An account of the Rheinsteig (a hicking trail that has become immensly popular over the last few years) cannot fail on any site covering the Rhine Valley.
The Rheinsteig, which is over 320 kilometers long and runs from Mainz to Bonn, was officially opened in September 2005. Since then it has become one of the most walked and loved hiking trails in Germany.A large part of it (the best part of course) runs through the Rhine Valley.
The route is divided into 23 different sections which vary a great deal in length and in how strenuous they are. Some sections are perhaps better suited to the more experienced and fitter hiker while others are ideal for a family hike - grandparents and children included.
A whole industry has developed around the Rheinsteig - mainly catering and accomodation. It is often possible to leave the car at the start of one section, walk to the end and return to the car by train or bus. This is particularly true in the Rhine Valley where the trail runs more or less parallel to the train line.
Some enterprising individuals make a living transporting the luggage of hikers from the Bed and Breakfast/Hotel they are leaving at the start of the day to the accomodation that is their target for the end of the day.
Quite a few people plan on "doing the Rhainsteig" over a number of years, hiking say sections one,three and five the first year - sections two, four, and seven the second year and so on until they finally achieve their goal or death intervenes !!
The aim of those who planned the Rheinsteig was to enable the hikers to "experience nature", to recover from the daily stresses of life, to relax in the bosom of mother nature, to breath clean fresh air and imbibe beautiful scenery in the peace and quiet of the outdoors. This aim has been achieved.
If you hike along the Rheinsteig not only will you enjoy all that nature has to offer but will also profit from the legendary German thoroughness which went into the planning of the route.
Included in this planning were such ideas as.
Below I set out the sections of the Rheinsteig that pass through the Rhine Valley - the distances and walking times come from the official Rheinsteig Site to which I link at the bottom of this page.
|From - To||Distance||Walking Time|
|Rüdesheim - Lorch||20 Kilometers||7 Hours|
|Lorch - Kaub||13.5 Kilometers||4 Hours 30 Minutes|
|Kaub - St.Goarshausen||22 Kilometers||7 Hours|
|St.Goarshausen - Kestert||12 Kilometers||4 Hours|
|Kestert - Kamp-Bornhofen||12 Kilometers||4 Hours|
|Kampf-Bornhofen - Braubach||16,5 Kilometers||5 Hours 30 Minutes|
|Braubach - Niederlahnstein||8,5 Kilometers||3 Hours|
|Niederlahnstein - Koblenz-Ehrenbreitstein||13,5 Kilometers||4 Hours 30 Minutes|
I shall be covering the above sections in greater detail and adding them to my Walks Page but be patient it will take time to walk, photograph and describe the 118 Kilometers.
In the meanwhile I include the link to the official Rheinsteig Site which unfortunately is only in German - however the following link takes you to another good site covering the Rheinsteig in English.