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Hiking Trail Goethewanderweg Ilmenau

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Goethe statue at Hiking Trail Goethewanderweg Ilmenau

Hiking Trail Goethewanderweg Ilmenau

The Goethe Path Hiking Trail

Named after the German poet, playwright and politician, the Goethe Path (Goethewanderweg) is 19 kilometres long. Goethe himself is said to have visited the trail at least 28 times and it runs between Ilmenau and Stützerbach.

Along the path are places where Goethe made an impression and these places are marked with a white ‘G’ on a brown background.

Starting The Hike Along The Goethewanderweg

The Goethe path trail starts at Ilmenau where the Goethe monument stands and where you can also see the Amthaus which holds exhibits of his works. The track goes through the graveyard which contains the tomb of Corona Schröters, Goethe’s favourite actor and then it turns into a path over the Sturmweide to the Ilmenau mountain ditches.

These ditches were constructed to transport water to the mines so that the pit wheels could turn and as a politician Goethe was responsible for this area of government.

Schwalbenstein Rock

The Goethe path hiking trail then takes you to Schwalbenstein Rock where the poet and playwright wrote the 4th act of his famous play Iphigenie auf Tauris. Here there is a mountain hut and after the juryman lawn and Mary’s Spring, the path carries on to Manebach. Once there you will see the Cantor’s House and in the garden of the house, Goethe drew up scientific charts.



Great Hermann’s Rock

This place (Großer Hermannsstein) features a large cave which Goethe frequently visited, often with his friend Charlotte von Stein. After the cave you will come to the Kickelhahn which is a mountain that tops 861 metres in height. The path is clearly marked all the way along.

In 1780, Goethe wrote two poems and it has been noted that they were inspired by the mountain. The path then goes to the Jagdhaus Gabelbach, a hunting lodge and this holds some of the scientific research that Goethe undertook.

The Finsteres Loch ( A Waterfall)

Deep in the Thrungian forest you will next come to the Finsteres Loch, a small waterfall that is mentioned in one of the most famous Goethe poems. Finally , you will arrive at Wadergasthaus Auerhahn, the forest inn and the trail then ends at Gundelach House in Stützerbach. This is where Goethe used to spend the night when he walked the trail.

The hiking trail does not go in a loop so you need to either walk back or take the bus number 300 to Ilmenau. It is not a very difficult trail and is suitable for both adults and children as long as you can do the distance.

Getting To Hiking Trail Goethewanderweg Ilmenau

By Air

The nearest airport to Ilmenau is Erfurt and it is 41.4 kilometres away. From the airport you can choose your onward journey by train, by car or there is a rideshare scheme.

By Train

There is a train every 10 minutes from the airport to Erfurt main station and the journey takes 23 minutes. Change at the main station for a regional train to Ilmenau. This takes 50 minutes and the trains run every 30 minutes. Total journey time is about one and a half hours.

By Road

It is very simple to drive to Ilmenau from Erfurt Airport. Get on the motorway A71 and keep on this road until the exit 16 for Ilmenau-West. Follow signs to the centre. The journey takes about 30 minutes.

Other Things To Do Near Ilmenau

Winter Sporting Activities

If you are planning your hike in winter, you can also take advantage of the close proximity of Oberhof which is only 30 kilometres from Ilemnau. This world famous resort competitions in cross country skiing, the bobsleigh, the luge and the biathlon. There are plenty of opportunities for you to watch and take part in winter sports at this resort.



A Trip To The Spa

After you have completed the hiking trail, why not indulge in a day of pampering at the H20berhof. This wellness spa has recently been refurbished and you can enjoy some fun in the pools which have water slides and then relax in the spa area where there are seven saunas, masseurs and a wealth of different treatments to make you feel great.

Find out about more of our nature and adventure holidays in Germany!

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