Atmospheric morning on the Griesbachfelsen cliffs
Atmospheric morning on the Griesbachfelsen cliffs ©Dr. Erich Krauß (Dr. Erich Krauß)

Schwarza Valley Panorama Trail - a countryside experience between Rennsteig and Saale

The Schwarza Valley Panorama, with its wonderful trails and paths around one of the most beautiful mountain rivers in Germany, the Schwarza, links the heights of the Rennsteig ridge with the Burgenland region of the Saale.

Created by hikers for hikers, holiday makers and families, the Schwarza Valley Panorama, in theThuringian forest, offers harmonious cultural landscape with areas of untouched nature, lakes, pristine forests, mountains with magnificent views, and castles and palaces.

Both in and beyond Germany the Schwarza valley is known for two things: for its herbs and medicinal plants ("Olitäten") and for the noted pedagogue Friedrich Froebel. Women herbalists and "Buckelapotheker" (or "humpbacked apothecaries") gathered herbs and medicinal plants over centuries from which they produced natural remedies, tinctures and medicines. You can experience the "Olitätenland" all along the Schwarza Valley Panorama Trail in herb gardens and houses as well as at events such as herbal markets.

The birthplace of Friedrich Froebel, Oberweißenbach, as well as Bad Blankenburg also lie on the trail. He was inspired in 1840, by the harmonious scenery and nature of his home region, to describe his institution for early childhood education as a "kindergarten".

The trail leads on to a milestone in German history: On his vacation at the Schwarzburg Castle, on August 11, 1919, Reichs President Friedrich Ebert signed the Weimar Constitution, the foundation of German democracy.

Tip: Travel with the Oberweißbacher funicular railway

The restored and historically listed funicular railway connects the Schwarza valley railway to the plateau around Oberweißenbach and, with an incline of 25%, it is the steepest funicular railway in the world. During the trip you can enjoy the impressive panoramic views of the Thuringian Forest.

At a glance:

Start and destination: Confluence of the Schwarza in the Saale
Distance: 136 km
Number of stages: 8
Height: Ascent approx.4,200 m, descent approx. 4,200 m
Trail surface: 61% unmade, 10% asphalt, covered surface, 29% hard surface

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