The Trail of Consciousness – hiking for body and soul in the Swabian Alb

Hiking Collection by Schwäbische Alb

The eleven stages of the Trail of Consciousness in the Ehinger Alb combine to make a wonderful adventure. The designated ‘Quality Trail’ runs for 51 kilometers (36.6 miles) through beautiful landscapes, accompanying your search for a fulfilled life. Along the way, you come across signs that provide interesting information about the area and also encourage you to reflect. The suggestions for the stages are only a guide, you choose how many and which ones you would like to walk.

Nature, time and man have molded the low mountain range of the Swabian Alb into a unique landscape. Exploring the region on foot is the only way to experience it in all its diversity. Your adventure begins and ends at the Stoffelberg chapel, surrounded by idyllic countryside. The Trail of Consciousness takes you across wild meadows brimming with fruit trees, through quiet beech forests and to picturesque villages such as Erbstetten.

The section running through the re-naturalized Brietal is especially beautiful. Here, you will find rare plants and the Hunherberg mountain. The view from the Warstein ruins is also spectacular – you gaze upon magnificent forests and the Lauter Valley as it winds through the biosphere reserve. Before reaching the starting point, take time to explore the different stations along the Life Horizon Path.

Although each stage differs in length and meters of elevation gain, they are all easy to walk and well signposted. You can combine several stages or divide the entire route as you wish. Along the way, there are impressive viewpoints, small chapels and wonderful places to take a break, which will make you forget any aching muscles. Walking along the Trail of Consciousness is a blessing for both the body and soul.

On The Map

Tours & Highlights

  • Easy
    01:25
    3.03 mi
    2.1 mph
    450 ft
    450 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This relaxed round takes you through quiet forests and across colorful meadows. From the hiking car park at information board 1 you walk on a nature path to the Stoffelberg chapel. Rest benches invite you to linger and there is an inconspicuous escort stone to the south-west of the chapel: It marked the transition of the right of escort, i.e. the safe accompaniment of travelers, between the Württemberg and Habsburg areas.Then it goes slightly downhill through beautiful forest to the east. You will come to the “Alte Linde” natural monument, one of the oldest trees in Baden-Württemberg. The little Anna chapel is also here.Keep to the right at the historical buildings of the Jägerhof and follow the path of reflection on a tarred side road towards the young pasture. At the edge of the forest you hike back to the starting point at the Stoffelberg chapel.

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  • Easy
    01:35
    3.66 mi
    2.3 mph
    150 ft
    375 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    This varied hike starts at the Stoffelberg chapel. This is idyllically situated in the forest and is worth a short visit. From the chapel you walk on the Altsteusslinger station path into the center of Altsteußlingen to the St. Martinskirche (plate 2).From the outskirts it goes a little parallel to Brieler Straße until you turn right into the renatured Brieltal. Since 2004, the Riedgraben has flowed back in its original bed and is a green paradise for birds and insects.You follow the curved course of the brook through the wonderful valley and you come across beautiful rest areas such as the Maierbrünnele. Down the valley you come to the Käthra Kuche, a cave in which a young woman lived at the beginning of the 19th century.Surrounded by beautiful nature, the route winds through the forest east of Briel. You can take a short detour to the beautiful village chapel in Briel and then walk along the meditation path to the hiking car park.

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  • Intermediate
    02:09
    4.96 mi
    2.3 mph
    475 ft
    150 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From the parking lot, you hike slightly uphill through unspoilt wasteland before entering the forest. After about two kilometers you can take a detour to the Mühlbachstein (Table 4). When you reach the edge of the forest, keep left and climb Hungerberg, where you will find plates 5 and 6. In the nature reserve you can marvel at rare flowers and plants. You walk across open and gently curving meadows through the multifaceted landscape.The path of reflection then leads you up to the Schneckenhäule viewpoint (Table 7), from which you can enjoy a 360-degree panorama. It is particularly beautiful here at sunset. From the snail shank it continues to the Schwedenkreuz (Table 8) and the rest area there. After a short break you walk to the street and reach your destination after a few minutes, the parking lot on the northern edge of Frankenhofen.

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  • Intermediate
    02:10
    4.93 mi
    2.3 mph
    300 ft
    575 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Good fitness required. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    The starting point is at the car park on the northern edge of Frankenhofen. You walk in a wide arc between colorful fields until you cross a spruce grove and then a wonderful juniper heath.After you have left the main road behind you, you go back to Granheim on natural paths. The paths are easy to walk and lead you through the hilly landscape. You can enjoy a particularly wide view from the Kreuzberg Granheim. There you will also find the small Marienkapelle, which invites you to take a short break.The path of reflection zigzags down through the forest to the village of Granheim. In the center you can admire the Church of St. Martin and just a few steps away is the Granheim Castle. Past the Gasthaus Adler you walk to the destination of this section, the parking lot at the Albhalle.

