This stage of the trail begins at Freilingen, passing the Postweiher lake and leading along the Dreifelder Weiher lake on its way to Dreifelden. At Linden, the Westerwald-Steig arrives at the source of the River Wied. It continues through beech forest over the Großer Weißenstein mountain to the Gräbersberg mountain. Have a rest at the Alpenroder hikers' hut and enjoy the panoramic view from the viewing tower. A particular jewel of this stage of the trail is Stöffel Park, a geological and industrial theme park, situated between Nistertal, Enspel and Stockum-Püschen. It's worth giving yourself plenty of time to visit the theme park.
This stage of the trail goes from lake to lake, first following the River Wied and then ascending to the Alpenroder hikers' hut with a view of the lofty heights of the Westerwald. The highlight of this stage comes at the end with the chance to see the ancient Stöffelmaus, a fossil of a now extinct rodent.
B255 or B413 to the Freilingen exit and continue on the B8 to the Postweiher lake near Freilingen
Train to the ICE station at Montabaur, then bus no. 480 to Langenhahn and onwards with bus no. 463 to Freilingen
Return journey from Nistertal to Freilingen: by taxi, no direct bus connection available
Freilingen hikers' car park (on the B8 outside the town, opposite the Postweiher lake)
Shortly after the start of this stage, we reach the Dreifelder Weiher lake, through which flows the River Wiede, the largest river in the Westerwald. The entire area of the Westerwald lake plateau is a protected nature reserve. Dreifelden has the oldest stone church in the Westerwald and the mighty peace oak tree. We follow the Wied hiking trail for a short while along the River Wied, until we reach the source of the river near Linden, where we can have a rest at the picnic spot. The trail then continues through beautiful beech forests over the Großer Weißenstein mountain to the Gräbersberg mountain, where you can rest in the welcoming Alpenroder hikers' hut and enjoy the panoramic view from the viewing tower. The trail continues to the legendary Welterstein rock and Monsberg mountain. A particular jewel of this stage of the trail is Stöffel Park, a geological and industrial theme park in Enspel, where you can trace 25 million years of the earth's history in the deposits in a maar lake. A unique industrial complex documents the 100 year long history of basalt mining and shows how rocks are processed. A 'historical workshop' has recently been launched in the forge, which is more than 100 years old, taking visitors on a journey through industrial history and giving them a glimpse of the hardships of working life a century ago. After stopping to see the Stöffelmaus, one of the most famous finds from prehistoric times, we pass a small chapel and reach the end of this stage just after the River Nister. From here, it's about 1 kilometre to Nistertal-Erbach with train station, restaurants and accommodation.
Access paths (marking: green W on a yellow background)
Wear sturdy shoes and appropriate, weatherproof clothing that protects you from cold and wet or heat and sun.Take enough liquid with you. There are not always places to stop for refreshments.Please wear walking shoes appropriate for the trail, which will give you sufficient grip even on slippery and steep or rocky and uneven paths.If you are of the opinion that certain sections of the trail are not passable for you, then you should avoid them. Especially in adverse weather conditions, muddy and slippery passages can occur on natural paths.Especially in autumn, you should also be aware that leaves lying on the ground can hide uneven surfaces, roots, stones or holes in the path. You must expect path impairments of this kind when you undertake a hike.Although the trail is very well marked throughout, you should always have a suitable hiking map with you for safety reasons.
Suitable weatherproof clothing
For water babies: cool down in the lido at the Postweiher lake
For great views: the viewing tower on the Gräbersberg mountain
For those interested in geology and families with children: visit Stöffel Park
- Wanderkarte-Leporello Westerwald-Steig, hiking map with GPS data and tips for day trips, rest stops and leisure activities, map size (w x h): 18 x 20 cm, 39 pages in total, including 29 pages of maps, ISBN 978-3-89920-461-2, €8.95 - Official WesterWaldSteig trail map for hikers and holidaymakers, 1:50 000 scale map, LVermGeo Rheinland-Pfalz, ISBN 978-3-89637-406-6, €8.50