Hiking on original paths


On the way on the Manderscheider Burgenstieg - one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Germany


For many years now, the "Wandermagazin" has chosen the most beautiful hiking trail in Germany. After the hiking trail "Im Tal der Wilden Endert" made it to first place last year, GesundLand Vulkaneifel has again sent a trail into the race for the title in 2020: This year, the Manderscheider Burgenstieg is to receive as many votes as possible.

At the beginning of February it was clear: The trail is actually nominated to be voted the most beautiful hiking trail in 2020. That made me curious. To convince myself of the beauty of the tour with my own eyes, I set out to explore the Burgenstieg for myself. In the morning I grab my small backpack and drive to Manderscheid. There I park my car in the parking lot of the Kurhaus, because this is where the five-kilometer-long Manderscheid Burgenstieg starts. This is particularly practical for anyone who wants to find out about the hiking trail in advance, because the Kurhaus also houses the tourist information office. So anyone who would like to get a hiking flyer or other information can do so directly before the start of the hike at the Kurhaus.

I already have my flyer in my pocket and start walking. First my way leads me through the Kurgarten. Unfortunately, the weather has not meant it so well today. The clouds hang gray above me and let a few raindrops fall from time to time. But it is not difficult for me to imagine how beautiful it must be in the spa garden when spring has arrived and everything is green again. Especially the willow, which stands by the small pond and makes a shady spot out of the bench below, is certainly a wonderful place to rest and enjoy nature at a warmer time of year. After the pond, the path leads along small back gardens that will soon awaken from their winter sleep. In one garden I even discover a small chicken coop.

Arrived at the Kurfürstenstraße in Manderscheid, I cross the street and I land shortly on the town hall square. Here stands the millennium fountain, which I want to look at a little closer. In the center of the fountain is the "Tree of Life", which people climb from their youth to the top, where they can harvest the fruits of their labor. The tree of life bears 21 fruits, each fruit representing one of the local communities of the former Verbandsgemeinde Manderscheid, which today belong to the Verbandsgemeinde Wittlich-Land. The artist, Johann Baptist Lenz, has also placed 21 words of wisdom on the trunk of the tree. There you can read, for example: "What is against nature is against God" (Hebbel) or "Learn from the past to shape the future" (Walter Densborn).

After a closer look, I leave the millennium fountain behind me and turn left into Klosterstraße. The street, which is more of an alley, reminds me of Manderscheid's medieval past with its quaint half-timbered houses. I like this atmosphere, which immediately conveys coziness and tranquility. That's why I take a little time to let the surroundings take effect on me before I stroll on along the Manderscheid Burgenstieg.

Just past the house Burgblick, I find the first bench, from which one has the Manderscheider castles wonderfully in view. In today's February weather, although unfortunately gray in gray, but that also has something for itself: Due to the rough weather, the old walls seem particularly mystical, as if they had to brave the next hours of an upcoming storm. After a snapshot I go on.

After just a few steps, the path now dips into the forest - and with it the silence of nature. Apart from the sounds of the forest, nothing else can be heard here. No car and not a soul far and wide. This is pure hiking pleasure for me. After all, what could be more beautiful than merging with nature on a hiking tour and simply enjoying the natural surroundings? Although spring still needs a few weeks to arrive, I can already hear some birds with their cheerful songs defy the uncomfortable temperatures. I follow the path into the forest and notice with pleasure that the forest path turns into a rocky path after a short time. Here is definitely required surefootedness! I give good eight, because by the rain of recent days, the stony ground is slippery. While to my right the terrain drops sharply and deep below me the Lieser rushes, to my left tower mighty rock walls, which are covered in many places with the most beautiful moss species. I follow the rocky path and soon reach the next bench, from which there is again a beautiful view of the imposing castles. I take a short break to take a photo. A man with a dog comes towards me, but he will be the only one I meet on this gray spring day on the Burgenstieg.

From here on, the path leads downhill towards the Lieser until I arrive directly at the river. The rain of the last days and weeks has caused the river to swell. With a mighty roar, the otherwise so tame Lieser makes its way through the valley until it has crossed half the Eifel and will eventually flow into the Moselle. At this point, right at the bridge, the small Nachtergraben also flows into the Lieser. I walk onto the bridge, where the Burgenstieg now leads, and pause for a moment. I listen to the steady murmur of the river. There is hardly anything I associate with nature as much as the sound of flowing water - be it the roar of a lively river or the happy gurgle of a small stream, it doesn't matter. Hiking along rivers is pure nature for me.

