Step by step to the Maare happiness


A hike around the Daun Maars

May is here - and with it the most beautiful time for hiking! When the trees are in full bloom and all around a single buzz of bees and bumblebees can be heard, nature has finally fully awakened and shows its most beautiful side.

At this time of year, the Daun Maars lie almost at their most beautiful in the unspoiled landscape of the rugged volcanic Eifel. Their deep blue water now stands in special contrast to the lush green of nature. With such fantastic conditions for hiking, hardly anything can stop me from grabbing my hiking boots and exploring the volcanic Eifel on foot. Today it will be a path that has long been at the top of my to-do list: the Maare-Glück-Weg around the three Daun Maare. The round tour of just under 11 kilometers has its starting and ending point at the Tourist Information Schalkenmehren.

Hardly arrived in Schalkenmehren, the weather wants to make me probably first of all a line through the bill: I am greeted by a heavy downpour. But I am prepared for it: I quickly pack the rain jacket from my backpack and reach for the umbrella. That can't stop me from hiking! But even the umbrella is not much use when actually also a hailstorm comes down - and that, although I have hardly started my hike. So fast the hail has come, so fast it pulls also again from then. The rain remains however. I don't let myself be distracted and follow the directions - past the village inn Schmitz and out of Schalkenmehren. The rain lets up a bit, but still my umbrella blocks my view of the Schalkenmehrener Maar, which is now on my left. Step by step I go around the Maar and arrive at a steep ascent. Here I am now happy to hike in some rain and moderate 15 degrees, instead of high summer and heat ... because this climb has it in itself.

But after I have mastered this beginning of the tour, I am quickly rewarded: The rain subsides, so that I can pack my umbrella back into the backpack and an unobstructed, wonderful view of the Schalkenmehrener Maar is possible. Somewhat dreary it lies at the moment in the gray rain, but that is about to change. Because as soon as I arrive at the Maarkreuz, the clouds make a little room and let the first rays of sunshine through. I let myself down briefly on the bench at the Maarkreuz and enjoy the moment and the great view of Schalkenmehren. In really sunny weather, the view must be dreamlike, I think to myself.

After a short break, I continue and soon reach the Maarsattel. On the other side of the road the next maar already spreads out directly at my feet: the Weinfelder Maar. The area around the Maar is secured with a fence and a turnstile, which I must pass first. A turnstile - what for? Well, at the Weinfelder Maar a very special landscape management is used. Donkeys and goats are busy here almost the whole year to contain the spread of hedges and to keep the grass around the Maar short. The animal landscape keepers are used to frequent contact with hikers and thus enjoy the odd stroke from walkers. The goats are Boer goats, originally from South Africa, where they are mainly kept for meat production. The goats are perfectly adapted to their original habitat: they can utilize the unruly foliage and thorny plants of the savannah. The Boer goats are also particularly well suited for permanent landscape maintenance in the Eifel, because the females do not have to be milked. Therefore, the goats can remain on the area for many months after the alpine pasture drive, which takes place every year shortly after Easter, without having to be milked.

I follow the Maare-Glück-Weg and go halfway around the Weinfelder Maar. I particularly like the first passage after the turnstile, because here the low trees have grown close together in the crowns and thus form a green "leaf tunnel". As soon as I step out of this natural tunnel, the Maar lies directly at my feet, the shore barely a meter away. I can't resist the sight and have to take some photos again. Now follows a more strenuous passage: It goes up to the Dronketurm. In addition first times a tidy upward gradient must be overcome! Fortunately, it is not too warm today, and yet I come little into the puff. But as soon as I reach the top, I know that the few beads of sweat were worth it: From up here, a fantastic view beckons over towards Schalkenmehren and Brockscheid. I settle down on one of the wooden benches and enjoy my apple as a healthy snack. Afterwards, I pack up and can't miss one thing: a short break on the Hollywood swing, from which you have a fairytale view down to the Gemündener Maar. For me, a real insider tip for the next trip to the GesundLand Vulkaneifel! And of course I also have to climb the Dronketurm, if I'm already here. Step by step I climb up. After the rain clouds have cleared, the sun now comes out again and again between the clouds and provides an incomparable panorama of the Eifel from above. This is definitely one of the highlights of the Maare-Glück tour!

After the descent from the Dronke tower, the path now leads steadily downhill towards the Gemündener Maar. And yet you hardly get to see the actual maar, because it hides behind the greening beeches that surround the maar closely. I enjoy this forest passage and soon arrive at a junction. Here I could leave the Maare-Glück-Weg for a while to take a rest in the forest café Gemünden. However, I decide against it for today, because I want to have dinner in Schalkenmehren, and continue to follow the hiking trail. Everywhere the signposts are clearly visible, so that getting lost is almost impossible. After a while of the way I pass several fishing ponds, where some anglers just try their luck.

In the meantime it has become really warm and I take off my jacket. Because now follows another piece, which will challenge me: Up to the L64, which separates the Schalkenmehrener and the Weinfelder Maar, the path leads constantly uphill. For the effort, however, one is compensated: Although the state road is not far away, I feel here like in a completely secluded spot of untouched nature. I listen to the silence that reigns here - a little bird chirping and the pawing of the horses of the equestrian farm, otherwise nothing can be heard.

Soon I arrive at the top of the L64 and cross the road. From here Schalkenmehren is already visible and I'm looking forward to arriving soon. Passing a pasture where a flock of sheep grazes comfortably, I quickly reach the village. At the end of the hike, I treat myself to an excellent dinner in one of the Schalkenmehren restaurants. So the Maare-Glück-Tour was for me a perfect hiking experience around the Dauner Maare.

Author: Valerie Schneider

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