G3VGR NECKARSTEIG     Hirschhorn - Neckarsteinach      

At breakfast, the hotelier told me that it would not rain today. That cheered me up immensely. My happiness was completed during my walk to the station because I saw the fairground people and junk food stall holders packing up their equipment ready to let Mosbach Altstadt return to normality. From Hirschhorn Bahnhof, the Neckarsteig wastes no time getting one back to the forest. A very steep street leads directly up from the station. At the top of the street, a muddy path goes up steeply again until reaching the Schlessbuckel. With this abrupt ascent completed, I started on a pleasant undemanding forest walk along a forestry track. The weather was dull, but dry and the trail was generally level. At times it went parallel to the Neckar and I caught glimpses of the river through the trees. Further on, I decided I must have taken a wrong turn as I didn't see any more of the familiar blue and white signs. Much of the Neckarsteig is shared with the Rhein-Neckar-Weg and I didn't see any of their familiar white squares with the big red "R" either. I dug out the map and GPS and found I was heading back to Hirschorn on a parallel forestry road, having taken a wrong turn at the Salgengrund. After correcting the mistake, I carried on to the junction where one has the option to go down to Neckarhausen Bahnhof.

Carrying on straight ahead on what was named the Greinerweg, the path started to gain altitude. It was still generally following the curve of the river until I reached the edge of a valley, the Lanzenbachtal. The trail turned sharply right and followed the valley upwards. I had some fine views of the opposite side of the valley as I ascended. As seems to be usual on his trip, I had still not seen anybody on the trail today, but the quietness of my walk was broken as a small stream, presumably the Lanzenbach, ran down alongside the path. I believe this was the first time on the Neckarsteig that I had such musical accompaniment and it was most enjoyable. Whilst I enjoy walking along the forestry tracks, it's not as satisfying as walking on narrow trails deep in the forest. When I reached the head of the valley, my preference was satisfied as the trail turned sharply left onto a narrow track ascending through the forest.

Whilst following this path I was amazed to see what looked like a bus stop sign and a goalpost ahead. It was no deception. I had reached Darsberg Sportsplatz, a small car park and a country road. I passed by a farm and followed a tarmac road down to the small village of Darsberg. It was very quiet and I didn't see a cafe there. Passing some orchards, the trail went along the edge of a forest where there was an impressive hut at the forest edge, so I stopped there and had lunch. The trail was quite flat now and I knew I was nearing Neckarsteinach. A sharp turn to the left led me to a pretty woodland path that zigzagged downwards steeply through the forest until I reached some houses. From here, various steps between houses brought me out on the main road by a railway tunnel, west of Neckarsteinach. Oddly, the Neckarsteig continued in a westerly direction for another 500 metres, climbing slowly until it made an abrupt turn back and climbed higher. When I reached the top, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself standing next to the ruins of Burg Hinterburg. There were great views to Neckarsteinach from here as well as along the Neckar towards Neckargemünd. I had even better views when I climbed to the top of the medieval tower.

Neckarsteinach is famous for it's four medieval castles and I could see the others from here. The trail led me down the castle's old steps to the road, then across and down to the river bank. The sun was out and it was an enjoyable walk along the river bank into Neckarsteinach. The town itself was very impressive. I counted five other visitors there, two of whom were on a tandem. Returning to Mosbach, I was relieved to see the town had reverted to it's normal sleepy self

Neckarsteig at Winterberg

The trail here is shared with the Rhein-Neckar-Weg

In the Lanzenbachtal

From the Lanzenbachtal towards Darsberg


Hut near Darsberg

Burg Hinterburg

Burg Hinterburg

Burg Hinterburg


Along the riverbank at Neckarsteinach

Mosbach Markplatz returned to normality

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