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The wild Forststeig – 7 days in the remote sandstone mountains

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The wild Forststeig – 7 days in the remote sandstone mountains

Hiking Collection by Sachsenforst

7

Tours

31:52 h

67.4 mi

8,625 ft

Far away from popular tourist destinations in the Elbe Sandstone Mountains such as the Bastei or the Schrammsteine, this forest trail winds its way over 60 miles (100 kilometres) of secluded mountain tops, summiting 13 panoramic peaks. With bizarre rock formations, wide, deserted forests and sweeping views, the Elbe Sandstone Mountains on the left bank of the Elbe are spectacular, rivalling the Saxon Switzerland National Park. Having only opened in April 2018, the trail is one of the newest long-distance hiking trails in Germany. Here, you will find unique peace and solitude, just a few miles from the German border. You can even make a detour to the Czech Republic.

The Sachsenforst, an organization responsible for the forests, offers several forest huts where you can enjoy rustic charm around a log fire. You will also find bivouac sites where you can pitch your tent in secluded nature. All you have to do beforehand is buy some trekking tickets. With these, you pay for your overnight stays in the cabins and bivouacs. You can get the tickets at the Globetrotter branch in Dresden as well as at the Bad Schandau S-Bahn station.

We have created a Collection that lets you enjoy the forest trail in seven days. Each stage ends at a forest hut or at a camping/bivouac site. You may find yourself alone on many of the stages: the trail's wilderness and remoteness mostly attracts only experienced hikers. In view of this, it makes perfect sense to carry a water filter with you, as you are more likely to find crystal-clear mountain streams and springs than running water from a tap.

To reach the start of the fairytale-like wild forest trail you only have to sit down on the S-Bahn line S1 from Dresden, which takes you directly to the starting point Schöna. Alternatively you could leave your car at the S-Bahn station Bad Schanda and take the S-Bahn for only one stop. This is the easy part, from here the adventure begins.

You can find more information about trekking tickets, here: forststeig.sachsen.de/tickets-4123.html

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Der wilde Forststeig – in sieben Etappen durch das Elbsandsteingebirge

58.9 mi

7,650 ft

7,125 ft

Last updated: December 5, 2021

Tours & Highlights

  • Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

    Etappe 1: Von Schöna zur gemütlichen Grenzbaude - Forststeig

    Difficult
    04:51
    9.99 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,025 ft
    1,075 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Even the first stage of the Forststeig takes you deep into the beautiful forests of Saxon Switzerland and feels far from civilization. You can expect a great view of one of the highest mountains of your entire tour and a cozy evening in a rustic forest hut.

    

    Your adventure begins at the Schöna S-Bahn station

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  • Intermediate
    04:33
    9.82 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,200 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    With the second stage you will leave the German border behind you for the first time and discover the beauty of Bohemian Switzerland. Also today an imposing mountain is waiting for you and one or the other opportunity to stop.

    

    Leaving the peaceful night in the border hut behind you, you re-enter the Grenzweg

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  • Intermediate
    03:57
    8.71 mi
    2.2 mph
    700 ft
    850 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Today is relaxation day. The third stage almost completely dispenses with positive vertical meters. Great views and delightful landscapes are still guaranteed.

    

    Before you leave, you should fill your water containers to the brim again. Freshly strengthened from breakfast at the Ostrov campsite, the only

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  • Difficult
    05:58
    12.4 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,550 ft
    1,600 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    There are now many kilometers behind you on the forest path. But today the longest of the seven stages is waiting for you. Passing bizarre rock formations that make the Elbe Sandstone Mountains so popular, the Forststeig resembles a long roller coaster. Ascent and descent alternate steadily on your way

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  • Difficult
    05:16
    11.3 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,200 ft
    1,475 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    You can let off steam on the fifth stage. An enchanted rock labyrinth is waiting to be discovered by you. Quite a few viewpoints on table mountains to be climbed are on the way, each of which is absolutely unique.

