Around the Thüringer Meer

Der Hohenwarte Stausee Weg

The people of Thuringia have given this region an affectionate nickname: They call it their "Thüringer Meer". In fact, the view of the wide expanses of water framed by deep forests resembles a Scandinavian fjord landscape. Europe's largest contiguous reservoir area is located in the Thuringian Slate Mountains/Upper Saale Nature Park. And right in the middle of it all: the Hohenwarte Reservoir Trail - 74.4 kilometres that you won't forget in a hurry.

A real hiking trail

To say it straight away: the Hohenwarte Stausee Trail is not for walkers. It is a real hiking trail with all the trimmings. It goes up and down, along challenging paths, through dense forest, along steep slopes along the Saale and to rocky viewpoints. Sometimes a little skill is required, but definitely stamina. But you will be rewarded for it. Hiking clears your head and opens your senses. You are guaranteed to stop thinking about the office and only have eyes for the green of the woods and the blue of the water below. This lowers your blood pressure and reduces stress. Guaranteed. So if you decide to take the path, we have five quick insider tips for you.

Tip 1: Great panorama at the Bockfelsen

Views are a trademark of the Hohenwarte Stausee Trail. You can enjoy them from the Bockfelsen rock, for example, near the neighbouring village of Gössitz. The rocky outcrop of slate rock offers a breathtaking view over the blue ribbon of the Saale, the Hopfenmühle campsite and Neidenberga Castle. If you are a little sporty and brave, you can climb up to the front of the rocky outcrop. Of course, you don't have to; the views from the safe plateau are also spectacular.

Tip 2: Dormouse in the moss house

You will find another special viewpoint on the Gnomsberg near Neidenberga. The moss hut. It is a small wooden hut whose interior walls are completely covered in moss. A large, glassless panoramic window frames a wonderful view of the Saale, forest and river slopes. You are welcome to take a seat on the bench in the moss hut and enjoy the view. Perhaps eat your hiking provisions at the same time. If you suddenly hear rustling in the walls of the hut or above you, look around carefully. With a bit of luck, you will discover the inhabitants of the hut: a family of dormice. They like to snack on pieces of apple or banana.

Tip 3: Foot bath with fire salamander

If you pass a stream on the way (and this can happen), take off your hiking boots and dip them in the probably very cold mountain water. After the first little cold shock, you will feel wonderfully refreshed and very lively. Pure forest wellness! And if you look a little to the left and right, you might spot a little black fellow with bright yellow spots: the fire salamander. It loves to hide in cool spring streams. It is actually nocturnal, but on rainy days there is a good chance of encountering it.

Tip 4: Taster tour at the reservoir

You can also sniff out some of the inhabitants of the reservoir region. For example, the rare grass lily. Its delicate white flowers populate the dry reservoir slopes and spread an intensely sweet scent.  It is a rich source of nectar for butterflies, bees and hoverflies. You will also often see the decorative peony carnation here. It may be less fragrant, but will enchant you with its purple flowers.

Tip 5: Hiking bus with provisions

The Thuringian Sea hiking bus runs daily from April to October. This allows you to travel in comfort to the start of a stage or back from the end of a stage. You also have a connection to the regional railway network. You can also pick up your hiking snacks on the hiking bus. This is an offer from a local bakery, consisting of a hearty snack and drinks. We call it the "Heimatproviant". Simply select in advance on the Internet or by telephone. It will then be delivered directly to the hiking bus. 

 

Cover picture: ©Florian Trykowski, Thüringer Tourismus GmbH

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