The last (or first) stage of the Rennsteg leads you out of the dense forests of the Thuringian Slate Mountains down to the banks of the still young Saale. If you once started in Hörschel, we hope you packed a stone of the Werra bank then. A custom says that everyone who hikes the Rennsteig once completely should carry a stone from the Werra, to the Saale..
After leaving the small village of Brennersgrün behind you you hike towards Grumbach and on to Rodacherbrunn. This is where the river of the same name meets the Main, which flows into it just before Lichtenfels. Continue steadily eastwards past the disused diabase quarry and soon reach Schlegel. Here the inn "Am Rennsteig" invites you to take a break. Incidentally, Schlegel is home to what is officially the oldest apple tree in the Thuringian Forest. It is even listed as a natural monument and is just under 400 years old.
Over the Krähenhügel, the Rennsteig continues to the Wegspinne, an old trade route crossing point. Now it's not far to the finish. In the small village of Kießling, the inn "Zum Grünen Buam" invites you to take a short break before the final sprint.
A few kilometres later you have reached your destination. Shortly before entering the village, you will pass the Rennsteig fountain. In Blankenstein Germany's most famous high-altitude hiking trail ends directly at the Selbitz Bridge next to the Rennsteig Park. Actually, it says from the Werra to the Saale, but the Saale flows barely 200 metres further on. Anyone who has taken a pebble from the Werra near Hörschel should still put it back in the water on the Selbitz Bridge.
In Blankenstein you can finish your hike at the Gasthaus & Pension "Rennsteig" . There is also a rest stop with a snack directly at the hiking base at the tourist information office.
Rest stopsGasthaus Am Rennsteig
Café & Pension Am Rennsteig
Always follow the course of the signposted hiking trails and pay attention to any forestry work, especially in spring and autumn.
Bathing in disused quarries is generally not permitted (although summer temperatures sometimes make temptation more difficult).
Tips and hints
For those arriving by car, we generally recommend starting the stage in Wurzbach (approx. 7.5 km away), as you have no possibility of returning to a parked car in Brennersgrün by public transport in the evening. Wurzbach has a railway station and is regularly connected (weekdays as well as weekends) → Travel information: Blankenstein → Wurzbach.
Directions to Wurzbach
Coming from the A9, take exit 29 (Bad Lobenstein) and continue on the B90 towards Bad Lobenstein. Follow the main road to Wurzbach.
In Wurzbach you can park directly at the station (Google NAV point [access to the station car park])
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
Book recommendations for this region:
Recommended maps for this region:
EquipmentSturdy hiking boots, trekking equipment, drink reserve, rainwear, GPS device
- 9 Waypoints
- 9 Waypoints