55743 Idar-Oberstein, car park for hikers at the castle pond, UTM 379815, 5507604 and via access route from Hauptstraße 419, tourist information Marktplatz Oberstein (399 m)
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55743 Idar-Oberstein, car park for hikers at the castle pond, UTM 379815, 5507604 and via access route from Hauptstraße 419, tourist information Marktplatz Oberstein
The circular trail can be entered and exited at various points, but the Tourist Information Office on the market square in Oberstein is a good place to start. From here, after visiting one of the numerous cafés and restaurants or the Idar-Oberstein Museum, we can first reach and visit the unique Felsenkirche (Church on the Rock) via a steep footpath which is marked as an access route. Over a few hairpin bends and through dense forest we then reach the castle complexes of Oberstein Castle and Bosselstein Castle high above the old town of Oberstein.Viewpoints of the Nahe rock trailOur efforts of the ascent are rewarded with a fantastic view of the city centre and the forested heights of the "Prussian Mountains". At the "Schlossweiher", only a few hundred metres away, a barbecue hut and several benches and tables invite us to take a short or even longer break. From here we take the northern route for the continuation of the round hike, as it runs again in the dense forest without steeper sections. Past some deeply incised brook valleys, the path leads us to the "turning point" of the route, another vantage point with views of the Nahe valley and the districts of Nahbollenbach and Weierbach.Most beautiful part of the landscapeFrom this point, a section of the trail slowly descends into the valley, first over the "Himmelsleiter" (sky ladder) to the Nahe river, and then to the most scenic part of the hike, the NSG "Altenberg". It stretches along a baffle slope of the Nahe River on south-facing rocky slopes and is known for its rich variety of animal and plant communities. Numerous rare birds such as eagle owls, jackdaws, rock buntings and kestrels breed on the rocky slopes. With a little patience and good binoculars, we can watch them from the benches set up here.Panoramic view of the Nahe valleyInside the NSG we have to overcome a few meters of altitude again. Shortly after the summit, again connected with a wonderful panoramic view, we hike after a short, flat stretch through dense forest steeply down into the Nahe valley. This time again the path leads us past dry slopes on the Heinzenberg, where in early summer you can observe numerous species of butterflies and other thermophilic animals and plants.A winding path leads from here into the Seitzenbach valley. Via Götzplatz, laid out as an orchard meadow and equipped with a sensory bench with a view of "Oberstein Castle", the path leads to the "Homersfelsen" lookout point high above the town. From here we walk in the direction of the castle grounds and you will again reach the path to the historic old town of Oberstein, the starting point of your circular route.