St. Goarshausen - Nocherner Brünnchen hikers' car park - Maus Castle - Wellmich - Mining trail - Sachsenhäuser Feld plateau - Slag heap - Pulsbach Valley - Oberkestert - Kestert
A tunnel deep beneath the Rhine? There's no such thing! But there was, at least until 15 September 1958. On that day, the 'Good Hope' mine above the St. Goarshausen district of Wellmich ceased its operations. Because the processing plant for the ores that had been mined there for centuries was on the left bank of the Rhine, the miners blasted a 136m deep tunnel under the river and laid some tracks for a train which took them to the other side. Today, an educational trail keeps the memory of the miners' alive.
Premium route awarded the "Deutsches Wandersiegel"
Sachsenhäuser Feld, 281 m
Wellmich, 73 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!
A nice section of trail takes you to the starting point at the Heumarktspforte gate in Wellmich. It continues from the St. Goarshausen cemetery in the Hasenbach Valley and initially ascends steeply to an imposing radio mast. Take your time here – enjoy the magnificent view of Katz Castle, and get your breath back! Next stop is Maus Castle, which is reached by a descending, winding path. The castle houses a falconry, where, from spring to autumn, you can watch demonstrations with birds of prey. Descend from here to Wellmich, where the mining and nature trail to the Ehren Valley begins. This trail teaches us about the area's mining tradition as well as about its plants and animals, which normally live in the Mediterranean region, including rare orchids. The educational trail leads in wide loops up to the spacious hikers' shelter on the Sachsenhäuser Feld plateau.
From here, the trail continues down to the river at the bottom of the Ehren Valley, where the Rheinsteig trail veers to the right over the top of a slag heap. You should then follow the signs to Oberkestert. The trail then merges into a narrow rocky path which clings to the slope above the Pulsbach gorge. Don't stay to explore the gorge (although it is a worthwhile trip) but hike over to Oberkestert and from there to the rest stop at Kestert.
Getting home: follow the path to Kestert train station.
Train to St. Goarshausen station
B42 to St. Goarshausen train station. From the station, follow the path leading to the Rheinsteig trail until you reach the Hasenbach Valley (ca. 100m).
Car park at St. Goarshausen 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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