castle is situated on a rocky plateau, directly at the Bleiloch reservoir, in which the historical building is reflected. A dreamlike photo motif!

Burgk Castle is one of the most beautiful castles in central Germany and a popular hiking destination. Architecture and landscape blend into a perfect whole, and those who venture inside will find many a special treasure. For example, the organ built by Gottfried Silbermann, which has been thrilling listeners at concerts since Easter 1743 to this day.

2

The Hohenwarte Reservoir Trail: The Fjord-like Landscapes of the Thuringian Sea

On a total of 75 kilometers the quality hiking trail winds on four stages through the beautiful landscapes of the Thuringian Sea. Sometimes you hike through dense coniferous forests, then the view of the fjord-like landscape opens up and a short time later a lovely village welcomes you and invites you to take a break. Pure variety!

For pure nature enjoyment along the way great camping sites such as the ECOCAMPING site Linkenmühle. And if you don't want to walk the entire route, you can use the Thuringian Sea hiking bus to get back to the starting point of your hike in the evening - a special additional offer is promisingly called "hiking bus and enjoyment". Here you can have your online selected hiking provisions delivered directly to the bus. You can save on luggage and enjoy nature carefree.

3

The "Land of a Thousand Ponds": A Heaven on Earth

Once there were more than 1000 ponds, Today, about 600 of them remain. They tell a long story, as they were once created by monks for fish farming. The special thing: They are not fed by spring water, but only by precipitation. That is why they have been given a special name: the "Himmelsteiche".

It is truly heavenly here. Not only for hikers, who can explore the unique area, for example, on the "1000 ponds circular trail", which is particularly suitable for families. Also for wildlife: In the "Land of a Thousand Ponds" around Dreba and Plothen, numerous rare water birds and colorful dragonflies feel at home.

4

The Slate Trail: Tracing the Green Belt

The slate path is a circular hiking trail, which gives deep insights into the past over 56 kilometers. On the one hand, of course, into the history of the former "state quarry", where the so-called "blue gold", slate, was mined. You will walk through the slate mining areas between Probstzella, Lehesten, Ludwigsstadt and Gräfenthal and get to know a region that has developed into a picture-perfect natural area today. A highlight is certainly the blue, almost turquoise shimmering slate lake on the grounds of the technical monument "Historic Slate Mining Lehesten".

On the other hand, it is also the story of German division that many hikers want to experience here. The Slate Trail runs in parts along the "Green Belt", the former inner-German border. Guided hikes are also offered here, which reappraise and convey the history.

Cover image: © Dominik Ketz/Picture rights Regional Association Thuringian Forest

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