This stage of the Rheinsteig starts off in the forest and later takes you through open country. A number of steep ascents make this section quite demanding!
The Marksburg is something of a prototype German castle. The only hilltop castle on the Middle Rhine never to have been destroyed, it’s one of the most magnificent strongholds in Europe. Don’t miss the riders’ steps hewn out of the rock, the gruesome mediaeval torture chamber, the canon batteries and herb garden. The ancient walls have been home to the German Castles Association since 1900, under which the owners of 30,000 castles and castle sites in the German-speaking regions are organised.
After this cultural high point at the start of today’s tour, our natural surroundings are then very much in focus. Up until the last third of the hike we pass through many swathes of forest that time and again open out onto wonderful views of the River Rhine. Larger sections through open country only start from Filsen.
You can only visit the Marksburg on a guided tour (lasting 50 minutes). This is absolutely recommended, however.
Updated: February 23, 2021
Premium route awarded the "Deutsches Wandersiegel"
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!
We start our ‘conquest’ of the castle in the centre of Braubach on a stony track winding uphill, with some steep passages to overcome. After our guided tour (50 minutes very well spent!) we leave the castle mound behind us and walk the short stretch down to the church of St. Martin’s. From here steps lead down to the railway line where the craggy Zecherweg starts. On our way up it’s worth stopping and turning round to admire the view of the Marksburg and Rhine behind us. At the Lusthäuschen viewing pavilion you’ve mastered the first strenuous climb of the day!
What follows is sheer hiking pleasure as we meander along parallel to the edge of the hill until the Rheinsteig again takes a sharp right to curve down to the Dinkhold stream valley and the Sauerbrunnen spring. An analysis from 1565 states that this water was “drunk daily to combat the effects of yesterday’s drinking”. The source has since been blocked off and you are advised not to drink the water.
You gradually walk up the valley until a narrow forest path cuts steeply uphill to the Dinkholder Berg with its picnic area, hut and marvellous views. The descent from the Dinkholder Berg is just as precipitous. The trail then undulates through the shady forest, with several side valleys to be crossed on the way.
Above Osterspai the Hexenköpfel reminds us of the horrific burning of those accused of witchcraft during the Middle Ages. From here it’s not much further to Filsen past the Alter Ellig hikers’ car park. Beyond Filsen a narrow winding path takes us up to a viewing pavilion with views of Boppard and the Filsener Ley. From here you can see the Rhine make its biggest loop of 180°.
The subsequent track along the edge of the Kamperhauser Feld is one of sections of the Rheinsteig with the best views. You finally reach your destination of Kamp-Bornhofen along a nature trail marked with the yellow Rheinsteig access signs.
all notes on protected areas
There is a train station in both Braubach and Kamp-Bornhofen where regional trains regularly stop. An access path marked with yellow signs runs between both stations and the Rheinsteig.
Follow the B42 along the Rhine to get to Braubach.
There is parking directly on the Rhine along the B42. There are only a few parking spaces near the train station in Braubach. From the banks of the Rhine follow the Hauptstraße/main road through Braubach. You pick up the Rheinsteig on the corner of Wilhelmstraße.
From Kamp-Bornhofen you can return to your car by train.
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Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Book recommendation by the author
Literatur zum Rheinsteig erhältlich im Online-Shop des Rheinsteigs
Author’s map recommendations
Rheinsteig-Wanderkarten sind erhältlich im Online-Shop des Rheinsteigs