This tour is highly diversified and offers many highlights: The pond near Braunfels, the Kubacher Kristallhöhle, the Weilburg animal park and two castles - quite a lot!
Distance 17.9 km
Highest point310 m
Lowest point149 m
Today’s stage of the Lahnwanderweg trail is particularly varied. It offers both geological and cultural attractions. The Braunfels castle indeed provides a fairytale-like scenery. The "Große Weiher" (big pond) has a constant temperature of 12 degrees throughout the year and is home to unique pieces of fauna and flora. The little zoo which was originally established by Prince Karl August in 1590, is now used as a wildlife park. The crystal Kubacher Kristallhöhle presents a special geological spectacle. It is the only crystal cave in Germany and has the highest hall (30 meters) of all German show caves. And finally, you will pass the Weilburger Schloss with its impressive garden.
Plan carefully which attraction you would like to visit before starting the tour since visiting all of them (Wildlife park, crystal cave or Weilburg castle) will not be feasible in one day.
Stage 12 of the Lahnwanderweg trail runs from castle to castle. It starts at the market place of Braunfels. From there you follow the markings downhill to the road L3451. Across a bridge you reach the Großer Weiher. The pond is a pure paradise for birds and insects. You will walk along the pond and then turn left uphill just before you get to the district road. Through the forest you approach the Silbersee. It continues with an ascent to the hiking car park "Naturpark Hochtaunus".
From here we walk down into a beautiful valley with mining history. Along an old stone wall you will get to the entrance of the animal park. The animal population ranges from fallow deer and wild horses to wolf and lynx. The pond in front of the park offers a good opportunity for a little rest.
Behind the animal park, you follow the markings across the road B456, walk through an idyllic meadow valley and finally reach the signpost "Kristallhöhle". The "Kristallhöhle", which was first entered by humans in 1974, is a unique natural beauty and well worth a visit.
You now hike through a rustic forest area in the direction of Weilburg. In Weilburg the trail first leads downhill along the Frankfurter Straße and then through the old town gate into the picturesque old town. The Lahnwanderweg trail now passes the castle complex, which is worth a visit, and ends at the final destination of the stage, the memorial to the victims of the war in 1870/71.
all notes on protected areas
By train to Leun and Weilburg, continue with bus (Line 180) to Braunfels, www.bahn.com
B49 to Leun, L3052 to Braunfels, B49 and L3020 to Weilburg
Braunfels below castle, Weilburg railway station / Indoor pool
32U 456744 5595969
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike
Book recommendation by the author
- Pocketguide "Lahnwanderweg" (free) at www.daslahntal.de or order at Lahntal Tourismus Verband (see "details")