Germany: Four Castle Tour (Neckar)

This weekend the temperature finally dropped from around 37 degrees to around 28 degrees. I hope this is the start of the end of the summer and with that the heat. As Saturday was mainly rainy we took a lazy one and moved the hiking activities to Sunday. With just another holiday region, the Neckar Valley, in our reach this tour led us to the Vierburgen (Four Castle). The trailhead is near the town Neckarsteinach and can be used to hike up to the Castles or among the Neckar River.

The region reminded me a lot of the Elbsandstone Mountains, I guess mainly because of the valley. During the drive to the trail head we saw a couple of camping places on the shore of the Neckar River. We could feel the boom of the camper vans in 2020. One car beside the other, like a big parking lane at the river. There been nearly no tents on the camping place. I mean I can understand what people would like about campers, you have your bed, toilet and kitchen with yourself. But what has this all still to do with camping? Being outside enjoying the pure nature and not being inside in four walls in a bed. Isn’t the purpose of camping to be close to nature and experience the pure nature? And not bringing your home and all comfort into the nature.

Without becoming to philosophical here, let me share some insides into the hike. From the parking lot Vierburgen the trail led us to the castle Burg Schadeck (Schwalbennest). Here it is possible to climb up to the tower, which is providing an amazing view into the Neckar Valley from above. Further the hike led us to the observation tower Ochsenkopf. The tower is not tall but still provides a nice view. Near the tower a nice picnic table can be found. We used this once more for a small lunch in the woods. There is nothing more relaxing than having breakfast, lunch or any other meal in nature. Only surrounded by wood, a small breeze and a nice view. Life can be so simple and beautiful.

The end of the trail led to the castle Mittelburg and into the town of Neckarsteinach. With only 15 kilometers east of Heidelberg, the town is the southernmost point of Hessen. It is one town at the Neckar Long Distance Biking Trail, which leads from Schwenningen to Heidelberg.

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