The Danube Zollernalb Trail: from Beuron to Mount Lemberg
The Danube Zollernalb Trail has been awarded the Wanderbares Deutschland seal of approval by the German Ramblers' Association, as has the Danube Peaks Trail. It consists of ten one-day stages leading through the magnificent Upper Danube valley to Sigmaringen Castle, and then on through the lovely Lauchert valley to Gammertingen. This is followed by the Zollernalb region with many splendid hilltop views from its numerous peaks, ten of which are over 1,000 metres high. One of these is Mount Lemberg, the start of the Danube Peaks Trail. Both trails together run for a total of around 230 kilometres, resulting in the longest certified, award-winning circular walking trail in Baden-Württemberg. But of course that doesn't mean that walkers will end up going round in circles!
The Danube Zollernalb Trail starts at Beuron with its imposing abbey. This is a fitting opening, followed by the romantic medieval Wildenstein Castle and scenic Werenwag Castle, along with panoramic cliff-top views from Rauher Stein, Eichfelsen and Bandfelsen. The Traube inn in Kreenheinstetten, the house where the famous preacher Abraham a Sancta Clara was born, offers a warm welcome to those stopping off for refreshments or even for a place to stay overnight. Past nearby Hausen im Tal lie the Schaufelsen cliffs, a climbing area surrounded by fascinating rock formations. The village of Thiergarten has a real gem in store for walkers: the smallest triple-naved basilica north of the Alps. There is also plenty to explore in the ruins of Falkenstein Castle, which has a lovely rest area with barbecue. The tall towers of Sigmaringen Castle mark the end of the next stage, and you can perhaps celebrate reaching this milestone in one of the cosy inns of Sigmaringen's old town. Through the beautiful Lauchert valley the trail leads to Veringenstadt on the Hohenzollern Route with its interesting local history museum, before continuing on to Gammertingen. From the Teufelstorfelsen, a fascinating rock formation in the Lauchert valley, you can enjoy magnificent panoramic views across the beautiful scenery which borders on the Swabian Alb region with the village of Winterlingen. The next destination is Strassberg, whose castle is first mentioned in records dating back to 1334. From Mount Schlossberg, the highest point of the route, the trail runs to Albstadt and then continues to Meßstetten, one of the highest-altitude towns in Germany. This stage takes in a lovely region of gently rolling hills, deep green meadows, dark forests and craggy cliffs all the way to Schömberg. A refreshing dip in the Schlichem reservoir, also known as Lake Schömberg, provides the necessary boost for the last leg through the Hohe Schwabenalb – famous as one of the most beautiful and tranquil walking regions in southern Germany – and past the ruins of Oberhohenberg Castle. The ascent of Mount Lemberg requires a final bit of effort, as 90 metres in altitude need to be gained over a distance of just under 700 metres, but the splendid panoramic views all the way to the main Alpine ridge and across to the Black Forest and the Neckar valley are a fitting reward.