At just under 600 metres, the Dillberg in the Franconian Alb is the highest of the Neumarkt mountains and is known for its breathtaking views. When visibility is good, the view sweeps over Middle Franconia to the Jura landscape of the Upper Palatinate. Incidentally, the Dillberg is also the border mountain between Upper Palatinate and Middle Franconia.
The hike, which takes about three hours and is of medium difficulty, starts at the railway station in Pölling, a district of Neumarkt in the Upper Palatinate. From there, you hike almost six kilometres through an attractive landscape conservation area with wide fields and dense coniferous forests until you finally reach the Dillberg with its tall transmitter masts - the main mast is 231 metres high. The Dillberg transmitter has been operated by Bayerischer Rundfunk since 1955.
Hiking from Pölling station to the foot of the Dillberg
From Pölling station, turn right from Bogenstraße onto Bergstraße. There, at the next junction, turn slightly left to stay on Bergstraße. Follow Bergstraße for 130 metres, then turn left onto Höllbachstraße. At the next fork in the road, continue right and turn left again after a few metres. After one kilometre, Höllenbachstraße becomes Am Herrnhof, which you follow for about 1.5 kilometres to the end. At the end of the road, the B8 is crossed, after which a meandering path leads directly into the landscape conservation area. A row of allotment gardens can be seen, before which you turn left and take another look at the village of Pölling. Immediately afterwards, turn right onto the ascending path that leads into the forest and up to the Schlossberg - once at the top, follow the signs marked with a yellow line to later reach the plateau of the Dillberg through widening paths.
Pack your binoculars and enjoy the panoramic view
Once you reach the top, an impressive panoramic view of the Upper Palatinate, Central Franconia and the Bavarian Jura awaits you in good weather. The Nuremberg telecommunications tower 27 kilometres away and Nuremberg Castle can also be spotted. With optimal visibility and binoculars, you can even see the Swabian Alb.
Then head downhill again and along the Eppeleinsweg - past the Bucher Höhle cave - towards Ezelsdorf, before passing through the small villages of Dillberg and Kleinvoggenhof and thus taking the return route of the circular walk. Tip: Be sure to pay a visit to the freely accessible and approximately 70-metre-long Bucher Höhle (also called Dillberghöhle or Silbersandhöhle) with its many branches! The cave was cut into the sandstone by local farmers between the world wars and served as a shelter. If you follow the Eppelsteinweg and the signs, the path leads back to the village of Buch. Passing through the village, the trail returns to the edge of the forest - from here you can return towards the Pölling railway station.
Stop off and recharge your batteries
A hearty meal at the Goldene Krone country inn, Italian pizza at Sicilian Mauro's or a stop at the traditional family-run Zur Linde inn - a variety of culinary destinations await hungry hikers.
Landgasthof Goldene Krone "Bucher Wirt" (country inn)
Directly after the descent from the Dillberg, the traditional country inn Goldene Krone "Bucher Wirt" awaits hungry hikers in Buch with sumptuous portions at reasonable prices. If you like, you can also enjoy baked carp here (from September to April) in addition to popular classics such as schnitzel, cordon bleu and wedding soup. The inn is located directly on the way back in the direction of Pölling, only about 15 minutes away from the Buch cave: After about 10 minutes of hiking, the narrow hiking trail turns into a wider road that leads directly to Buch. If you keep to the right here in the direction of the village, you will find the inn after a few metres on the left-hand side of the road and can stop there without any detours.
Osteria da Mauro
Fancy some delicious stone-baked pizza and Italian cuisine? Then FC Ezelsdorf's club restaurant Osteria da Mauro in Bucher Straße is the right address. Chef Mauro, who comes from Sicily, and his team spoil their guests with homemade classics from Bella Italia. When you reach the Bucher Höhle, don't take the return route towards Buch, but keep on the path towards Ezelsdorf. After about 20 minutes you reach the Ezelsdorf sports field and football pitch. Follow the path along the field before a fork on the right takes you directly to the Osteria.
After refreshments, you can either take the same path back towards the Bucher Höhle or turn left onto the Bucher Straße to the sports field, which ultimately leads back to Buch and Pölling via wide field paths. If you want to shorten the way back after the stop, you can also follow the road towards the centre of Ezelsdorf, turn left at the main road onto Bahnweg and then reach the village and railway station "Oberferrieden" after about 30 minutes. From the station you can take the S-Bahn (suburban railway) home after the Dillberg hike.
Zur Linde Inn
Directly in the centre of Burgthann-Ezelsdorf, we recommend the family-run Zur Linde inn with its pretty beer garden, generous portions and fair prices. Especially popular: the curry sausage and shashlik! After the culinary break, you head back towards home: via the main road you reach the branching off "Bahnstraße", which leads directly to the village of Oberferrieden and the station of the same name "Oberferrieden" by turning right. Instead of the starting station Pölling, the hike thus ends at this station. From the station, you can take the S-Bahn in the direction of Nuremberg or Neumarkt.
Listen to this episode of the podcast series "Hin & Hören" and discover what else the Nuremberg region around the Dillberg has to offer. Plan your trip by train!
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.