From the Kyrburg car park, you start with a small climb with the best view of Kirn and the Nahe Valley. And after just 100 m, the first, very worthwhile detour to explore the Kyrburg beckons. From the highest point on the wall, you are rewarded with a magnificent panoramic view from the Idarkopf over the Hahnenbach Valley to the Soonwald main ridge and to Kirn. Some of the highlights of the rest of the tour can also be envisaged.
Back on the main route, the trail descends to a saddle where two very comfortable benches invite you to take your first rest. The Three-Castles-Trail then follows a path into the idyllic Trübenbach Valley. The successful mixture of rustic forest, quietly rippling water and winding path makes hearts beat faster and in the middle of the valley a short detour to a small waterfall beckons.
Further on, the narrow path winds steadily but leisurely uphill and finally leads through varied mixed forest to the K30. After a careful traverse, an old quarry is passed before the route continues to climb through dense woodland.
At the edge of the forest, a field passage with a few changes of direction begins, taking you up to a small wood from where you can enjoy a great view towards the Nahe Valley and mountains.
After circling the little wood, the perspective changes and on Pfaffenheckshöhe, Wartenstein Castle, Kallenfels and the Soonwald are in focus. The descent also begins with good views, but soon the Three Castle Trail leads tightly downhill in bends through the forest. Passing the impressive Wehlenfels, you reach the outskirts of Kallenfels where the rocks crowned by castle ruins tower high above the houses. After crossing the Hahnenbach stream and the L 182, the route runs alongside the road to the northern edge of the village, where there is another entry point to the tour at the Kallenfels car park. As you enter the forest, the buildings are left behind and, accompanied by a forest nature trail, the Three-Castles-Trail initially heads for Wartenstein Castle, climbing only slightly. But when the logos point to a path on the left, it quickly becomes strenuous, as the path leads steeply uphill in serpentines. This ascent only ends at the newly designed castle garden, directly at the gate of Wartenstein Castle.
Now it’s time to take a breather, which is easy on the wide forest path and the gentle slope. But at the Pidoll oak at the latest, it becomes more strenuous again as the Three-Castles-Trail begins its ascent to Oberhausen. Initially on a rustic forest path lined with rocks, then later through open meadows and fields, you gain significant height. With a small detour, you pay a flying visit to the village before heading below the houses in the direction of the sports field. Before entering the forest, you cross an asphalt path: here the access road branches off to the nearby car park at the Oberhaus sports field, which is also a suitable starting point for the hike.
The Three-Castles-Trail dips into the green of the forest and leads via several forks to the proverbial highlight of the tour: The Kirner Dolomites! A bench offers the opportunity to enjoy the fantastic panorama of Kirn and the Nahe Valley in peace, while the surrounding rugged rocks give many a climber a challenge. But now comes a real challenge for hikers as well: The descent along the rocks. The path is steep and narrow and, especially in wet conditions, a very sure footing and sturdy hiking boots are absolutely necessary. After the successful descent, enjoyable hiking is again the order of the day, as an almost level, lightly paved path leads framed by copses to a meadow orchard. Across this, a meadow path leads downhill to another dirt track heading southwest. Wonderful views of Kirn and Kyrburg Castle accompany this section of the tour. In a copse, you meet the Soonwaldsteig trail and descend together with it to the outskirts of the town. Via footpaths you reach the Hahnenbach Valley and finally separate from the Soonwaldsteig. After crossing the Hahnenbach stream, walk past the shopping centre, which offers refreshments, except on Sundays. Now the final ascent is calling, so cross the L182 at the zebra crossing and take the stairs to the Jewish cemetery. Straight ahead you walk through the middle of the old cemetery, whose old trees create a sublime atmosphere. At a crossroads, leave the cemetery and walk to the left until you reach the access road to the Kyrburg. But instead of striving uphill on the road, you can tackle the last energy-sapping metres of altitude on the meadow next to the avenue of trees. The route rewards this effort with an unusual attraction, because just 100m below the car park there is a huge XXL bench (Gulliver’s bench) ready for you to enjoy a rest.
After this last panoramic rest, you reach the Kyrburg car park, where after 13.5 km the loop on the Three-Castles-Trail comes to an end.
Other starting points:
Kallenfels car park: N49° 47´ 56.9´´ E7° 26´ 03.3´´
Oberhausen car park (200m access route): N49° 48´ 14.1´´ E7° 27´ 08.3´´
Text: Frau Dr. Poller, Schöneres Wandern