Hunsrück, Westerwald, Taunus…. Rhine, Moselle, Lahn … castles, rocks, forests… bike paths, fire roads, singletrack. You’ll find all that and more on the Orbit in Rhineland-Palatinate, which is topped off with a short excursion to the Hessian. These route descriptions start at the northernmost point of the route. Like all Orbits, the route can be started at any point and there is no fixed start and end point.
Following the idyllic Kaltbachtal, the tour starts in the beautiful Westerwald and leads you through well-developed fire roads down to Nassau. From there you cover the first meters of elevation, on a small and sometimes very narrow singletrack, up to the Hohe Lay. Please take special care for oncoming hikers or bikers. In addition, you may have to push your bike briefly or even carry it. From the Hohe Lay you can enjoy beautiful trails through the woods down to Weinähr.
From Weinähr you follow the Halfterweg to Obernhof, where the Goethe Point awaits you with a nice view of the Lantal before it continues steadily uphill towards Lake Herthase. Here you can jump into the lake or buy some ice cream at the snack bar, time permitting. Arriving in Diez, you can lean back and relax a little, rolling on the bike path to Balduinstein. From Balduinstein the Lahnhöhenweg winds directly along the mountain and leads you towards Katzenelnbogen. Instead of flying down my favorite trail, you must torture yourself slowly through the forest over many roots and some craters. Afterwards it is just nice over meadow paths towards the Wispertal. Following that, there are plenty of nice rest areas where you can have some food and listen to a quiet little creek.
The next part is one of the steepest ascents on the track and the rough gravel makes it almost impossible to climb all the way to the Rennweg. As compensation, a beautiful asphalt road and finest gravel awaits you shortly thereafter. Once at the Boxberg, there is a good opportunity to take a break and eat one or the other schnitzel. A perfect gravel descent leads you down to the Wispertal. Back in the valley you follow a small and quiet country road for a short time before you will have to master the next steep gravel climb. Leaving this part of the track behind is more a challenge of navigation, making your way through some rough terrain. But you will be rewarded with one of the best views and a brilliant little trail descending to the Rhine. At the docking point in Kaub you can replenish your supplies at a small kiosk before you take the car ferry to the other side of the Rhine. During the crossing you can take a look at the Pfalzgrafenstein Castle, which was built in the 14th century to collect customs from passing ships.
A paved mountain route leads you from Bacharach, with a view of the ruins of Stahlberg Castle, into the Borbachtal. The uphill path is an ingenious mix of gravel, forest and meadow paths and always offers a beautiful view of the valley when the weather is good. From Perscheid we cross some forested areas and shortly afterwards we come to a perfectly paved bikeway, which, depending on the available energy reserves, is ideal for cruising or hammering.
In the industrial area of Dörth, the route leads directly to a Shell petrol station, so you won’t have to starve or die of thirst. Then it goes slightly downhill through the forest into the Mörderbach valley … contrary to what the name suggests, this part of the route invites you to take a break and relax, with nice resting places. After the well-deserved break, we continue past the Köhlerhütte into the Koblenz city forest. Following some nice downhill tracks with some loose gravel we reach the bank of the Rhine and use the opportunity to cross over on a narrow pedestrian/bicycle bridge. Just some kilometers later, the next highlight is waiting for you on the bikeway towards Vallendar. The Deutsches Eck is one of the most famous tourist attractions on the Rhine and is described as the place where “Father Rhine meets Mother Mosel”. In addition to the monumental equestrian statue of the first German Emperor Wilhelm the I, it is also worth having a look at the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress when passing.
In Vallendar, you must keep a particularly close eye on your navigation system, as the small trail that leads you into the Wambachtal, begins somewhat hidden in the tall grass. After you have left the valley, you can expect a final climb with about 300 meters of altitude. This climb also consists of the finest gravel and the brilliant views will help you fly up the mountain easily.
Scout Orbit Rheinland-Pfalz
Germany's 1st Gravel Series
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