The ridge trail starts in Altenberg close to the border with the Czech Republic. We head west and, 289 kilometres later, reach our destination of Blankenstein. This is also the end of the Rennsteig Trail.
Hiking on a ridge trail means hiking at great heights, almost as if you're in the clouds. We climb the Fichtelberg, the highest mountain in Saxony with an elevation of 1,214 metres. Our ridge trail unveils vistas sprawling across the Ore Mountains, Vogtland and Bohemia in the Czech Republic. We hike through Oberwiesenthal, a winter sports resort and the highest town in Germany at 914 metres above sea level.
We find several attestations to the centuries of mining in the Ore Mountains during our hike. Mining significantly shaped the region, and a diverse and traditional man-made landscape developed as a result. We also discover the precious Schneckenstein boulder, the only topaz outcrop in Europe, on our travels. The Schneckenstein is so valuable that it has been put under 24/7 surveillance.
Manuel Andrack, editor, presenter, author and hiking blogger:
"Folk art typical of the Ore Mountain region – nut crackers, Christmas angels, Schwibbogen (decorative candle holders with five candles) and Flügelpyramiden (Christmas pyramids) – is created in the demonstration workshops in Seiffen."
At a glance: Erzgebirge-Vogtland Ridge Trail
Length: 289 km
Number of stages: 17
Altitude variation: lowest point 415 m, highest point 1,131 m
Terrain: 40% unmade, 15% asphalt, 45% other, e.g. farm tracks
Certified quality hiking trail