Leave the Werra valley and head north. The route goes uphill past the Lieteblickhütte café until finally reaching the Thuringian Forest at Hofmannshöhe.
Passing the upper Suhlquelle spring and the little village of Etterwinden, you continue to Lake Altenberg. Take a break here at the Seeblick restaurant before continuing with the next section to Wilhelmsthal. Here you can visit the castle of the same name, located on a large artificial lake within historical grounds.
After leaving the valley and walking a little uphill past Karthäuserberg mountain you’ll reach the densely forested Hohe Sonne site. This used to be the location of a hunting lodge popular amongst the Saxon nobility. From here you have a wonderful view of Wartburg Castle. The path continues west to the Wilde Sau stone cross. This was erected in 1483, the year of Luther’s birth and is the oldest stone cross on the entire Rennsteig Trail. A serious hunting accident happened here and is commemorated by the carvings on the cross.
You now continue north along the ridgeway of the Rennsteig Trail passing various viewing points and hiking through the thick, beautiful and primeval Thuringian Forest until you reach the Sängerwiese meadows, not far from Wartburg Castle. Here in August 1847, during the Thuringian Song Festival, 28 male-voice choirs with over 1,200 singers in total met for a one-off singing competition in the forest.
Today a forest inn is located on the Sängerwiese meadows.
The last section of the route rises steeply once more until you reach the most famous castle in Thuringia – Wartburg Castle. Here, in just eleven weeks, Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German.