Photo: Dominik Ketz, Rheinland-Pfalz Tourismus GmbH
Rheinsteig zwischen Rengsdorf und Sayn
Photo: Joachim Fox, Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH
Photo: Frank Gallas, Romantischer Rhein Tourismus GmbH
This stage of the Rheinsteig takes us back towards the Rhine. In addition to the various cultural attractions in Bendorf-Sayn, the trail also runs right past the zoo in Neuwied.
Distance 15.4 km
Highest point306 m
Lowest point75 m
The spa town of Rengsdorf is off the beaten track, nestled in the Rhenish Westerwald, the region between the romantic Middle Rhine Valley and the high ridge of the Westerwald. The forest air rich in oxygen, coupled with the mild climes of the Rhine, makes for a healthy environment here which has helped earn Rengsdorf its status of climatic health resort.
This shady section of the Rheinsteig leads us back down to the Middle Rhine Valley, with woodland clearings and field tracks enabling us to catch frequent glimpses of the valley below. About three kilometres before the end of this leg of the trail Neuwied Zoo awaits with the largest herd of kangaroos outside Australia.
Bendorf itself has a number of treats in store: a butterfly garden, museum of ornamental cast iron, the industrial monument of the Sayn Ironworks, Sayn Abbey and Sayn Palace with its wonderful gardens. The palace is inhabited by Prince and Princess Alexander and Gabriele von Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn. You can climb to the tops of the trees on the climbing course behind the abbey.
There are a number of cultural gems to discover at the end of this section of the Rheinsteig. Be sure to allow enough time to explore!
Update: March 10, 2022
Premium route awarded the "Deutsches Wandersiegel"
Our tour today starts on a narrow path that turns right into the woods, past the Jonas Hut and on up through pine forest to the eastern slope of the Wingertsberg. Here, you can still find traces of the ancient Roman Limes ditch. The frontier was fortified with towers erected at regular intervals, with one of these very close to here. Only the foundations are now still visible. A reconstruction of the defensive structure with its Roman tower takes us back in time.
From the Roman tower you follow the Wingertsberg nature trail down into the Aubach Valley to the Schwanenteich lake. We hike past the Rhineland-Palatinate riding centre in Oberbieber, soon turning off uphill towards the Haus am Pilz. On the far side of the Heimbach we reach Schnepfenteich Lake and bird nature trail (with a hut) on the way to Heimbach-Weis. The nature trail ends on the Kuckuckberg. On a narrow path that takes us through fields and wild orchards we approach Neuwied Zoo, the largest zoo in Rhineland-Palatinate. Before we then reach the Bismarckhöhe with its hut, we can admire the views out over the Neuwied Basin as we wander through farmland. This depression between Koblenz and Neuwied divides the narrow valley of the Upper from that of the Lower Middle Rhine along a length of 22 river kilometres. From the Bismarckhöhe you hike to the Friedrichsberg and then down into the Saynbach Valley where you soon catch sight of your final destination for today: Sayn Palace.
all notes on protected areas
There is a station in Neuwied where regional stopping and regional express trains stop between Koblenz and Cologne/Bonn. Bus number 101 regularly runs from the train station to Rengsdorf.
You return by bus (there are several possible routes) from Sayn Palace to the station in Neuwied.
Alternatively, you can park your car in Bendorf-Sayn in the morning and take the bus to Rengsdorf, changing in Neuwied. This saves you having to catch a bus at the end of your hike.
Follow the B42 to Neuwied-Heddesdorf and then take the B256 north to Rengsdorf. Here, turn onto the K104 towards Hardert and park at the church at the end of the village.
Serviced by bus 101 to and from Neuwied (trains in Neuwied).
From the B42 you take the B413 to Sayn. There is a bus from Bendorf.