G3VGR RHEINSTEIG    Kühn's Mühle - Schlangenbad      

Kühn's Mühle is certainly in a prime location and they serve an excellent buffet breakfast. The early morning view from my verandah would have been superb, but for the fog which restricted visibility to about 50 metres and the pounding inside my head from last night's revels. The trail from Kühn's Mühle carried on across the vineyards and eventually entered the forest of the Rhein-Taunus park near Hallgarten. It had been raining heavily overnight, which made walking along the paths a pleasant experience with the after-rain smells and bright green spring foliage. There were many blackbirds present in this area, so the walk was never quiet. I saw two groups of small children on trips with their schoolteachers. Hopefully they'll grow up with a love and respect for the countryside. The fog was clearing now and I had a fine view from the forest edge across to Hattenheim and the Rhein before descending to Kloster Eberbach.

It was too early to get coffee in the Kloster's restaurant, so I proceeded up through the forest towards Kiedrich. Entering a large meadow from the forest, I met a walker who was headed North. This gentleman was at least 75 years old and looked very fit. I wished him well for the tougher sections ahead in the Rhein gorge. Kiedrich is a pleasant old wine town with many half-timbered buildings. Again, like most places I'd visited, everywhere was closed, so I missed lunch again. I bought some rolls and croissants from a bakery and walked up above the town to the Ruine Scharfenstein and ate them, enjoying the views of Kiedrich and the surrounding countryside. The sun came out and seemed to promise a nice afternoon as I set off towards Schlangenbad. My weather forecasting was proved inaccurate after hearing a large clap of thunder 20 minutes later. I quickly put on my waterproofs before very heavy rain fell. It rained solidly for the next 3 hours as I walked through the forest. This was very reminiscent of my time in the Westerwald, tramping up and down slippery forest paths getting colder and lonelier. However, I was dry and was grateful for the Goretex lining of my lightweight boots, which kept my feet both dry and warm. I briefly left the trail at Rauenthal, but saw nowhere to get a hot drink, so headed back into the forest.

About a mile before Schlangenbad, I heard a noise to the side of me and was amazed to see a young wild boar staring at me. He was probably bemused at my bedraggled appearance and stayed still for a full 20 seconds looking me over, until his curiosity was satisfied and he disappeared back into the undergrowth. As I reached the Kurhaus in Schlangenbad, the rain stopped and I was able to take off my waterproofs to make myself look a little respectable, prior to finding a cafe serving Gulaschsuppe, then checking in at the Hotel Ricarda. Schlangenbad is a small spa town and very pretty. This was a pleasant place to spend my last night on the Rheinsteig.

Vineyards near Kühn's Mühle

Learning about the forest

Kloster Eberbach

Forest near Kloster Eberbach


View overlooking Kiedrich


Scharfenstein ruin

Schlangenbad Kurhaus


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