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Werra-Burgen-Steig trail – castles and forests in 3 states

Feuermond16 | Wikimedia Commons (CC BY-SA 4.0)

Werra-Burgen-Steig trail – castles and forests in 3 states

Hiking Collection by komoot

28

Tours

150:57 h

326 mi

41,000 ft

The Werra flows almost 190 miles (300 kilometers) from its source in Thuringia through rolling hills and wooded valleys. It crosses the states of Thuringia and Hesse and finally flows into the Weser in Hann Münden in Lower Saxony. Along the course of the river, you can explore the varied landscape and history of the region on the Werra-Burgen-Steig X5 and the Werra-Burgen-Steig Hessen X5H. The name "Burgen-Steig" (castle trail) is rightly given to these long-distance hikes. The Werra, which today meanders so peacefully through the countryside, has always been a borderland. Principalities clashed here in the Middle Ages, religious wars broke out during the Reformation, and in the Thirty Years' War the conflicting parties reduced entire villages to rubble and ashes. The climax was then the inner-German division and along the Werra the GDR government drew its inexorable border fences. Countless ruins, castles, manors, fortified churches and even GDR border towers bear witness to this history today.

The two hiking trails Werra-Burgen-Steig X5 and Werra-Burgen-Steig Hessen X5H roughly follow the course of the Werra and lead you on their stages not only to the most important castles of the region but also through picturesque and secluded nature. In Hann Münden, the Werra finally flows into the Weser and the city is therefore also the link between the two long-distance hiking trails. While hikers have reached their destination here on the Werra-Burgen-Steig X5, the city also marks the beginning of the Werra-Burgen-Steig Hessen X5H. Only on a 25-mile (40-kilometer) long section before Hann Münden do the hiking trails run together, then the paths separate.

The Werra-Burgen-Steig X5 consists of 17 daily stages and runs from the Werra source near Eisfeld in the Thuringian Forest to the mouth of the Werra in Hann Münden. You will cover about 230 miles (370 kilometers) and hike through the Thuringian Forest, the Werra Bergland, the Eichsfeld and the Osthessische Bergland. Many of the stages are over 12 miles (20 kilometers) long, so this Tour is aimed primarily at endurance long-distance hikers.

If you're not only interested in hiking but also in visiting the castles, you should take a closer look at the Werra-Burgen-Steig Hessen X5H. It starts in the opposite direction in Hann Münden. From here it goes upstream along the Werra and finally off the river through Hessische Schweiz and the picturesque Werra-Bergland. The stages are generally shorter and the focus is particularly on exploring the individual castles and idyllic stage destinations with their historic half-timbered houses. The Werra-Burgen-Steig Hessen stretches over eleven stages and over a distance of almost 90 miles (140 kilometers). Therefore, it is equally suitable for both regular and occasional hikers.

If you want to get to know the varied landscape of the Werratal in all its facets, then you can, of course, combine both hikes and spend a whole month on the banks of the Werra in Thuringia, Hesse and Lower Saxony.

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Werra-Burgen-Steig X5

238 mi

27,450 ft

29,625 ft

Last updated: December 1, 2021

All stages of the Werra-Burgen-Steig trails X5 & X5H

  • Difficult
    07:25
    16.6 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,225 ft
    2,300 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Of course, the first stage of the Castle-Werra-Trail X5 starts at the Werraquelle in the Thuringian Forest. From here, the long-distance hiking trail meanders through the densely forested mountain landscape. From the Bleßberg the Werra-Burgen-Steig leads you downhill into the wide Werratal and over wide

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  • Intermediate
    04:45
    10.7 mi
    2.3 mph
    1,125 ft
    1,275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The second stage follows the course of the Werra, which flows through a wide valley here. The trail leads you over rolling hills and along wooded hills, from which you can enjoy a great view of the valley.

    

    Before starting the tour, you can still visit the castle Eisfeld, which today is home to an extensive

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  • Difficult
    05:23
    11.3 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,650 ft
    1,825 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Right at the beginning of the third leg of the Werra-Burgen-Steig, it goes up high. On a hilltop here is the Bismarck tower, which spoils you with a magnificent view. From here the trail leads you above the river over wooded ridges. Again and again, the forest opens and spoils you with beautiful views

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  • Difficult
    09:05
    19.7 mi
    2.2 mph
    2,350 ft
    2,525 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    On the fourth stage, the Werra-Burgen-Steig lives up to its name. Several old walls are on your route today. From Themar you climb up to the ruin "Steinerne Kirche", visit the ruin of the Osterburg and walk along the Werra river to the fortified church in Einhausen. Following the trail leads you over

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  • Difficult
    06:00
    13.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,575 ft
    1,575 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    From Meiningen, the Werratal becomes noticeably narrower and the mountain ranges on both sides of the valley higher. On today's stage, the Werra-Burgen-Steig leads you up the left bank and through the forest to Schloss Landsberg. Afterwards it goes downhill and at Walldorf you cross the Werra. The trail

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  • Difficult
    07:56
    16.9 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,325 ft
    2,425 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    From Wasungen, the Werra-Burgen-Steig leads you first up to the picturesque castle ruins Maienluft, which today houses a hotel and a restaurant. After the castle visit, it goes back down to the neighboring village Schwallungen and over the Werra. In a wide loop, you now hike over the wooded hills and

