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Hiking route recommended route Stage 6

Hiking - Rennsteig - Stage 6 - From Friedrichshöhe to Spechtsbrunn

Hiking route · Thuringia · Open
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Thüringer Wald Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • View of Steinheid
    View of Steinheid
    Photo: DerSiegel, CC BY-SA, von DerSiegel [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], vom Wikimedia Commons
Via the highest railway station in Thuringia into the Schiefergebirge mountains.
Distance 23 km
6:30 h
297 m
414 m
840 m
684 m

You start this stage at one of the most idyllic places on the Rennsteig. Friedrichshöhe with its handful of small, slate-roofed houses gives you an idea that the region that has become so famous for its blue gold is not far away. Not only in winter is the area bustling with activity on the boards, but in summer too the open mountain meadow on the Rennsteig road is a popular destination for hikers and cyclists alike.

The Rennsteig trail heads steadily west here and for the next few kilometres runs parallel to the Panoramaweg Schwarzatal and the Werra-Burgen-Steig. Passing Siegmundsburg, you soon reach the small village of Limbach. Above all, the Eiscafé is a real recommendation and promises welcome refreshment, especially on hot summer days. Pass the toboggan slope with the Greiner crypt and continue to Steinheid. You do not pass the village, however, but follow our high-altitude hiking trail northeast to the Steinheider Hütte and on towards Neuhaus am Rennweg.

You will reach the district of Bernhardsthal directly at the Rennsteigbaude. About halfway through the stage, it's a great place to rest at lunchtime. There is also a natural bathing lake at the Waldbühne, as well as a playground and volleyball court, so if you want to take off your hiking boots for a while, there are plenty of opportunities to get active here or simply unwind before continuing on.

The Rennsteig then leads over the Herrnberg to Neuhaus am Rennweg. At 832m, this is Thuringia's highest railway station. Today, the SüdThüringenBahn runs here every hour. Since 2017, Neuhaus has been a very special highlight. The Boutique Hotel Schieferhof is one of the best establishments on the Rennsteig and offers modern accommodation as well as a top-class restaurant. If you want to come at lunchtime, however, you have to bring a few more people and let us know in advance. In the evening, it's open from 6 pm.

Pass the Museum Geisslerhaus and head back towards the forest. We recommend the restaurant "Am Waldesrand" at this point. It is located not far from the hiking trail on a dreamy allotment site.

The Rennsteig takes you along the edge of the forest to Ernsthal. Once the railway line led from here on a winding route through the dense forests towards Bock and Teich, on via Gräfenthal and to Probstzella. Today the train changes direction for the route to Lauscha and Steinach.

Passing Ernsthal, the stage leads up to the Frankenwaldblick, the Triniusblick and then on to the Berggasthof Brand on the last section. Special mention should be made of the Finn huts, which can be rented for free; in summer as well as in winter. The restaurant is also recommendable.

To the red mountain you soon reach the stage destination Spechtsbrunn. If you want to spend the night here, we recommend the inn and guesthouse "Am Rennsteig". With a cosy restaurant and guest rooms, every tired hiker will find peace and quiet here. You can easily make a reservation online.

Author’s recommendation

The Schwarzatal panorama trail meets the Rennsteig trail at Steinheider Hütte. If you wish, you can make a short detour to the Schwarza spring here  
Profile picture of Paul Hentschel
Paul Hentschel 
Update: January 13, 2023
Highest point
840 m
Lowest point
684 m
Best time of year

Track types

Show elevation profile

Rest stops

Gasthof Thomas Müntzer Jaqueline Zitzmann
Haus Rennsteigrose - Elisabeth Pauli
Gasthof Hirsch
Bergbaude Brand
Gasthaus & Pension "Am Rennsteig" - Sonneberg OT Spechtsbrunn

Safety information

The Rennsteig is well to very well developed and paved on this stage. In the forest sections, however, always make sure your footing is secure and avoid going "off the beaten track" into the undergrowth.

Tips and hints

The Rennsteig on

Accommodations directly at the Rennsteig

Guided hikes on the Rennsteig

Hiking without luggage


Friedrichshöhe (801 m)
50.478300, 11.010059
50°28'41.9"N 11°00'36.2"E
32U 642615 5593742



Turn-by-turn directions

Friedrichshöhe - Siegmundsburg - Limbach - STeinheider Hütte - Bernhardsthal - Neuhaus am Rennweg - Ernstthal am Rennsteig - BErggasthof Brand - Spechtsbrunn

Public transport


The village of Friedrichshöhe itself is unfortunately very poorly connected to public transport. We therefore recommend that you take the Bus 501 from Neuhaus am Rennweg (train connection) to Siegmundsburg , Wendeschleife. The Rennsteig can be reached from there in a northerly direction via the Werra-Burgen-Steig (approx. 800m walk).

From Spechtsbrunn, bus line 706 runs directly towards Sonneberg (connection to the train). Please note, however, that the service times are not too frequent. For personalised information, be sure to use this link: Travel information Deutsche Bahn from Spechtsbrunn.

Back to Siegmundsburg, Wendeschleife:
You can find out a direct return connection here:


Find a connection Spechtsbrunn, Zur Dorfwiese → Siegmundsburg, Wendeschleife


Please note that the local transport connection between start and finish is sometimes very inconvenient. If you have to use public transport, please use the links above.

By road

Coming from the A73, take exit 5 (Eisfeld-Nord) and continue on the B281 towards Neuhaus am Rennweg / Saalfeld. Follow the main road until you reach Siegmundsburg. At the Rennsteig-Stübl turn left towards Friedrichshöhe. 


If you are travelling by car, park at the snow-tubing facility (Google NAV point)

if returning by public transport to Siegmundsburg.

In Friedrichshöhe itself, you can use the hikers' car park at the eastern end of the village (Google NAV point)


50.478300, 11.010059
50°28'41.9"N 11°00'36.2"E
32U 642615 5593742
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Sturdy shoes, rainwear, GPS device, water ration


Parts of this content were machine translated using German as the source language

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23 km
6:30 h
297 m
414 m
Highest point
840 m
Lowest point
684 m
Public-transport-friendly Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Linear route


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