Wow, the World Heritage Valley – finally! From Rüdesheim, the Rheinsteig trail really comes alive, with plenty of ascents and descents. It feels particularly good to float up to the Niederwald monument in the cable car. You don't need to pay homage to the 'Germania', as the massive bronze statue is popularly known – hundreds of people have already done it. The view from the plinth is still unmatched however.
Premium route awarded the "Deutsches Wandersiegel"
Jagdschloss, 334 m
Lorch, Kirche, 78 m
Best time of year
Health and safety
Wear suitable weatherproof clothing that will protect you from cold, wet, heat and sunshine.
Make sure you take regular breaks and don't overexert yourself.
Take enough fluids with you as there are sections without rest stops.
Wear suitable hiking boots/shoes which give you enough grip on slippery, steep, rocky and uneven surfaces.
Avoid any sections of the route which you feel are too difficult for you. Natural trails can quickly become wet and slippery in adverse weather conditions.
Particularly in autumn, you should be careful of uneven ground, roots, stones or holes that have been covered by leaves.
You need to take these kinds of adverse conditions into account every time you go on a hike.
Particularly steep and dangerous places are made safer with handrails or ropes. Please use these as safety aids. Handrails are not to be climbed on or used to get a better view!
The first few kilometres of the World Heritage Valley are characterised by nobility. It was here at the end of the 18th century that Count Carl Amor Maria von Ostein wanted to replicate the Rococo style and built the most beautiful park on the Rhine of its time, with a hermitage, the Rossel viewing tower, knights' hall and magic cave. The river shows us its best side here for the first time. At the hunting lodge (today a hotel) the trail continues down towards Assmannshausen, whose red wines are world famous. The most well-known vineyard is Höllenberg, whose name has nothing to do with the devil or hell – it comes from the word 'helda', meaning 'steep slope'. The climb to the top of the Eckersteinkopf really is hellishly steep. A rocky path begins at the edge of the vineyard district, showing that the Rheinsteig trail really does deserve the name 'steig' (steep trail). The extremely narrow path clings tightly to the slope, which is covered with millions of boulders. It eventually opens out onto a panoramic section of the trail. There really are amazing views along this section, including at the Paul-Claus hikers' hut, for example. A short distance towards the nearby valley is the turn-off for Suleika Campsite. This campsite is not only located in one of the most beautiful areas of Germany, it also belongs to the former Free State Bottleneck, which was founded briefly after the end of the First World War, before ending abruptly with the French occupation of the Ruhr in 1923. A substantial section of trail lies ahead of us now, until we reach the church at Lorch, especially as the Rheinsteig trail usually does not take the shortest route.
Getting home: follow the footpath to the train station.
Train to Rüdesheim station
B42 to Rüdesheim train station. From the train station follow the path leading to the Rheinsteig trail or take the cable car to the Niederwald monument.
Car park at Rüdesheim train station
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
Rheinsteig-Wanderkarten sind im Rheintalshop erhältlich: www.rheintal-shop.de
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