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  • Difficult
    08:03
    17.7 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,975 ft
    2,000 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    In Breitungen you cross the Werra again on the seventh day and then wander with a wonderful view through a hilly meadow and field landscape. The path climbs gently up to the flat summit of the Saarkopf and then meanders along the Farnbach stream to Bad Liebenstein. Here you visit the castle ruins of

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  • Difficult
    07:00
    14.7 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,200 ft
    2,200 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    In continuous up and down the Werra-Burgen-Steig takes you on the eighth stage through the Werratal and over the surrounding mountain ranges. From the top you will always enjoy fantastic views, which have already made the lords of the castle in the Middle Ages to advantage. On a narrow, wooded ridge

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  • Difficult
    06:47
    15.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,500 ft
    1,600 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Starting point of the ninth stage is the medieval town of Vacha. On an old stone bridge you cross the Werra and then wander - off the river valley - over an extensive, wooded ridge. The next destination is the town of Heringen, which is known for its potash salt industry. From Heringen, the Werra-Burgen

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  • Intermediate
    04:46
    10.9 mi
    2.3 mph
    800 ft
    825 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    At the beginning of the tenth stage, the Werra-Burgen-Steig runs on the banks of the river Werra. But already behind the neighboring village of Gerstungen the trail leaves the river and meanders along a forested hilltop with beautiful views. Shortly thereafter, the path bends to the north and you wander

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  • Difficult
    05:23
    11.9 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,175 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The eleventh stage leaves completely the Werratal and leads you on the tracks of the Rennsteig to the landmark of Thuringia: the Wartburg. This perches on a ridge above Eisenach in the middle of the green mountain landscape of the Thuringian Forest. The Werra-Burgen-Steig takes you on this detour through

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  • Intermediate
    04:41
    10.7 mi
    2.3 mph
    825 ft
    800 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The starting point of the twelfth stage is not Eisenach, but the village of Lauchröden in Werratal. You take the bus 93, which brings you from Eisenach to Lauchröden. From here it goes for a long distance directly along the banks of the Werra. You visit the villages Neuenhausen and Hörschel, which also

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  • Difficult
    05:03
    11.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,325 ft
    1,375 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Starting point of the 13th stage is the picturesque old town of Creuzburg. Today's section runs off the Werratal and you wander through a beautiful hilly and mountainous landscape. The Werra-Burgen-Steig will lead you over dirt roads and forest paths in the direction of the stage goal Treffurt, where

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  • Difficult
    05:24
    11.5 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,700 ft
    1,275 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    Right at the beginning of the 14th stage, you can dive deep into the Middle Ages in the Normannstein Castle. Then you hike far away from the Werratal over a wide hilly landscape. Here was until 1989 the inner German border. An old GDR watchtower reminds of this time. From the village of Katharinenberg

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  • Difficult
    07:47
    16.1 mi
    2.1 mph
    2,500 ft
    2,875 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    With almost 800 meters in the ascent and almost 900 meters in descent, it becomes the end of the Werra-Burgen-Steig again really hilly. On this stage, you will hike over the easternmost foothills of the Werra-Berglands. Since the path only partially through the dense forests on the mountains runs and

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  • Intermediate
    04:39
    10.0 mi
    2.2 mph
    1,300 ft
    1,325 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The 16th stage spoils you with quiet and picturesque forest trails that run on a high mountain range above the Werratal. Most of the time you enjoy the wonderful peace, but at the latest at the vantage point Teufelskanzel a fantastic view awaits you. Far below you, the Werra meanders through the valley

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  • Difficult
    10:44
    23.0 mi
    2.1 mph
    3,075 ft
    3,350 ft
    Expert Hiking Tour. Very good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    With a length of more than 35 kilometers, the last is also the queen stage of the Werra Castle Trail. On this hike, the Werratal presents itself from its best side and pampers you again with picturesque castles, palaces and of course the old town of Hann. Munden. The trail leads you from the castle Ludwigstein

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  • Intermediate
    02:07
    4.76 mi
    2.2 mph
    525 ft
    275 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    At the end of the Werra-Burgen-Steig X5 - at the Weser-Stein in Hann. Münden - begins your hike on the Werra Castle Trail Hesse X5H. In addition to the impressive Town Hall and the large St. Blaise Church, the entire Old Town of Hann. Münden an attraction in itself. The old street scene, parts of the

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  • Intermediate
    03:46
    8.00 mi
    2.1 mph
    1,325 ft
    850 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    From Lippoldshausen the second leg of the long distance hiking trail X5H leads you first over open meadows and then uphill through sparse forest. After this ascent the Werra-Burgen-Steig Hessen follows a dead straight forest path through the dense forest to the summit Hohe Schleife. Here the forest opens

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  • Intermediate
    02:38
    5.43 mi
    2.1 mph
    725 ft
    1,350 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The third stage begins at the picturesque Schloss Berlepsch. From here you follow the Werra-Burgen-Steig Hessen over a wooded ridge and then wander across wide meadows in the village of Albshausen. Shortly afterwards, it goes back into the forest and the path meanders around the flat summit of the Kobelsberg

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    28
  • Distance
    326 mi
  • Duration
    150:57 h
  • Elevation
    41,000 ft

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Werra-Burgen-Steig trail – castles and forests in 3 states

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