G3VGR QUERWEG         Schattenmühle – Achdorf      

When my alarm went off at 7AM, I was delighted to find the heavy rain of yesterday evening had ended and I had woken up to a sunny morning. After a good breakfast (with delicious homemade bread) in the Schattenmühle, I collected my packed lunch and started out at 0830. The section between Schattenmühle and Wutachmühle is the spectacular centerpiece of the Wutachschlucht and I wanted to take my time and enjoy the experience before the easy walk from the end of the canyon to Achdorf. It made a pleasant change to start the day off without a long, steep hill ascent. As I left the hotel, the trail ascended quickly up through the trees on a rough,narrow path with many rocks and tree roots. Everywhere was muddy due to yesterday's rain, so I walked carefully, mindful of the fall I had on the Neckarsteig. The walk through the Wutachschlucht was fantastic, although hard going at times. It alternated between walking through the lush foliage of the flood plains beside the river bank and climbing high above the river on narrow paths along the rock sides of the canyon with sheer drops that were fortunately protected by wires and picket fences. All the time, the sun was providing dappled light through the treecover to make the foliage glow bright green. There seemed to be no end to the beauty of this walk. I saw a few day hikers, but mainly I was on my own accompanied by the sounds of the river and much birdsong.

I remembered some of the highlights of the Wutachschlucht from my Schluchtensteig walk and was anxious to view them again. The first highlight was the bizarre Dietfurter Waßerfall, an impressive sight which is apparently a phenomenon of the Wutachschlucht. After crossing the Dietfurter Brücke and walking through the flood plains, I reached the Tannegger Wasserfall. Shortly after passing the waterfall, the Wutachschlucht became wilder with many climbs up and along narrow paths, cut high into the limestone cliffs. The trail crossed the river again at the Neuer Rümmelesteg, a wooden structure built in 1995 to replace the original ruined bridge of 1904 which is visible 70 metres downstream. I stopped to eat my packed lunch next to the Kanadiersteg, sitting on a large rock on the riverbank in the sunshine with my feet being cooled by the river water. It was a nice location as the Gauchach river joins the Wutach here. I also laid out my partly dried washing from yesterday on some rocks to dry in the sunshine and after a couple of shots of Obstler, decided that life doesn't get much better than this. After an hour, I reluctantly picked up my belongings and walked the last 2Km to the exit of the Wutachschlucht at Wutachmühle, where there is a working sawmill. Nearby is an excellent schnellimbiss, where I celebrated the day's experience with a bratwurst and a Hefeweizen.

From Wutachmühle, it was an easy 5km walk in the sunshine through some forest and farmland to the village of Achdorf. I had an overnight reservation at the Gasthof-Pension Scheffelinde, a lovely 16th century inn, where I had previously stayed on my Schluchtensteig hike. The restaurant was very busy, which is surprising for a tiny village.

Easy start to the trail leaving Schattenmühle
Along the Wutach in the morning sun
Dietfurter Wasserfall
The flood plains are home to many plants
Steep climb from the river
High path in the limestone cliff face
Kapelle Bad Boll
Tannegger Wasserfall
View upstream
Neuer Rümmelesteg
Remains of original Rümmelesteg
Rough path along river bank
Along the road to Achdorf
Hotel Scheffelinde, Achdorf
Querweg 50th Anniversary stone, Achdorf

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