G3VGR NECKARSTEIG     Neunkirchen - Eberbach      

It was a wet miserable morning when I left the hotel and walked to the bus station. I was able to catch a direct bus from Mosbach to Neunkirchen for today's stage. The services to Neunkirchen are infrequent and as this was Sunday, the first available bus would not arrive there until 10:15. The journey in the little 18 seater number 822 bus was quite pleasant as it went through various small villages. I was the only passenger to alight at Neunkirchen, where it was still raining hard and quite chilly. Neunkirchen lived up fully to my expectations. It is a nondescript, nothing, nowhere place. This discovery reassured me that yesterday's decision to modify my route was correct. I walked up to the town centre, but was unable to find any information about the Neckarsteig outside the Rathaus and there were no signs anywhere to help. Nobody was about except for a large ram, who I assume was Neunkirchen's Burgomeister. After studying my map, I managed to find and join the trail at 11AM. This started a pleasant forest walk through the Kriegswald on a path named "Alte Eberbacher Weg". As yesterday, I saw nobody else. This is unusual in Germany on a Sunday, as normally large groups of walkers are about.

I heard quite a few woodpeckers at work and did see results of their previous labours on a few tree trunks. The weather all day varied between heavy showers (some with hail) and sunny periods. After proceeding for a few Km, there was a detour off the main trail to a clearing where stood the "Hohe Eiche", a majestic 400 year old oak tree. Shortly afterwards, I reached the Reihersee, a small pond in a forest clearing. A little further on, a sign directed me down onto a narrow steep path through the forest. This began the finest walking I'd experienced on the Neckarsteig so far. The rocky path was bordered by ferns and moss-covered boulders, all appearing an iridescent green during the sunny spells. Occasional gaps between the trees gave views along the Neckar.

The trail descended down through the Kriegwald until I reached the ruined Burg Stolzeneck, which was in an idyllic location deep amongst the trees. The castle has been in ruins since the early seventeenth century. I had a picnic lunch here. Again, nobody else was about, so I was able to enjoy the peaceful setting. After lunch, I followed the steep narrow trail down until I reached the Neckar at the Rockenau Lock. As I crossed over the lock, I saw the first person since leaving the bus at Neunkirchen. It was an old man watching the river traffic at the lock.

After crossing the river and the main B37 Landstrasse, I started a long uphill slog through the forest for over 2km. This was during a period of prolonged heavy rain, so I was appreciative of the tree cover. Again, I was walking along forestry paths. The trail eventually levelled out for a while until I was directed onto another narrow path into the woods. This led me to the TeufelsKanzel, a viewpoint that I'd rather had visited during one of the sunny periods of the day. I continued on up quite steeply until I reached the Ernst Hohn Hütte above the treeline on the Schollerbuckel. The rain stopped, the wind dropped and the sun started to shine as I crossed the peak into an area of large meadows and orchards. This was a pleasant walk and I sat for a while watching swallows catching their prey and a buzzard being mobbed by some crows. I reached a car park area at the edge of some woods, where there was a distinct lack of trail signs. The Neckarsteig is somewhat confusing near Eberbach and I did my best to stay on the trail. The familiar blue signs seem to be sporadic and even my large scale map (1:20000) seemed a little confused. Eventually I exited the woods into a suburban road of expensive houses. They all had incomparable views over Eberbach. The owners obviously didn't want to share the view, as I had great difficulty finding a gap anywhere to take a photograph. I made my way down to Eberbach Altstadt where there was a Spring Fair (one day only), called the "Trodelmarkt" in the Market place, and I was pleased to note it was much more restrained and refined than Mosbach's extravaganza and also seemed to attract a better class of beer drinkers. The clouds had now gone and I strolled around the historic old town in the evening sun before having dinner in the Altstadt. As I sat on the train back to Mosbach, I reflected on what had been a most enjoyable day's walking.

Ram outside Neunkirchen Rathaus

Alte Eberbacher Weg


In the Kriegswald

The rocky path to Burg Stolzeneck

View of the Neckar and Zwingenberg

Burg Stolzeneck

Burg Stolzeneck

Lunch at Burg Stolzeneck

View to Rockenau Lock and Frieseneck

Trail leading up the Böse Klinge

View upstream from Teufelskanzel

View from Ernst Hohn Hütte

Meadows and Orchards of Scheuerberg

View over Eberbach

Eberbach Altstadt

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