    

    From the Rotsteinhütte it is only a few hundred meters to the rock of the same name - the

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  • Intermediate
    04:19
    9.26 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,075 ft
    1,200 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The penultimate stage of the forest trail brings you a little closer to civilization without losing anything of its natural character. Königstein Castle and the Pfaffenstein keep appearing between the treetops while the rollercoaster ride continues over the table mountains.

    

    At the beginning of the day

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  • Difficult
    02:59
    5.97 mi
    2.0 mph
    775 ft
    1,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Sure-footedness, sturdy shoes and alpine experience required.

    Your last stage on the rustic Forststeig has begun. With only a good 8 kilometers to the end in Bad Schandau, it is by far the shortest and most relaxed and gives you enough time to stop at one of the most beautiful views on the way to say goodbye.

    

    As soon as you have left your last night's camp in quiet

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  • © OSM

    Zschirnstein Biwak

    Hiking Highlight

    The Zschinstein bivouac is part of the Forststeig. There is this little mini hut, a compost toilet, a rain container with process water and a table with a bench. You have to bring your own drinking water. It is advisable to buy a water filter in the outdoor shop for the hike, otherwise it will be difficult with the drinking water supply on the Forststeig.

    In order to be able to spend the night here, you have to purchase a trekking ticket worth 10 euros in advance. These tickets are valid for two years. To use it, fill in the date, throw one half into the ticket mailbox and keep the other half ready to show.

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    Tip by Gritta

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  • © OSM

    The hut is about 400 meters away from the forest path and can be reached via a small footpath. It is open to hikers from the beginning of April to the end of October.

    Inside there is a wood stove and several seating options. There is enough sleeping space on the upper floor for a large number of hikers. Outside there is a composting toilet. Since the hut has no running water, you have to bring it yourself. There is, however, a spring nearby. A rough, hand-drawn map here hangs on the wall of the hut.

    In order to be able to stay in the cozy forest hut for one night, you buy a trekking ticket (e.g. at the Schöna railway station or Dresden) worth 10 euros. To validate it, a section of the ticket is torn off and thrown into the ticket box provided for this purpose. The other section is kept to show.

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    Tip by Carola K.

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  • © OSM

    Biwakplatz Taubenteich

    Hiking Highlight

    Unfortunately, sleeping under the stars is rarely possible in Germany. You can therefore look forward to this trekking site set up by the Sachsenforst very close to the Forststeig. Here you will find floor space for at least five tents, a fireplace with benches, firewood storage, a roofed picnic hut for around ten people, an outdoor toilet and the pigeon stream as a natural, flowing water source. You will bring a water filter and toilet paper with you. A special highlight is the beautifully constructed bivouac box. One or two people can sleep on three small platforms, the third hatch contains a small table with benches, both of which can be pulled out.

    To stay overnight here, you need trekking tickets, which you can get, for example, in the Bad Schandau and Schöna train stations, but also in the regional Globetrotter branches and other outdoor outfitters. For one night and person you redeem a trekking ticket worth 10 euros on the square.

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    Tip by Carola K.

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  • © OSM

    Kamphütte

    Hiking Highlight

    The Kamphütte is available to hikers from April to October for one night or to take a break.
    There is space for about 10 people in the hut. There is a small fireplace, seating and a composting toilet outside.

    You need trekking tickets (to be purchased in advance e.g. at Bad Schandau train station) worth 10 euros. The ticket is canceled on the day of the overnight stay by entering the date and thrown into a corresponding box.

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    Tip by Carola K.

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  • © OSM

    Zehrborn-Biwak

    Hiking Highlight

    As a hiker for the night or a nice break, you will find a trekking area with two picnic benches, one of which is covered. There is space for around four tents. A composting toilet is just a few meters away. You will bring your own drinking water and toilet paper.

