The amtsbote trail near konigsberg takes you to your limits

The pressure points on his feet are starting to make themselves felt after all. The legs have been tired for a long time. The backpack seems to get heavier with each step.

Fasten your hip belt once again, grit your teeth and walk the last few meters through Coburg’s Ketschengasse past the Munzmeisterhaus to the market square. Then it is done: The 50 kilometers of the Amtsbotenweg are conquered – pride and satisfaction set in.

Flashlight glows on the historic market square

About eleven hours earlier, it was first necessary to search the Konigsberg marketplace at dawn with a flashlight – the entry point of the long-distance trail is not easy to find in the dark. Passing the birthplace of the famous astronomer and mathematician Regiomontanus, the first stage of the hike leads over the Schlossberg hill. In the road uphill the blue Pickelhaube on white ground greets from the wayside again. She is the route’s hiking sign and will be a constant companion on the tour to the city of the Vest for the next few hours.

For them, a little preparation is important: "Good shoes, weather and tick protection, snack and, above all, enough drinking water Nature park ranger Katja Winter recommends.

Walking in historical footsteps

"The unique thing about this trail is that the hiker is on historical tracks", explains Eddi Klug, chairman of the Schlossberg community association. This is how an official messenger established the connection between Konigsberg and the royal seat of Coburg via the route. The postal exchange with the latter was important for the Regiomontanus town because it was an exclave of the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha from 1826 to 1920. Twice a week the official messenger took the distance on himself. He also had Bavarian, i.e. "foreign" Rotenburg Area, to cross.

The modern hiker encounters the historical border already a few kilometers after the starting point in the forest above Konigsberg. A plaque reminds you of the past before you continue through the forest towards Hohnhausen.

Take your trash with you!

It goes without saying that the environment should be treated with respect: "Taking pleasure in the colorful diversity along the way and letting it stand is the best way to treat nature with understanding and respect, explains winter and adds to the topic bread time waste: "Take again, which you brought along."

Arrived in Hohnhausen, a short detour to the castle ruins of Bramberg (about two kilometers from the path) is possible. From there you have a view over a large part of the Habberge mountains. The tour continues through the castle to Leuzendorf. The castle there is another attraction along the Amtsbotenweg. In Pfaffendorf, the next stopover for the hiker, there is also a castle as well as various possibilities to stop for lunch: the inn "Zur Sonne" or the "Jagerstuberl" inn.

150 meters of altitude to the ruin

Between Pfaffendorf and Altenstein, the road then goes steeply uphill. The approximately 150 meters of altitude to the highest village in the district were also noticeable for the author of these lines during the self-test: scorching heat – beads of sweat on the forehead. Mechanically, one leg puts itself in front of the other. The asphalt path climbs steeply. The view of the church of the village and the castle ruins give confidence – the thighs burn nevertheless.

"Those from the Habberge tourism association are right when they classify the path as ‘difficult’" , it shoots through the head. About 450 meters above sea level, the effort finally comes to an end. The view from the castle ruins compensates for the previous exertions.

Depending on the planning of the hike, there are several options on site: Those who have chosen the village as the end point of the first stage of the day (about 21 kilometers covered) can relax in the outdoor pool on site. There is also the possibility of a stop. A visit to the castle information center around the castle ruins is also possible. For an entrance fee of four euros, visitors can tour the stately remains of the castle and immerse themselves in the history of the Middle Ages with the help of the numerous information panels.

The center opens Wednesdays through Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. After that, however, the gates of the Ruin remain open. Katja Winter has a special tip for the stay: Enjoy the view from Altenstein Castle with a picnic. Eddi Klug also emphasized the view of the Baunach valley from the castle. Nevertheless, time should not be forgotten: Between 20.30 and 21.30 o’clock the gate of the castle ruin closes.

There are several overnight accommodations in the village. Examples of this are the vacation apartments "Margit, "Kolb" and "Neupert or those of the Young Men’s Christian Association.

Resting in Rotenburg in Upper Franconia

On the section of the trail east of Altenstein, the hiker crosses the district border to Coburg. The transition from the Habberge to the Itz-Baunach hill country has long since been completed. After a long stretch through the forest, you arrive at Rothenberg. From there it is not far to Seblach.

Rotenburg in Upper Franconia invites with its historical old town to a longer break. The local beer is a good choice for refreshment. This is what the citizens of Seblach with brewing rights still brew today in the Stadtisches Brauhaus. At the "Roter Ochse" country inn At one of the many restaurants or other inns, there is also the opportunity to fortify oneself for the last major stage – there are still about 20 kilometers to go before the trail ends in Coburg.

Here, too, it is advisable to keep one’s eyes open. From April to October, there is a lot of "beautiful, blooming" along the entire path of the Amtsbotenweg to discover, as Katja Winter explains: meadow sage, mallow, wild roses, corn poppies, daisies, cornflowers, and carnations. "If you walk through nature with your eyes and ears open, you will see and hear much more than you would initially expect. Stop once in peace, close your own mouth and listen to nature in return." That often brings unexpected, exciting impressions that you can never take in a fast walk or drive by, explains the ranger.

Speaking of driving: The Hassberg Tourism Association points out that there are definitely cyclists on the Amtsbote Trail, but advises a hike. On foot, however, the hiker must have a certain basic level of fitness, as the individual climbs are not to be underestimated. The distance of a good 50 kilometers is also a challenge. It can be done in one day – the Schlossberg community offers a guided tour once a year – but a leisurely hike that takes in the sights should be split over two days. Of course, it is also possible to walk sections of the entire trail: Tours from Konigsberg to Leuzendorf or from Altenstein to Seblach are examples.

The editor’s self-experiment went the entire distance and at times had slight traits of a military rush march. The summer temperatures strengthened this impression. A half-hour rest on the castle ruins in Altensteins was the only real rest. The marching pack was manageable, however, weighing only six kilos. At the end of the day, his backpack was even fuller than before – full of experience, adventures, impressions of nature and the certainty that distances like this are possible in one go. The fact that the next day every step of the stairs in the editorial building was associated with a slight pain that reminded us of the hike is another story.

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