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Long Distance Hiking Top Stage 3

Rheinsteig Stage 3: Bad Honnef–Linz (north–south)

· 4 reviews · Long Distance Hiking · Romantischer Rhein · open
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Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Blick Richtung Siebengebirge
    / Blick Richtung Siebengebirge
    Photo: Oliver Bremm, Tourismus Siebengebirge GmbH
  • / Bei Orsberg
    Photo: Frank Gallas, Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH
  • / Unkel
    Photo: Kevin Kalfels, Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH
  • / Erpeler Ley
    Photo: Dominik Ketz, Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH
  • / KD-Schiff unterhalb der Erpeler Ley
    Photo: Oliver Bremm, Tourismus Siebengebirge GmbH
  • / Linz
    Photo: Henry Tornow, Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH
m 300 200 100 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 km
From Bad Honnef several rises and slopes take you through constantly changing scenery to the colourful town of Linz on the Rhine.
Distance 17.9 km
6:00 h
518 m
574 m

This is a region shrouded in legend. Once upon a time seven giants were said to have dug a bed for the River Rhine after it had long tried to break its way through the rocks to no avail. Once they’d finished, the giants started to head for home. As they didn’t want to return with their spades dirty, each one of them banged his tool on the ground to remove the earth clinging to the blade. And so the hills of the Siebengebirge were formed.

The first few kilometres take you through dense forest. The landscape then constantly alternates between meadows and woodland. The highlights of this stage of the Rheinsteig are undoubtedly the views from the Stux, Erpeler Ley and Ockenfels Castle. (The castle is private and can’t be visited. The view from the meadow outside the castle walls is just as spectacular, however.)

Author’s recommendation

The path across the Erpeler Ley is an extra loop on this section of the trail but worth the effort for the view and the chance to stop off for some refreshment!
Profile picture of Joachim Fox
Joachim Fox
Updated: August 14, 2020
Premium route awarded the "Deutsches Wandersiegel"
Highest point
311 m
Lowest point
67 m
Best time of year

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


Bad Honnef (123 m)
50.639857, 7.246539
50°38'23.5"N 7°14'47.5"E
32U 376013 5611244



Turn-by-turn directions

From the train station in Bad Honnef you walk through the town to the Mucherwiesen Valley where you pick up the Rheinsteig close to the youth hostel. A dell cuts in from the right which the trail traces up to the Barbara Hut (burnt down). From here the climb up to the nearby Leyberg is recommended, a basalt peak with marvellous panoramic views of the elevations of the Siebengebirge. Back at the foot of the hill, you follow a path along the slope to a junction at the Auge Gottes (“eye of God”) wayside shrine. In the past, foresters often had to contend with timber thieves, so they erected a sign inscribed with the warning “an eye is something that sees everything, even what happens in the dead of night”. There’s no record of whether the thieves took any notice of it or not ...

At the junction the descent into the Breitbach Valley begins, past the ruins of what used to be a V1 rocket launcher.  In the old days ore was mined at many pits in these parts, with a large cross erected in memory of those who lost their lives here. Down in the valley the Rheinsteig turns left (south) just before a former smelting works and the gradual ascent begins up to the Marienberg (once a school hostel), the Bruchhausen war cemetery and Bruchhauser Heide (campsite). Atop the plateau you can allow your gaze to wander and take in the scenery for a while. At the edge of the plateau a narrow track winds its way down to a little waterfall in the Hähnerbach Valley. From here the hike up to the Stux starts, where grand vistas await not far from the television mast.

It’s little more than a gentle stroll to Orsberg where again stamina is called for as you climb up to the Erpeler Ley with its picnic area and restaurant. A giant wooden cross pays homage to the victims of the battle for the Ludendorff Bridge between Erpel and Remagen in 1944/45. You can see the bridgeheads from the Erpeler Ley. You now head down to the viaduct of the Kasbach Valley Railway and after a short rise up to the tracks you then continue towards Ockenfels Castle which is under private ownership. Passing the castle, you then hike through Ockenfels along a tarmacked road, again turning uphill at the last houses and gardens. Before heading down a narrow path to your final destination on this leg of the Rheinsteig, you can enjoy a last panoramic view of the Erpeler Ley in the north, the Ahr Valley on the other side of the Rhine and Bad Breisig to the south.