    Anyone who has bought a trekking ticket worth 10 euros in advance can use the bivouac. A section is filled in with the date of use and thrown into the ticket box provided on site. The other section is kept to show. The tickets are available at the train stations in Bad Schandau and Schöna, for example, as well as from Globetrotter in Dresden.

    The bivouac is open from April to October.

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    Tip by Carola K.

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  • © OSM

    The Rotsteinhütte is available to hikers for one night or to take a break from April to October. It is the last trekking hut on the Forststeig if you start from Schöna (about 60 kilometers) or the first if you come from Bad Schandau (about 40 kilometers).

    It sleeps about 10 people. There is a fireplace, seating and a composting toilet outside. About 200 meters from the hut there is a small spring marked with cairns.

    You need trekking tickets (which can be purchased in advance at Bad Schandau train station, for example) worth 10 euros. The ticket is validated on the day of the overnight stay by entering the date and thrown into a corresponding box.

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    Tip by Carola K.

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  • © OSM

    Biwakplatz am Spitzstein

    Hiking Highlight

    As a hiker for the night or a nice break you will find a hut with two picnic benches outside and another one under the roof. In the hut you will find two sleeping platforms and additional seating. Outside there is space for around four tents. A composting toilet is just a few meters away. You will bring your own drinking water and toilet paper.

    Anyone who has bought a trekking ticket worth 10 euros in advance can use the bivouac. A section is filled in with the date of use and thrown into the ticket box provided on site. The other section is kept to show. The tickets are available at the train stations in Bad Schandau and Schöna, for example, as well as from Globetrotter in Dresden.

    The bivouac is open from April to October.

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    Tip by Carola K.

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  • © OSM

    Biwakplatz Nikolsdorf

    Hiking Highlight

    The bivouac area is equipped with a composting toilet and a covered picnic area. It can be used from April to October.

    There is also a water extraction point from the outside of the main building.
    To stay the night here, buy a trekking ticket worth 10 euros beforehand. This must be canceled on site by entering the date of the overnight stay. The tickets are available, for example, in the Bad Schandau and Schöna train stations from Globetrotter Dresden.

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    Tip by Carola K.

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  • © OSM

    Biwakplatz am Quirl

    Hiking Highlight

    Here you will find a trekking area with two picnic benches, one of which is covered, for the night or for a nice break. There is space for around five tents. A composting toilet is just a few feet away. Bring your own drinking water and toilet paper.The bivouac site can be used by anyone who has bought a trekking ticket worth 10 euros in advance. A section is filled out with the date of use and thrown into the designated ticket box on site. Keep the other section for showing. The tickets are available, for example, in the train stations in Bad Schandau and Schöna, as well as at Globetrotter in Dresden.The bivouac site is open from April to October.

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    Tip by Carola K.

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  • © OSM

    Biwak Alte Gärtnerei

    Hiking Highlight

    The bivouac "Alte Gärtnerei" is a partner of the Forststeig. It is possible to store in one of the two shepherd's wagons or to pitch a small tent in a former greenhouse.
    Cost: 10 € / night and person
    More information about booking is available at urlaub-gohrisch.de/biwakplatz-saechsische-schweiz.html

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    Tip by Carola K.

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  • © OSM

    The trekking hut "Willys Ruh" is an old border hut, the basic substance of which is over 100 years old. The hut takes its name from Willy Müller, who was a forester here in the 1960s.

    The trekking hut is located on the Hühnerberg at an altitude of around 430 meters between the fox pond and the pigeon pond in the
    Rosenthal forest district. It is about 1 kilometer away from the “Forststeig Elbsandstein” trekking route and can be easily reached via a detour.

    The forest hut has the following equipment:
    - Common room with wood stove
    - 10 beds on wooden frames and 15 seats
    - composting toilet
    - Rainwater collector as process water

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    Tip by Sachsenforst

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    7
  • Highlights
    11
  • Distance
    67.4 mi
  • Duration
    31:52 h
  • Elevation
    8,625 ft

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