The Rennsteig runs on the ridge line of the Thuringian Mittelgebirge from northwest to southeast usually at altitudes of about 500 to 970 meters. It begins in Eisenacher district Hörschel on the Werra (196 m above sea level NHN) and ends after 168.3 km (historical length) in Blankenstein on the Saale (414 m above sea level NHN).
In 2003, the Rennsteig was re-measured by the Thuringian State Office for Surveying and Geoinformation; a total length of 169.29 km was determined. The Rennsteig crosses the former German-German border six times. The marking is very good throughout, usually a white R called Mareile. Since 2008, six local alternative routes have been signposted at the request of hiking associations, avoiding the main roads or linking attractive viewpoints. These variants are about 22 kilometers long and have been marked with a blue R Along the Rennsteig there are numerous resting places and about every 5 to 10 kilometers small open shelters. For medical care, bases of the Thüringer Bergwacht were established.
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