5 TOP views from the Lahnwanderweg Trail


The Lahnwanderweg Trail extends 295 kilometres from the Rothaar Mountains near Siegen to Lahnstein, where the Lahn flows into the Rhine. It wanders from the source of the Lahn through the enchanting scenery of the upper Lahn valley, through sweeping meadows in the middle segment and down to the wildly romantic lower Lahn valley right in the east of Rhineland Palatinate, where the river snakes through deep, rocky gorges. The railway stations in the towns and villages along the way offer a more comfortable way back to your starting point. From Diez onwards, the Lahnwanderweg Trail heads across the heights in Rhineland Palatinate and treats you to one spectacular view after another. These are the stages with the five best viewpoints:

1. Franzosenlay viewpoint

The 16th stage of the Lahnwanderweg Trail starts from Limburg in Hesse. The diocesan town with its typical cathedral and half-timbered houses in the old town merges seamlessly into the neighbouring town of Diez. The footpath follows the river as it loops around the two towns. You can tell you are approaching Diez when you spot the magnificent Oranienstein Palace, a typical baroque complex complete with palace gardens. Until 1815, it was owned by the Princes of Nassau-Diez, the ancestors of the former Queen of the Netherlands, Queen Beatrix, Princess of Orange-Nassau.

The snow-white castle towers majestically above the old town of Diez. From there, the path leads through the old town and beyond, affording views of Fachingen with its traditional healing springs. The banks of the river lead to the Fachinger Grundstollen before snaking up to the 183-metre Franzosenlay rocky outcrop with views over the bend in the Lahn below. The gazebo is the perfect place to stop for a short rest before finishing off the stage in the pretty riverside village of Balduinstein with its port tower and ruined castle.


View of the Gabelstein pavilion on the Lahnwanderweg Trail near Cramberg in the Lahn valley

View of the Gabelstein pavilion on the Lahnwanderweg Trail near Cramberg in the Lahn valley

2. Gabelstein pavilion

The 17th stage of the Lahnwanderweg Trail begins in Balduinstein with lots of lovely views. First, you pass through the meadows and fields of the Gabelstein-Hölloch nature conservation area, which covers the wooded Gabelstein region, the neighbouring Höllbach valley (Hölloch) and the Lahn pastures on the other side of the river. From the pavilion on the Gabelstein, there is a wonderful view of the sweeping ‘Cramberger Bogen’ bend in the Lahn within the Nassau nature reserve.


Views into the distance from the Wolfslei viewpoint: on the Lahnwanderweg Trail in the Lahn valley

Views into the distance from the Wolfslei viewpoint: on the Lahnwanderweg Trail in the Lahn valley

3. Wolfslei viewpoint

The 17th stage continues along wooded paths down from the Gabelstein into the Höllbach valley, then up and down through Steinsberg, through pastures and forests to Rupbach and then Laurenburg, where the ruined castle was once the main residence of the Nassau Princes and the footpath crosses the Lahn. The uphill stretch through the former quarry area is a little more taxing. Here, lead, zinc, silver and copper were mined between 1751 and 1952. But the effort is worth it for the view from the Wolfslei of the little hydro-electric power station and the Kalkofen lock on the Lahn.


View from the Goethepunkt on the Lahnwanderweg Trail on the Lahn near Obernhof in the Lahn valley

View from the Goethepunkt on the Lahnwanderweg Trail on the Lahn near Obernhof in the Lahn valley

4. Goethepunkt viewpoint

The 17th stage also takes you to the Goethepunkt. The young Goethe described the view from the rocky outcrop over the half-timbered village of Obernhof and wide stretches of the Lahn valley through Obernhof, Weinähr and Arnstein Abbey as ‘to die for’. This was reason enough to build a viewing platform there more than 100 years ago and call it the ‘Goethepunkt’. Winemakers like to lead their guests up the rocky paths to enjoy a wine tasting up in the hills. The wines are rare. In the late 17th century, the vineyards covered close to 250 acres, stretching along the Lahn all the way to Marburg. Only 17 acres remain today.


Enjoy the view from the Hohe Lay viewpoint: on the Lahnwanderweg Trail near Nassau in the Lahn valley

Enjoy the view from the Hohe Lay viewpoint: on the Lahnwanderweg Trail near Nassau in the Lahn valley

5. Hohe Lay viewpoint

From Obernhof, stage 18 leads to Bad Ems. The Lahnwanderweg Trail leads on nature paths to the winemaking village of Weinähr on the banks of the Gelbach. The path along the Hohe Lay cliffs affords wonderful views over Weinähr and Arnstein Abbey. The quartzite cliffs are largely covered by trees, but there are steps on the north side which take you up to the viewing platform.

More leisure tips for nature lovers in the Lahn valley:


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Ausblick von der Franzosenlay

Franzosenlay - Viewpoint on the Lahnwanderweg ( Lahn hiking trail)

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Gabelstein viewpoint

Nassau Refuge with great panoramic view of the Lahnschleife
Wolfslei

Wolfslei viewpoint

Seelbach Impressive rock high above the Lahn
Aussichtsplattform Goethepunkt

Goethepunkt viewpoint

Obernhof Viewing platform with a fantastic view of the Lahn valley
Blick von Hohe Lay

Hohe Lay viewpoint

Nassau Beautiful view of Arnstein Monastery, Langenau Castle and Nassau Castle
Schloß Oranienstein in Diez

Oranienstein Palace

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"Museum im Grafenschloß - The Count's Castle"

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Kloster Arnstein

Arnstein Monastery

Seelbach Both the view from above into the Lahn valley and from the river to the monastery are unique
Concordiaturm

Concordiaturm - look-out-tower

Bad Ems Impressive panoramic view of the Lahn Valley, Taunus and Westerwald from the viewing platform. Restaurant.