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Long Distance Hiking recommended route Stage 16

Rheinsteig Stage 16: Kaub - Lorch (North - South)

· 8 reviews · Long Distance Hiking · Romantischer Rhein · Open
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  • Blick auf Burg Pfalzgrafenstein
    Blick auf Burg Pfalzgrafenstein
    Photo: Henry Tornow, Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH
Visiting the Free State of Flaschenhals
Distance 13.9 km
4:30 h
488 m
507 m
354 m
76 m

Today, the hiker on the Rheinsteig becomes a border crosser in two ways: because in addition to moving from Rhineland-Palatinate to Hesse, there is also a visit to the Free State of Flaschenhals, a relic of the occupation period in the 1920s. Otherwise, fabulous views characterize this entertaining relaxation stage.

Author’s recommendation

In der Saison kann man im Niedertal (dort verläuft die Grenze zwischen Rheinland-Pfalz und Hessen) beim Grenzvogt mitten im Wald einkehren.

Profile picture of Frank Gallas
Frank Gallas
Update: August 08, 2023
Highest point
354 m
Lowest point
76 m
Best time of year

Track types

Asphalt 7.72%Dirt road 36.18%Forested/wild trail 42.42%Path 13.36%Road 0.30%
1.1 km
Dirt road
5 km
Forested/wild trail
5.9 km
1.9 km
0 km
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Safety information

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!

Tips and hints


Kaub, Zollstraße (80 m)
50.086772, 7.764000
50°05'12.4"N 7°45'50.4"E
32U 411580 5549010
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Lorch town centre

Turn-by-turn directions

Access: From the Kaub train station, after 200 m you come across the Rheinsteig (RS) at the junction with Adolfstrasse. The RS starts off leisurely and follows Zollstraße in the direction of the train station. The ascent to Gutenfels Castle begins with the turnoff into Adolfstrasse. Height is gained in wide loops until the driveway to the (inaccessible) castle turns left. Now panoramic hiking is the order of the day, because the RS leads through the slope flank with the best view of the valley. The focus is on Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, which appears to be plowing through the river like a ship in the middle of the Rhine. Gently ascending, the RS turns into the Volkenbachtal. As the vegetation thins out, the view of large slate heaps becomes clear and reveals the treasures the ground hides here. After crossing the street, the RS takes a sharp right turn and continues uphill. On the edge of the slope, the Pfalzgrafensteinhütte with a great view of the Rhine invites you to take a well-deserved break before the RS, still climbing, swings into the hinterland. In the middle of the forest you pass another hut, from which you head for the Schenkelbachtal. After crossing the idyllic valley, the RS heads back towards the Rhine Valley, where a local hiking trail from the Kaub train station meets the RS at a pretty view and a place to rest. It continues gently uphill and again the RS turns into a side valley. When the RS changes to the winding Paul Claus path, things get exciting and steep. You reach the Niedertalbach much lower down and cross the border from Rhineland-Palatinate to Hesse when you cross the stream, at the same time you enter the Free State of Flaschenhals. An information board by the border guard explains what this "no man's land" of the French and American occupation zones was all about in the 1920s. Passing the hut, you first follow the stream down into the valley and are surprised by a wine stand in the middle of the forest (during the season), which also offers regional delicacies.


The RS swings uphill and soon you are hiking along above the Rhine Valley again. The vegetation is tearing up and so the Kauber Blick can live up to its name. The RS then circles the Obertal and reaches the junction to the Wirbeley viewpoint, which inspires with a great view of Bacharach and is definitely worth the short detour. It continues along the edge of the slope, where another sensationally beautiful view invites you to take a break at the bend in the Lorchhauser valley. The RS then circles the Belzbachtal and climbs up into the vineyards above the Clemenskapelle. Now the viticulture dominates the path environment and allows wonderful panoramic views over the Rhine. Finally, the RS reaches the (inaccessible) ruins of Nollig. The following descent on a steep alpine path is challenging, but there is a detour marked in yellow. Then you come to a vineyard path that leads down to Lorch with a detour. Cross the Wisper and walk along Marktstraße to the market square. At the end of the hike, it is worth taking a look at the church, which houses a valuable carved altar from the 15th century. Access: If you want to get to the train station, follow the access path parallel to the railway embankment upstream.

Public transport


Bus/train to Kaub train station

By road

By car: B42 to Kaub – follow the signs for the train station

Follow the path from the train station to join the Rheinsteig trail on Zollstraße (ca. 250m).


Car park directly off the B42 near Kaub train station


50.086772, 7.764000
50°05'12.4"N 7°45'50.4"E
32U 411580 5549010
Show on Map
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


Hiking boots/shoes
Suitable weatherproof clothing

Related Events

Hiking & Mountaineering · Romantischer Rhein
RZ-Wandertag in Oberwesel
10/1, 10:00 AM–8:00 PM
Event Organizer: Tourist-Info Oberwesel und Hunsrück-Mittelrhein | Source: Tourist-Info Hunsrück-Mittelrhein - Zentrum am Park

Questions and answers

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Lena K
September 10, 2023 · Community
Schöne und relativ entspannte Etappe. Wenn man gegen Ende noch Energie übrig hat, lohnt sich ein Abstecher zum Rhein-Wisper-Blick (kurz vor der Ruine Nollig nach oben)!
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Photo: Lena K, Community
Photo: Lena K, Community
May 21, 2022 · Community
Immer wieder toll!
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Route done on May 21, 2022
Rainer Alfes
October 01, 2021 · Community
Sehr zu empfehlen!
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Route done on September 30, 2021
Photo: Rainer Alfes, Community
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Photos from others

+ 22

13.9 km
4:30 h
488 m
507 m
Highest point
354 m
Lowest point
76 m
Public-transport-friendly Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Family-friendly Cultural/historical interest Linear route

Weather at the route's trailhead


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  • 3 Waypoints
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