Bockenau car park at the “Bockenauer Schweiz” campsite or Winterburg car park at the cemetery
We start with the vitality tour “Castle Trail”
at the car park at “Bockenauer Schweiz”. The circular trail first runs in a northerly direction along a disused railway line. On this approximately 0.7 km long section, we walk along the valley floor, surrounded by near-natural accompanying woodland. The path leads us on a water-bound road surface along the county road. After crossing several roads, the trail leaves the valley floor at the edge of Winterburg. Taking a steep 200 m ascent on an asphalt path, we hike northwards along the ridge.
From here there is a distant view as far as the Donnersberg in the south and the quartzite slopes of the Soonwald in the north. On the opposite side of the slope we can see Winterburg Castle, the villages of Gebroth and Allenfeld and the ridge of the Gauchsberg. The village of Winterburg can be seen in the very narrow valley bottom of the Ellerbach stream. Surrounded by meadows and groups of copses, this section of the trail gives us a special hiking experience. After approx. 400 m, the dirt road ends on an asphalt road. We continue walking in a northerly direction and pass neighbouring cattle pastures.
On reaching the heights, a new hikers’ hut built by Naturpark Soonwald Nahe e. V. welcomes us at the viewpoint “Auf dem Eckweiler Berg”. The comfortable rest area offers us a good opportunity to take a break while letting our eyes take in a peaceful landscape whilst enjoying the place characterised by silence.
We hike along the idyllic Tonnenbach Valley to the village of Winterburg. Through the village, our route takes us up a steep climb with steps to Winterburg Castle. After a steep descent to the Ellerbach Valley, the trail climbs back up to the “Hahn” viewpoint. After another steep descent and ascent with the “Schlicht” viewpoint, we reach the next mountain range “Am Meerhölzchen”. The challenging section of the trail is rewarded with impressive distant and close-up views. Deciduous forests and imposing rocky outcrops make this section a special hiking experience. The crest of the ridge runs across an open landscape. Back in the forest, the path continually loses height. Along a sunken path that was used in past centuries to go to church from Allenfeld to the former monastery near Bockenau, we hike back to the “Bockenauer Schweiz” restaurant.