A wild rushing stream in a romantic gorge

The Holzbach has its source in the Upper Westerwald in the north-east of Rhineland-Palatinate near Rennerod, snakes through the villages of Waldmühlen and Seck, and flows through the picture-perfect Holzbach Gorge around 300 metres below the Dapprich farmyard café. In the first months of spring, as the snow melts and after heavy rainfall, the Holzbach is transformed from a gentle stream to a raging torrent rushing through the moss-covered rocks. Delicate oak fern and windflowers grow in the shade of the tall beech trees.

In April and May, the ravine forest dotted with basalt boulders is awash with forest flowers with beautiful names like holllowroot, burdock, baneberry and perennial honesty. The Holzbach Gorge is the preferred breeding ground for kingfishers, common dippers, grey wagtails, great spotted woodpeckers and mistle thrushes.

The four-kilometre nature trail around the gorge explains the trees that can be found in the nature conservation area, including ash, sycamore, Scots elm, broad-leaved lime, black alder and wood-rushes. With benches, railings, bridges and staked pathways, it is a varied route that is well set out for walkers.

Bridge over the Holzbach Gorge near Seck, Westerwald

Hikers on a bridge over the Holzbach Gorge near Seck, Westerwald

In its centre, the Holzbach Gorge is up to 20 metres deep and a good example of how the shapes of the land have changed in the Westerwald. The sealed basalt layer in the Upper Westerwald gradually came loose at the edges. Over time, the rivers and streams wore away the hard basalt and exposed the ‘softer’ bedrock beneath. Since 1929, the romantic valley carved by the Holzbach has been part of the ‘Holzbachdurchbruch’ nature conservation area, also known as the Holzbach Gorge. It extends between Seck and Gemünden and is one of the oldest in the Westerwald.

Exquisite cakes and tarts from the in-house bakery are the trademark of the Dapprich farmyard café in Seck at the entrance to the Holzbach Gorge. At 500 years old, the half-timbered house in the middle of the courtyard is the oldest building on the estate. The smaller house below the spring was once a forge and bakery. The oven and the forge have been preserved. The spring column made of Lahn marble once marked the boundary of the Duchy of Nassau.

Hiking along the Holzbach Gorge, Westerwald

Hiking past the Holzbach Gorge on the 4th stage of the WesterwaldSteig, Westerwald

Dapprich farmyard café in Seck, Westerwald

Dapprich farmyard café in Seck, Westerwald

More leisure tips for nature lovers in the Westerwald region:

More information about holidays in the Westerwald

Find out everything you need to know on events, attractions and other destinations in the Westerwald at Westerwald Touristik-Service.

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