The circular trail leads through the oldest UNESCO biosphere reserve in Germany. For more than five decades, nature has been developing in the core zone directly in the heart of the Vessertal - without human intervention. Thus, the circular hiking trail seduces with almost unique natural beauty in the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Thuringian Forest.
In the three zones of the reserve, it is "naturally" beautiful: the meadow valleys rich in blossoms, the multi-coloured mountain meadows, the light-flooded beech forests, the primeval mixed mountain forests with the high-closed ferns and the gently rippling springs that become crystal-clear refreshing mountain streams.
The circular trail consists of two tours of different lengths in the north and south of the Vessertal. Both start at the former "Walter-Ulbricht-Schanze".
The northern loop takes you through the small village of Vesser past the Ten Ponds up to the Cold Hostel. Shortly afterwards you will reach the Salzberg. From here you have a fantastic panoramic view of the entire region. In winter, the ski lift is a centre of attraction for downhill skiing fans from all over the region. Via the Wegscheide and Potsdamer Platz, you descend again to the Vessertal. The Adlersberg is a popular excursion destination with a lookout tower and a mountain inn. The loop ends at the Hotel and Restaurant Stutenhaus.
The southern loop leads around the Großer Herrenhügel directly into the core area of the biosphere reserve. Along the course of the river Vesser you head south to Breitenbach. The Waldbad invites you to a welcome refreshment, especially on hot summer days. The Breitenbach eventually leads you back up into the densely wooded region around Vesser. Past the shepherd's well, you soon reach the equestrian farm at Stutenhaus and shortly afterwards the restaurant and hotel of the same name.
The Vessertal circular hiking trail with its natural character occupies a special place among the hiking trails in the Thuringian Forest.
Rest stopsAdlersbergbaude und Aussichtsturm - Vesser
Hotel und Restaurant Stutenhaus - Vesser
Please be aware of the hazards typical of the forest and follow the instructions of the ThüringenForst staff.
Always bear in mind that you are not only in a nature reserve, but even in a biosphere reserve. The use of open fires is strictly prohibited in the entire area of the Vessertal. Disposing of rubbish is also only permitted at designated places (rest areas with rubbish bins).
Tips and hints
From the A71, take exit 16 (Ilmenau West) and continue on the L3004 towards Ilmenau. Follow the road through the town and continue on the L3004 towards Stützerbach / Schmiedefeld am Rennsteig. At the Rennsteig junction, continue straight on towards Schmiedefeld am Rennsteig / Suhl.
You will reach the town via Ilmenauer Straß / Bahnhofstr.
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
Book recommendations for this region:
Recommended maps for this region:
- Sturdy shoes
- First aid kit
- GPS device or smartphone
- Beverage reserve
- 2 Stages