ROUTE 13: Riedenburg - Kelheim
Wild-romantic hiking through the Altmühl and Donau valleys
- 22,6 km
- 5,7 hrs.
- Riedenburg, town center, An der Altmühl (road above the ships' boarding platform)
- Kelheim, Danube dam between ships' boarding platform and the big parking lot
Ascent gradient: 603,7 m
Descent gradient: 612,5 m
This is the last, and probably the most beautiful route through the Altmühl and Danube valley. It is identical to the route of the Altmühltal-Panoramaweg, thus the hiker on the Jurasteig will follow its signs. The route leads over the slopes at the side of the Altmühl to the enchanting rocky compound of the nature reserve Klamm ("gorge"). On its highest point you have a most impressive view of the castle of Prunn on the opposite side. The Klamm itself is characterized by a shadowy rocky forest in the gorge, with hart's-tongue fern ("Hirschzungenfarn") and kidney maidenhair ("Talerblatt"), but with mighty Douglas firs, too, which were planted in the 19th century. You cross the bridge across the Altmühl near Einthal and reach the other side of the river, where a steep trail leads up to the castle of Prunn and an inn of the same name. The hiker is rewarded for the strenuous ascent with a spectacular view of the Altmühl valley.
Further on in the direction of Essing, the route passes the Felsenhäusl ("rock house") and the Blautopf ("blue pond"), an azure blue karst spring. With a view of the massive Jura walls above Essing, you cross the Altmühl for a last time on one of the longest wooden bridges in Europe, the so-called Tatzlwurm ("winged dragon"). Soon, you reach the ascent to the Keltenwall ("Celts' rampart") which leads over the hill down into the valley of the Danube. After you have reached a scenic viewpoint, the well-known monastery of Weltenburg presents itself. From the Keltenwall the Jurasteig goes on through the woods and down to the Danube. For the last kilometers to Kelheim, the hiker walks through the nature preserve Weltenburger Enge (Weltenburg gorge), a near-natural river landscape with beech woods and scenery of rock walls which is indeed unique. Small wonder that the peregrine falcon, the dormouse ("Siebenschläfer"), the eagle owl and the beaver have their habitat here. At the ships' boarding platform at Kelheim the Jurasteig comes to an end for those who put on their hiking boots for the 230 km of the round trail of the Jurasteig.
An attractive alternative is to board a boat from Essing to Kelheim. You can find the current schedule HERE.