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  • Easy
    01:07
    2.45 mi
    2.2 mph
    250 ft
    300 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From the parking lot at the Albhalle it goes through the village of Granheim, where there are many historic half-timbered houses. In the center you can make a detour to Granheim Castle, which is privately owned and therefore unfortunately cannot be visited. Passing the St. Martin church you march east.After a short section over an open field with a view of a game enclosure, you dive into the forest. Surrounded by mighty trees, the path of contemplation winds through the landscape.After almost four kilometers you will reach your destination at the Wolfsfalle car park. Based on the field name "Finstere Steige", Table 14 reminds us that at the end of the darkness there is always a light.

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  • Easy
    00:53
    2.05 mi
    2.3 mph
    75 ft
    200 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The Wolfsfalle car park is the starting point of section 6 and at the same time the destination of section 5, which is why these two can be combined perfectly. In addition, this path of reflection is identical to HW 2 of the Swabian Alb Association, except for the last piece in Erbstetten.From the parking lot it goes along the edge of the forest towards Erbstetten without major incline, the views of the place change constantly. Below the tent site "Am Berg" you cross the main street and walk into the center of Erbstetten.There you can visit the Church of St. Stephen and you will also find Plate 16. The goal of this hike is a few steps from the church.

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  • Intermediate
    01:44
    3.76 mi
    2.2 mph
    425 ft
    475 ft
    Intermediate Hiking Tour. Great for any fitness level. Mostly accessible paths. Sure-footedness required.

    This path of contemplation starts on Table 16 at the church in Erbstetten. You leave the quiet place behind you and hike up the slope to the forest. After a relaxed section on soft forest floor, you will reach the Heumacherfels, from which you have a good view as far as the bus and the Alps.We continue to the Wartstein ruins and Table 17. A spiral staircase leads up to the stone tower, from which you can enjoy a unique view of the Lautertal valley. Scattered in the forest you will always find remains of the castle. From here, the path leads through the core zone of the biosphere area, whose entry is only permitted on the designated paths.You walk along the picturesque banks of the Lauter. The river flows in countless loops through the landscape and represents a diverse habitat for birds and insects. After a good six kilometers you will reach your destination at the parking lot near the flying memorial, where plate 19 is located.

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  • Easy
    00:45
    1.68 mi
    2.2 mph
    175 ft
    125 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From the parking lot near the flying memorial, the path gently climbs through the forest. You hike on soft forest floor and can enjoy the silence. After about a kilometer you will reach the Pionierweg on a wide plateau.After a last view of this, it goes down a narrow footpath into the idyllic Wolf Valley. The path is surrounded on both sides by wild herbs and flowers. Up the valley you meet a street and the parking lot there in the Wolf Valley, where plate 19 and thus the destination of this section is located.

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  • Easy
    01:02
    2.24 mi
    2.2 mph
    425 ft
    50 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    From the parking lot in Wolfstal you follow the path of reflection uphill through quiet forest. Fresh air and centuries-old trees surround you. At the edge of the forest you meet a wide path and can take a break at the romantic Tiefental fountain.From here you walk in a zigzag through the forest and pass the Jägerhäusle clearing (Table 22). You leave the clearing to the left and soon you will reach another highlight on this section of the contemplation path: The different stations of the Life Horizon Path encourage you to think and invite you to linger.You can turn the colorful prayer wheels of the first station or walk through the monument "Narrow and Wide Horizon". Your destination is at the parking lot at the "Regional Court" station.

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  • Easy
    00:58
    2.24 mi
    2.3 mph
    100 ft
    350 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The starting point is at the parking lot at the “Landgericht” station. First of all, a detour to the “Alte Säge” museum is worthwhile, in which historical equipment is exhibited and you will receive exciting information on the history of agriculture.Then you hike back to the station “Landgericht” of the Lebens-Horizont-Weg. It goes along the edge of the forest and past the old court of justice (Tafel linden tree), from which you can enjoy an impressive view to the Alps.You dive deep into the shady beech forest and march across soft forest floors. You cross the Long Line, as the Mundingen-Kirchen community connecting path is called, and follow the path through the dense green. After about two kilometers you can enjoy a wide panoramic view of Granheim and Dächingen up to the Lutheran mountains from the edge of the forest.The path winds across fields and meadows to the idyllic wet meadow biotope called Rolle. Below the biotope you leave the reflection path and soon reach the Hochdorf car park.

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  • Easy
    01:57
    4.44 mi
    2.3 mph
    475 ft
    200 ft
    Easy hike. Great for any fitness level. Easily-accessible paths. Suitable for all skill levels.

    The last section takes you from the Hochdorf car park (Table 27) back to the starting point of the contemplation path at the Stoffelberg chapel. First you hike past the forested Schlößlesberg and cross the Mundingen - Dächingen community road. Afterwards, it alternates between colorful fields and small forests. Here you come to the chapel Maria auf der Höh, where a sunbed invites you to linger.You walk through quiet beech forest and come across the long line, the Mundingen-Kirchen parish connecting path. You reach the Altsteusslinger station trail via the Württemberger Halde. You will reach the destination of this section south of Altsteußlingen at the picturesque Stoffelberg chapel.

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Collection Stats

  • Tours
    11
  • Distance
    35.4 mi
  • Duration
    15:45 h
  • Elevation
    3,275 ft

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The Trail of Consciousness – hiking for body and soul in the Swabian Alb
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Schwäbische Alb