Once in Linz, you should allow time to wander through the historic old town. Its many brightly painted, half-timbered houses have earned it the nickname of “the colourful town on the Rhine”. The market square boasts one of the oldest town halls in Rhineland-Palatinate. On your way to the station you pass Linz Castle very close to the Rhine which once controlled shipping here by levying tolls and taxes.


all notes on protected areas

Public transport


Bad Honnef and Linz are both on the regional stopping and regional express train network which operates a regular service. You can also get to Bad Honnef by suburban train from Königswinter or Bonn in the north. The access path with its yellow signs from the main line and suburban train stations to the main trail is about two and 2.5 kilometres long.

The Selhof Kirche stop is closer to the main trail (about one kilometre). Bus 566 leaves from the train station in Rhöndorf.

Getting there

Follow the B42 along the Rhine to get to Bad Honnef and Linz.

Access by train or ship (in the summer) possible.

There is a car ferry in both Bad Honnef and Linz.


You can park at the main line and suburban train stations and at various places in town.


50.639857, 7.246539
50°38'23.5"N 7°14'47.5"E
32U 376013 5611244
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Literatur zum Rheinsteig erhältlich im Rheintalshop

Author’s map recommendations

Rheinsteig-Wanderkarten sind im Rheintalshop erhältlich


  • Wanderschuhe
  • Witterungsangepasste, zweckmäßige Kleidung

Questions and answers

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Eliana Faiola 
July 19, 2020 · Community
Sehr schöne, abwechslungsreiche Tour, durch Wälder und niedliche Dörfer, über Pferdekoppeln, und mit tollen Aussichtspunkten. Die mittlere Schwierigkeit kommt meiner Meinung nach eher durch die Länge, ansonsten ist die Strecke meistens flach, nur selten geht es so richtig berghoch.
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Photo: Eliana Faiola, Community
Vaclav Demling
May 28, 2016 · Community
Sehr schöne, abwechslungsreiche Etappe, jederzeit gut begehbar und ausgeschildert. Waldabschnitte wechseln sich mit Wiesenabschnitten ab, Höhepunkt ist der Ausblick von der Erpeler Ley auf den Rhein, aber auch zwischendurch gibt es immer mal wieder tolle Aussichtspunkte. Einkehrmöglichkeiten gibt es in Bruchhausen und in der Nähe von Gut Haanhof (jeweils kleiner Abstecher) und selbstverständlich auf der Erpeler Ley.
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When did you do this route? May 26, 2016
Waldweg, Grenze Nordrhein-Westfalen und Rheinland-Pfalz
Photo: Vaclav Demling, Community
Bildstock Auge Gotes, mit 305 m ü. NN höchster Punkt der Wanderung
Photo: Vaclav Demling, Community
Wasserfall in der Nähe der Stuxhöhe
Photo: Vaclav Demling, Community
Blick auf Unkel vom Stuxberg
Photo: Vaclav Demling, Community
Blick auf Remagen von der Erpeler Ley aus
Photo: Vaclav Demling, Community
Holzkreuz zu Ehren der Gefallenen im Zweiten Weltkrieg auf der Erpeler Ley
Photo: Vaclav Demling, Community
Blick auf Linz am Rhein von der Erpeler Ley aus
Photo: Vaclav Demling, Community
Burg Ockenfels
Photo: Vaclav Demling, Community
Ziel (bzw. Startpunkt) der Etappe am Marktplatz in Linz am Rhein
Photo: Vaclav Demling, Community
Marktplatz in Linz am Rhein
Photo: Vaclav Demling, Community
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Photos from others

Waldweg, Grenze Nordrhein-Westfalen und Rheinland-Pfalz
Bildstock Auge Gotes, mit 305 m ü. NN höchster Punkt der Wanderung
+ 8

17.9 km
6:00 h
518 m
574 m
Public-transport-friendly Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Cultural/historical value Geological highlights Botanical highlights


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