Hiking the RheinSteig Trail
When we were living in Cologne, we sought out every opportunity to explore the surrounding region. One day trip we really enjoyed was hiking the RheinSteig Trail in the Rhine Valley.
There are two main hiking trails in the Rhine Valley: RheinSteig on the right side of the Rhine and RheinBurgenWeg (Rhine Castle Trail) on the left side of the Rhine. The RheinSteig is a 320 km trail that goes through the Siebengebirge, Lower Middle Rhine Valley, Upper Middle Rhine Valley, and Rheingau. We hiked the stretch between Linz am Rhein and Bad Honnef (Stage 19).
Stage 19 Trail Map: Linz am Rhein to Bad Honnef
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Linz am Rhein
Linz am Rhein is known as “Die Bunte Stadt am Rhein,” the colorful town on the Rhine. The historical old town is filled with half-timbered houses and a quintessential Marktplatz. After enjoying a coffee in the Marktplatz, we set off to find the trailhead.
Hiking to Epeler Ley
The hike begins by ascending to Burg Ockenfels. There’s a great view of the Rhine from here. The trail then goes through the village of Kasbach and ascends to Erpeler Ley. Erpeler Ley is a great place to take a break and enjoy the view of the Rhine. From this vantage point, you can see the bridge towers of the Bridge of Remagen, which was destroyed at the end of WWII. You can also see Apollinariskirche, a church situated on the site of a Roman temple, crowning the hill above the town of Remagen. At Erpeler Ley, you can also grab something to eat at Gaststätte Bergesruh, situated across a tiny farm.
Hiking to Bad Honnef
From Epeler Ley, the path descends to the Hähnerbach valley in the direction of Unkel.
Here are some general trail markers
- Epeler Ley
- Burg Vilszelt
- Cross the Street L252**
- Campingplatz (Campsite) Bruchhauser Heide
- Breitbachtal – the valley around the stream Breitbach
- Auge Gottes (“Eye of God”)
- Bad Honnef
*Be careful around Orsberg. We went too far down Orsberger Strasse and lost the trail. We rejoined the RheinSteig at Burg Vilszelt.
**When you cross the street L252, pay close attention to where the trail starts on the other side of the street. We missed it, and went to the intersection between L252 and the steet 42. We walked along 42 and hiked up a vineyard to rejoin the trail (not recommended).
We were very happy to arrive in Bad Honnef. Bad Honnef is another town situated on the Rhine that charms visitors with its elegant and varied architecture. Because we were determined to drink wine, we walked a little further to Rhöndorf, a district within Bad Honnef that boasts several Weingüter (wine taverns). We ended our day at Weinwirtschaft Zum Böllchen (Tripadvisor reviews), where we enjoyed wine in their garden along with a platter of meats, cheeses and sliced vegetables.
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