The region of the southern Westerwald is a "stone-rich" land in the truest sense of the word and therefore particularly suitable for the construction of a themed hiking trail. "White gold", as clay is also called, has had a lasting impact on the landscape, the economy and the people. The mills along the Ahrbach and the open-cast mining also play an important role.
Discover the white gold of the Westerwald on the Clay Theme Trail. It's easy to do so on the circular hiking trail of the Clay Theme Trail - Red Route.
The eleven-kilometre circular trail starts at the Ahrbachhalle in Boden and leads via Niederahr and Moschheim back to the starting point. Along the way, various information boards explain the geological and cultural-historical aspects of clay and basalt.
Learn everything about clay and its extraction on this themed trail. The circular trail is eleven kilometres long and starts and ends in Boden.
From Montabaur, take the B255 and exit at Boden.
In Boden, turn right after the petrol station. The Ahrbachhalle is already signposted here.
Take bus line 116 from Montabaur city centre or the central bus station at the ICE railway station to Boden.
There is free parking directly in front of the Ahrbachhalle at Schulstraße 4 in
56412 Boden there is free parking.
You start the hike at the Ahrbachhalle in Boden. A meadow path leads you along the Ahrbach between a fenced-in children's playground and the parents' and seniors' meeting place. You use the bridge over the Ahrbach and climb up the serpentines to the first vantage point, the "Esther" pit!
Here you can see the enormous dimensions of the pit for the first time; it extends from the northeast, past the remains of a basalt mountain, far to the southwest. A display board at the pit contains interesting facts about clay and a hint on how to continue.
Back at the children's playground, turn right "An der Hofwiese", straight ahead across the football pitch and the village square, then 20 m to the left and follow a narrow path on the right to the old Meudter Straße past the transformer house on the left. The former Boden mill is hidden behind a mound of earth overgrown with trees and bushes. A display board provides information on the history of this mill.
You continue along the old Meudter Straße to the Boden northern bypass. Due to fast-moving vehicles, you need to pay extra attention when crossing the road!
On the left in front of you is the open-cast mine "Anna", where no more clay has been mined for years, which is why a small pond has formed. Two steps lead you to the insight point.
Having arrived at the former site of the "Steineckermühle", you can treat yourself to a first break. Seats and a snack table invite you to linger. A display board shows that there were once ten mills on the Ahrbach!
Freshly refreshed, you continue across the "Wolfsholzer Bach" stream - after 10 m you are in the middle of the "Pfeul" pit of the Sibelco company. On the path built by this company, you walk parallel to the Ahrbach. Three clarification ponds on the right reflect the area of the mine.
A real highlight awaits you at the vantage point (300 m further on): Mighty layers of different clays (qualities) in various ochre colours lie before you. Given the thickness of the clay layers, excavators and trucks seem like toys. You can let the impressions you have gained have an effect on you and read the information on the display board of the "Pfeul" mine!
On the north side of the railway line, you will now pass tennis courts and the building yard of the local community of Niederahr; on the right is a beautiful playground and adventure area directly on the hiking trail. At the beginning of the Mühlenweg, an information board informs you about the further course of the Ton rote Route. The Mühlenweg leads you straight ahead, slightly to the left to the old B 255. The building to the left of the road housed the former "Gilbertsmühle" - millstones in the courtyard and an inclined millstone 30 m north in front of a house on the main road remind you of the era of the mills. You now quickly cross the old main road to follow the high trail on the opposite side. At a gravel path, continue to the right until you see a great viewpoint of the "Petschmorgen" open-cast mine on the hill. The display board provides information about clay extraction in the past.
The path continues past a sedimentation basin and soon you are in front of a large car park. Turn left and continue straight ahead along the edge of the forest. On the right you can see the former company "Westfalia" - today "GEA-Westfalia" as the Niederahr separator factory with large production halls and stainless steel products weighing several tonnes.
Continue north along the red route in the shade of the forest. After about 400 m, turn left into the forest on a gravel path. After another 150 m, turn right and then left again. At the foot of the Malberg you will reach another lookout point on the theme trail with an information board on clay transport. A rest area invites you to take a break.
The trail continues below the Malberg to a light-coloured gravel path that turns left towards Moschheim. Cross the railway tracks and, after the first buildings, take the path to the left to the end of Oststraße. Pass the gate on the right and you will reach the area of the Moschheim angling club.
Leave the area via a small footbridge, turn left, then right and cross the tarmac access road to the "Petschmorgen" clay pit. Behind a solitary oak (left), a field path leads steeply uphill straight ahead, past the "Lustige Gewann" to the "Lustige Hügel". Shortly before the hill, which is overgrown with trees and scrub, you have a great panoramic view and can inform yourself with the information board.
Now walk back downhill in a southerly direction and on the left, after an ageing Christmas tree shelter, you will see large levelled areas where a few years ago the clay pit "Guterborn I" of the Goerg & Schneider company was still in operation!
Before the forest, turn right twice and you will see a recultivation forest on the left of the path. Keep half-right and after 300 m turn left. This area was exploited years ago by the company "Fuchs'sche Tongrube Ransbach-Baumbach" and has now been recultivated in an exemplary manner! As you continue, you will see the administration building of the Westerwald district waste management company on the right through the trees; walk along the fence to the transfer station, then turn left, cross the road and walk back to the district on the pavement. After 15m, cross "Kannenbäckerstraße", which begins in Boden, and use the footpath through a hole in the noise barrier. Behind the building on the left - in the direction of the circle - is a thick basalt stone. Passing it, the path goes behind a water transfer station of the former waste disposal site at a 45° angle into the forest. A thematic board contains information about the soil at our feet and the recultivation of the site.
You now come to a cross path, which you follow to the right to turn left into a small path shortly before its end. At the next cross path, follow our path straight ahead. After a few steps you reach the old sports field of the municipality of Bannberscheid, which you can bypass on the right and follow the paved path on the left. At the top (there is a large meadow on the left), turn right into the forest. After 100 m, slightly downhill in the forest, a narrow spur path of 70 m on the right leads to a magnificent view of a fish pond (former clay pit). Stay and enjoy!
Back on the path, walk 50 m further and you will see another fish pond on the left. On the right is now a small fish pond bordered with old crash barriers.
The path now leads you past the edge of the forest on the left and you are at the subway in the direction of Boden. Here you can enjoy a magnificent panoramic view for the last time. Boden lies directly in front of you. Follow the signs to the Ahrbachhalle and you have reached the end of the red route.
As clay is still mined from the various pits today, it is important that you only move along the designated routes. Please keep a safe distance from the sloping edges of the clay pits (risk of falling and injury) and watch out for transporter vehicles that might cross your path.
I dress for the weather and the season.
Now put on sturdy shoes and off I go .....
The different layers of earth in the quarry pits glow in a different play of colours depending on the time of day. It is therefore worthwhile to hike this theme trail early in the morning or later in the afternoon.
A free flyer with a map is available from the Montabaur Tourist Information Office.