Now that we are on our way to Bad Laasphe, we will have to accomplish further metres of altitude. The section through the romantic Ilsetal promises relaxation and peace.
Distance 16.8 km
This stage has quite a lot of ups and downs. From the hiking portal in Feudingen, the trail leads you up steeply to the heights before continuing through the wild and romantic Ilse valley again. Next, another ascent to the Großgemeindestein and again downhill to the Wahlbachmühle, where the quite young Lahn is to be crossed. And finally, once again over the heights to the impressive Wittgenstein castle. At the end of the hike, you will only stroll downhill to the hiker-friendly Bad Laasphe, though. Guiding principle for you: There is no rush. Take your time and enjoy the landscape to the full.
It is pleasantly cool in the most densely wooded district of Germany, even on very hot days. There won’t be any places to stop for refreshments, so we recommend bringing provisions and beverages.
From the hiking portal in Feudingen you start towards the Bettelmannsbuche. The old and mighty tree became victim of a storm in 1976. Nevertheless, the place has always been known as a resting place for pilgrims and carters. On the top of the hill you will walk to the tranquil Weidelbach Weiher. This is a nice place for a short break and there is also a lot to discover for nature fans of all ages. The Lahnwanderweg trail then follows the course of the river Ilse slightly downhill and crosses a low-traffic district road. Walking across a wooden footbridge, a path takes you to the most idyllic part of the stage.
In the Ilsetal you should listen carefully since the chirping of birds and the splashing of the little river will delight the heart of every nature lover. From the Ilsetal, you follow the Lahnwanderweg trail marking to the right uphill to the Großgemeindestein, where two small huts invite you for a rest. This is the place where people commemorate the regional reform in 1975. Many trails meet at this stone which stands exactly in the middle of the new large municipality. From the Großgemeindestein you hike steeply downhill to the Wahlbachmühle, where you cross the still young Lahn river and afterwards, you will arrive in Saßmannshausen.
From Saßmannshausen the trail leads uphill, along the Friedwald and passes the rustic Kamelseiche (camel oak) at the "gebranntes Köpfchen" (burned little head). Leaving the forest, you are welcomed by yellow flowering broom bushes. This place will also provide a beautiful view into the Lahn valley and the hike now continues along the ridge. Later on, the school buildings of Wittgenstein castle appear into view. The castle that was built in the 12th century is used as a boarding school today and is the landmark of Bad Laasphe. Having walked up and down the past few kilometres, the hiker may enjoy a refreshing break at the Schloss Café (please note the opening hours). Once you have passed the historic cemetery, you will finally descend until you reach the first houses of Bad Laasphe.
Walking through the picturesque old town of Bad Laasphe, one passes the town's most beautiful half-timbered house and the old town fountain before reaching today's stage destination at the Haus des Gastes. Bad Laasphe also offers numerous possibilities for food and accomodation.