I break again and continue walking. The path now continues with a slight rise near the Nachtergraben away from the Lieser. It goes sharply right up a small trail with a decent slope. I leave the Nachtergraben thus under me and hear him soon only in the distance quietly rauschen. A small rivulet, probably nourished by the rain of the last days, splashes across the path. A beautiful photo motif! But I don't stay long and soon find myself on a wide forest path. Here are in some places still remains of forest work to see. A chainsaw is nowhere to be heard today - but the wind that whistles high above me with a roar through the tops of the mighty fir trees. After a piece of the way I pass a hut. A look at my hiking flyer tells me that this can only be the Wolfshütte. Here I want to take a short break and enjoy my provisions, because from here you can see far into the Lieser Valley. With this view, the snack tastes twice as good.

After the wolf hut, the path leads away from the forest of majestic conifers and towards a sparse beech forest. Here, far and wide, there is nothing to hear and nothing to see. Especially on a hiking tour I find this very pleasant. Just switch off away from civilization, find yourself in nature and gather new strength for everyday life. Like a little vacation in the middle of the day. A few drops of rain fall, but with my jacket I'm well equipped, so I don't mind the weather. After a piece of the way I komem at a highlight of the tour: the Eifelblick Belvedere. Here you are enthroned far above the Lieser Valley, there is a breathtaking view of the ancient castles and the beautiful small town of Manderschied, which is seen from here beyond the valley. But not only the view makes this point special. In 1833, the future Emperor Wilhelm I, then still Crown Prince, looked out over the Lieser Valley to Manderscheid from here. This is also written in the column that stands on this spot and commemorates this event. All of the inscription I can not decipher, but to read is: "Here stood Crown Prince Fridr. Wilhelm v. Prussia on November 3, 1833. The King Fridr. Wilhelm on the day d. gold. Hochzeit...". What else is written underneath, I can not see.

After I have let the wonderful view work on me for some time, I go on. I know that now not too much distance lies ahead of me. The path is slightly sloping and leads further and further towards the castles. I'm fascinated by how many completely different perspectives on the old walls arise in the course of the hike. From every angle they look different to me. Sometimes majestic and defiant, sometimes a peaceful monument in a unique landscape. I arrive at the Rittersteig, which is announced to me with a rustic wooden sign and has certainly earned the name "Steig", as I will discover shortly thereafter. Here the narrow path goes narrowly along the rock over stick and stone steeply downhill. I am glad that there are railings everywhere to hold on. Especially when the ground is wet, it could otherwise be really difficult here. Therefore, I take good care and climb down. At the same time, I really like the originality of the Burgenstieg, especially on this piece.

After the Rittersteig, I find myself close to the main road. From here, the Stieg leads directly to the castle grounds. First I cross another bridge over the rushing Lieser and cross the large tournament meadow, which annually becomes the scene of the spectacle around the historic castle festival. With a little imagination, I can see in my mind's eye how exciting knightly battles will be fought here again in a few months and numerous tradesmen in authentic costumes will be hawking their wares.

After that, the path goes up to the spectator stands and away from the castle grounds. The path now circles the upper and lower castles on narrow paths. This is the last part of the castle climb, which I will remember the most. For me, this section is definitely the highlight of the round trip, as I later discover. After the paved road around the castle, the route now becomes narrow and adventurous again. On the left, the valley of the Lieser opens up, on the right, the path is bordered by rock walls. On this last part of the route you have really distinctive views of the castles. I take the opportunity to take some more great photos. The panoramas are impressive.

I finally arrive at the Kaisertempelchen. A glance at my hiking flyer tells me that my hike is about to come to an end. From up here, a last wonderful view of the Lieser Valley opens up, which I enjoy for a moment before I return to the parking lot at the Kurhaus to my car. But before I drive home I do something. I go to the Tourist Information at the Kurhaus, grab a voting card and give the Manderscheider Burgenstieg my vote. Although I don't know all the hiking trails available for selection, today's hike convinced me that the "Manderscheider Burgenstieg mit Rittersteig" deserves the title of "Germany's Most Beautiful Hiking Trail 2020. I'll throw the map into the voting box and keep my fingers crossed for the election.

Vote for the Manderscheider Burgenstieg: This is how it works!

  1. By postcard: Mark "Manderscheider Burgenstieg" on voting card no. 9, fill in the address field and you're done! The voting cards are available at many contact points in Manderscheid as well as in all GesundLand tourist information offices and can also be returned directly on site.
  2. Online: Open the voting studio via www.wandermagazin.de/wahlstudio, select No. 9 "Manderscheider Burgenstieg" and submit - done! Click here to go to the online voting studio.

Those who participate in the voting will automatically have the opportunity to win great outdoor prizes.

Author: Valerie Schneider

Other comments
Hans-Henning Trautmann
A very nice route description.I have gone with friends this route several times...always beautiful...and different.When I get visitors from my old home (northern Germany),then the Castle Trail is a must.
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