Photo: Frank Gallas, Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH
Blick in Richtung Bad Hönningen
Photo: Henry Tornow, Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH
Schafsnasen apples and wine by the glass:
Leutesdorf - Edmund hikers' hut and restaurant - Mühlbach Valley - Hammerstein castle ruins - Oberhammerstein - Towpath - Niederhammerstein - Annahof restaurant - Rheinbrohler Ley hill - Rheinbrohl - Bergfriede House - Bahlsbach Valley - Bad Hönningen
Distance 16.2 km
Leutesdorf, on the sunny side of the Rhine, has a long tradition of wine-growing. Today the town is, looking downriver, the last important 'Riesling bastion' on the Rhine. Pretty 17th century half-timbered houses lend the town a certain cosiness. The parish church stands tall in the town centre. There is a beautiful view of the town from the vineyard on the hill.
Am Ende der Etappe lohnt sich der Besuch des Erlebnismuseums RömerWelt. Mit Nachbau von einer Mannschaftsstube, einem Backhaus und einer funktionsfähigen römischen Phahlramme in Originalgröße.
But the Rheinsteig trail would not be the Rheinsteig if it didn't go uphill straight away again. We climb in the direction of the Sonnenweg path and the Windhäuser Hof restaurant on a narrow path through the vineyards to 'Haus Vogelsang', where the trail turns right towards Leutesdorf and follows the 'Edmund Hüttenweg' path to the 'Edmund-Hütte' hikers' hut. Behind the hut, the Rheinsteig trail offers a bit of a climb, continuing away from the Rhine, into the forest and onto an educational orchard trail, where we are taught about traditional fruit-growing methods. At the end of the educational trail, the path continues through open meadows. After walking along the upper edge of the vineyard, the trail continues downhill in long winding loops to the Bachhof restaurant in the Mühlbach Valley. A wide path leads us through more vineyards, with signs directing us to the nearby wine bars. Leaving the easy vineyard paths, we walk up to the ruins of Hammerstein Castle. Built on a 196m high rock spur, it is the first spur castle in the Rhineland. We then walk through more orchards on a steeply descending path down to Oberhammerstein and from there downstream through the vineyards to Niederhammerstein. The trail continues along the valley floor of the River Hammerstein, past the Annahof restaurant to the Rheinbrohler Ley hill, with its viewing pavilion and a view of the Hammersteiner Werth, an uninhabited island. A meadow path takes us down to a war memorial and on to the first houses of Rheinbrohl. We continue following the Rheinsteig trail along the outskirts of Rheinbrohl and eventually come via a small collection of allotments to the Bahlsbach Valley, where we follow a short stretch of the road to Arienheller. Just after the ‘Römerwelt am Caput Limitis’ (a Roman living history museum and visitor centre), we follow the Rheinsteig trail into the town centre of Bad Hönningen.
all notes on protected areas
Train to Leutesdorf station
B42 to Leutesdorf train station, then follow the river along the Schoppenweg path to the vineyards (15 minutes).
At Leutesdorf train station
32U 385561 5590581
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
Rheinsteig-Wanderkarten sind im Rheintalshop erhältlich: www.rheintal-shop.de