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Hiking Trail recommended route

Halterweg - The way of the tow horses

Hiking Trail · Lahntal
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Lahntal Tourismus Verband e. V. Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Alter Markt in Diez - Start
    Alter Markt in Diez - Start
    Photo: Dominik Ketz, Lahntal Tourismus Verband e. V.
On this hiking trail through fields, meadows and forests on the heights, you follow in the footsteps of the former Lahn navigation! The historically documented route was once used by the towmen to lead their horses, which pulled the barges uphill to Diez, back to the nearest towage station in Obernhof.
Distance 18.5 km
5:00 h
338 m
349 m
369 m
88 m
At the end of the 16th century, Count Johann VI of Nassau-Dillenburg had a Dutch engineer build the towpath on the right bank of the Lahn, which greatly facilitated freight traffic. It was not until 1929 that the first motor ship docked in Diez, heralding the end of towboat traffic on the Lahn.

For the halterers, i.e. the treidlers who led the horses by the halter, it was important to find the easiest possible way back to conserve the animals' strength. That is why they chose the almost 19 km long route over the heights - instead of the 27 km along the river bank. And, of course, they also looked for wide paths with moderate gradients for the benefit of the horses.

Author’s recommendation

The old town of Diez with the 11th century Count's Castle and the picturesque half-timbered houses is well worth a visit. Museum im Grafenschloß - Museum of Town and Regional History: Tue-Fri 9.00-12.00 and 14.00-17.00, Sat and Sun 14.00-17.00, Mon day off. "Pack your swimming trunks" is what we recommend for the Halfterweg on warm days, because after a good 11 km you have the opportunity to swim in Lake Hertha. Refreshment stops at Herthasee in the lakeside restaurant or opposite at the mini-golf course. In Obernhof, Lahn wine is grown on steep slopes - which you can taste right away in one of the wine taverns. Arnstein Monastery is worth another detour.
Profile picture of Sabine Ksoll
Sabine Ksoll
Update: May 25, 2023
Highest point
369 m
Lowest point
88 m
Best time of year

Track types

Asphalt 9.46%Dirt road 47.92%Forested/wild trail 26.55%Road 15.60%Unknown 0.42%
1.8 km
Dirt road
8.9 km
Forested/wild trail
4.9 km
2.9 km
0.1 km
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Tips and hints


Bridge house at the Old Lahn Bridge, Diez (109 m)
50.371258, 8.005885
50°22'16.5"N 8°00'21.2"E
32U 429305 5580382


Obernhof station

Turn-by-turn directions

From Diez station, keep left and walk along Bahnhofstraße and Wilhelmstraße to the old town of Diez and past the historic half-timbered houses to the Old Market. There you turn left to the Old Lahn Bridge with its former customs house.

Cross the bridge and turn right at the roundabout up St. Peter-Weg to St. Peter's Church. We stay on the right on the asphalted path and reach Heistenbach, which could be described as a "horse village", through meadows and pastures. Follow the well-marked halter path into St. Peter-Straße, then turn right into Altendiezer Straße and finally take the 2nd left into Wiesenstraße.

A little above the Heistenbach stream, you walk uphill, first along the edge of the forest, then into the beech forest. The path climbs gently to the Scheurenwiese meadow on the right. This large clearing indicates that the village of Scheuren was once located here. Its inhabitants died during the plague epidemic in the 16th century and the village fell desolate. At the edge of the forest, the small Wilhelmshütte offers shelter from the rain.

The long and leisurely ascent ends at the Hirschberg fields below the Blickerstein (365 m). Here you hike into the Schaumburg forest above Hirschberg with the most beautiful panoramic views of the Westerwald, the Lahn valley and the Taunus.

The Schaumburg, which gives its name, towers unmistakably on the southern edge of the Lahn valley.

The trail continues leisurely through the forest to Lake Hertha. The path around the bathing lake normally leads along its north and west shores and an open back gate. When there is fee-paying bathing traffic, you have to cross the B 417 briefly, take the 1st road on the right with a pavement (!) through the fields to rejoin the Halfterweg.

Below the edge of the forest, you pass through Charlottenberg on the K 22. This asphalt road is the original route, old routings just prove themselves! At the end of Charlottenberg, an obelisk commemorates Princess Elisabeth Charlotte, who granted asylum to Protestants, Waldensians, who were driven out of France in the 17th century.

Another short stretch of district road and you descend through the forest into the vineyards of Obernhof. Right at the first houses, there are good opportunities to finish the tour with a glass of wine and a snack. From here, there is only a short stretch down to the Lahn, over the bridge and immediately left to the railway station.

Public transport


With the Lahntalbahn from Diez or Obernhof,

By road

The starting point in Diez can be reached via the A3, exit Diez or Limburg Süd, in each case follow the signs to Diez.

Free parking is available on the "Bolzplatz" at the Lahn bridge. From there, you can quickly find the entrance in the roundabout with the sign to St. Peter's Church.

If you travel by train, follow Wilhelmstraße from the station in Diez, then continue along Altstadtstraße to reach the Alter Markt. From there, the Halfterweg is signposted.


Temporary and free parking:   

Diez, car park "Bolzplatz" on the Lahn (access via roundabout B 417 at the Lahn bridge)


50.371258, 8.005885
50°22'16.5"N 8°00'21.2"E
32U 429305 5580382
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendations for this region:

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The trail can be walked all year round. Due to the wide field and forest paths, the Halfterweg is also very suitable for hiking groups. Large rucksack provisions are not necessary, as there is a good place to stop at Herthasee (note opening times).

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18.5 km
5:00 h
338 m
349 m
Highest point
369 m
Lowest point
88 m
Public-transport-friendly Scenic Refreshment stops available Linear route Cultural/historical interest


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