Loop Trail 9

KÖNIG-OTTO-SCHLAUFE

Loop Trail 9

KÖNIG-OTTO-SCHLAUFE

Loop Trail 9

KÖNIG-OTTO-SCHLAUFE

marker of the König-Otto-loopLoop trail 9: König-Otto-Schlaufe

Nature and culture of the finest: From the König-Otto-Tropfsteinhöhle (King Otto Stalactite Cave) into picturesque Velburg

  • 18,3 km
  • 4,6 hrs.
  • 700 meters west of Unterweickenhof, 400 meters south of Oberweickenhof
  • 700 meters west of Unterweickenhof, 400 meters south of Oberweickenhof
  • Ascent gradient: 392,8 m
    Descent gradient: 392,8 m

The König-Otto loop leads through the heart of the Kuppenalb with its prominent hills, sometimes more than 100 meters high. It combines natural and cultural highlights in an ideal way. You start at Ober- or Unterweickenhof, and after you pass Reichertswinn, you reach the König-Otto-Tropfsteinhöhle near St. Coloman after a good one and a half hours.

This spileological jewel was accidentally detected by a shepherd on 30 September 1895, the birthday of King Otto of Bavaria, and was thus named after him. (Otto, the younger brother of King Ludwig II, became King after Ludwig's death in the Starnberger See in 1886. Because of Otto's mental illness, his uncle, Prince Regent Luitpold, reigned for him, but Otto kept the title of King until his death in 1916.) Another part of the cave was detected only in 1972, and both parts of the König-Otto-Tropfsteinhöhle constitute one of the most fascinating karst caves in the whole of the Frankenalb. A visit to the cave is an impressive adventure which you should definitely include in your route (open April until October, Tue - Sun,  10-17 hrs., information tel. 09182-446).

For a short hour, you walk further on across the Osterberg to Velburg, an idyllic little town with an unspoiled rural charm. Under the protection of the castle hill, with the remnants of the once proud Velburg castle, the town is adorned with stately burgher houses, and constitutes the cultural highlight of the King Otto loop trail. The colorful scenery of the town square is dominated by the town hall, with its richly diversified pinnacled facade, and the late gothic parish church. This is the sunny side of the stony Palatinate ("Steinpfalz"), and on the culinary side, too, the hiker will miss nothing, as numerous festivals offer culinary delicacies ("Schmankerl") all the year round. In Velburg, the hiker may always look forward to Upper Palatian coziness and hospitality with both homemade and international specialties!

From Velburg, the route leads further north through the diversified Jura landscape, where the scenery transforms between large mixed forests and quiet meadow valleys. At Richthof, a small hamlet, the route again meets the feeder trail, which leads to the main route of the Jurasteig after about a kilometer.