Head to the Rheinsteig trail for a refreshing cure for cabin fever
While many of the attractions near Wiesbaden remain closed due to the coronavirus, it remains a great jumping-off point for spring hiking.
Just a quick 25-minute drive from Hainerberg is the Rheinsteig hiking trail, which runs along the banks of the east Rhine River. The trail route stretches 200 miles from Bonn to Wiesbaden.
There are 21 stages of the Rheinsteig that offer hikers a wide range of views and experiences. The trails run through hillside forest, narrow valleys, up mountains, through vineyards and along the river itself, which provides a cool respite on a hot day.
I chose to hike the part of the Rheinsteig that’s on the hillside near my home.
Once I arrived at my starting point, I was immediately struck by how vividly green the forest is this time of year. As I followed the trail deeper, I noticed a babbling brook that ran beside the trail. It reminded me of my days as a wild child, running and playing in the woods in Maryland.
About two miles into my hike, the forest opened into a clear view of a vineyard. During my five-mile roundtrip, there were a few other hikers, but for the most part it was just me and nature.
Another popular route includes the Baroque-style Biebrich Palace in Wiesbaden. From Wiesbaden-Biebrich train station, follow the path leading to the Rheinsteig to the castle grounds, which takes about 30 minutes.
For hardy hikers, a 10-mile trek will then take you through the Frauenstein vineyard district, give you a view of two castles and into the Erlenbach Valley, where an ascent to the Monstrazenbaum, or “monster tree” in English, awaits after a moderate ascent.
This trail is one of Germany’s most scenic and beautiful trails. If you’re going a little stir crazy, it might just help.
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DIRECTIONS: The trail can be accessed from many locations. To reach the Eltville portion from Wiesbaden, take the A66 ramp toward Rudesheim/Bingen for 12 km until you see the Eltville exit. Turn right onto Hauptstrasse and follow for 200 meters, than take the third exit at the roundabout. After 1.5 km, turn right onto Wiesweg and follow to a dead end at the Rheinsteig.