This hiking tour through the Birglang leads you uphill and downhill through fabulous sceneries with great views into the wide countryside. Moss-covered rocks, orchid path and enchanted forest. By train to the Birgland.
A hiking tour for nature lovers and explorers
Our tip: Please make sure to check your train connection and the expected capacity before you start your journey.
The best way to get to the start in Poppberg, which is almost 600 m above sea level, is to take the Birgland Express 479 from Hartmannshof station or the daily bus from Sulzbach-Rosenberg. The path first leads to the Martin Luther Church, right next to the bus stop. And there's something very special: the church is not only at the top of the village, but right on the European watershed! This means that the water that falls on the southern half of the roof flows to the Danube and into the Black Sea, while the raindrops that land on the northern side (= the street side) rush down to the Rhine and into the North Sea!
You walk just half a kilometre and come to primeval mysterious forest. Stone moss-covered "balls" lie around as if giants had played with them. The mountain up there is the Poppberg, 653 m high - a surprise is waiting there, well hidden.
We are amazed to see it for the first time as we approach: A stone wall towers up in front of us on the south side, the stately remains of the old Poppberg Castle! A real highlight, nothing has been restored or retrofitted with railings and steps, everything radiates original charm. You can walk and look at the ruins of this 13th century high medieval noble castle with great care, climb or crawl inside, but always at your own risk. Three storeys are still preserved, and the castle probably had at least one more originally. During the Second World War, there was an air watch station here that monitored air traffic around Nuremberg and reported every aircraft to the headquarters there.
The private area with the highest point may be entered at your own risk. You walk back down to the marker board on the tree by the wide path and take the narrow path that sometimes winds slightly uphill through the forest.
In the next village, Eckeltshof, in the stately inn "Zum Ritter", fresh regional dishes are served, directly "from forest, water, meadow and pasture". There is also a 424 bus stop. The route continues to Buchhof. Next to a beautiful farm garden, the next highlight is announced: Signpost Bärenfelsen, 1.3 km.
First you climb 250 m on the beautiful forest path and go left and after 250 m left again. Now you walk over roots and past "moss balls" and rocks to the summit. This time there is a wonderful distant view, far to the north to the Birgland and over to Hersbrucker Schweiz.
Back to the junction, continue straight ahead on the rooty earth path. It winds its way through the forest between the 651 m high Kappersberg (left) and the 603 m high Fuchsberg (right). Then you pass a small fenced-in water lily pond on the right. Continue downhill across open countryside, past a playground and easily into Fürnried (km 9,8).
On the village square, which has been awarded gold and silver, you "have" to choose between the country inn Färber "Goldener Stern" and the inn "Goldener Hahn". The Birgland Express 479 serves the two bus stops (the one at the top of Dorfstraße and the larger one at Dorfplatz), plus there are connections to Amberg and Sulzbach.
In memory of the founder of the Neuendettelsau Mission in New Guinea, there is a permanent exhibition in the former schoolhouse at Schulstraße 4 (turn right after the village square) about the interesting life and work of Johann Flierl from Fürnried, who wanted to become a missionary even as a child.
The Birglandtrail marking leads you out of the village in the direction of Wurmrausch. At the bus stop, turn left and after the right-hand bend, walk straight on for another 200 m through the long village. At the crossroads, go straight up the grassy path. Further up, leave the wooden hut on the wider path over to the left. Our narrower path goes straight up. On the right, very regular trees of the same size catch the eye: poplars are cultivated here for sustainable heating with wood chips. Now comes the most rustic part of the trail, it gets really steep and rooty! Suitable footwear and at least a little surefootedness are recommended on the sometimes steeply ascending or descending paths. In addition, another highlight awaits you on the 500 - 600 m high mountain ridge: marked, next to the Birgland Trail markings, with No. 34 as the Magic Forest Orchid Trail. You will wind your way up 100 metres of altitude on the forest root path, past the already familiar typical "moss balls" over to high, yet narrow climbing rock walls.
From about mid-May to mid-June, the yellow lady's slipper blooms, a rarity elsewhere. Here it finds ideal conditions, as it needs light partial shade, changing humidity, lean, and above all loose calcareous soils. In order for it to continue to exist, it is very important to maintain the loose soils and not to compact them by careless treading. The enchanting accompanying plants, such as the blue columbine, the black-fruited St. Christopher's wort and other orchid species, such as the flyweed, the nestwort, the two-leaved wood hyacinth and the green wood hyacinth, also called mountain wood hyacinth, make this site really valuable.
Because this idyll is threatened, we have a very big request to all photographers and all passers-by: Please stay on the paths so that we can preserve these unique beauties! Unfortunately, footsteps compact the loose forest soil that is so important for them. Vital CO² and water can no longer penetrate into compacted, trampled soil.
You pass the Türkenfelsen with its rock gate and the Emilfelsen, strange-looking, high rock walls covered with round holes. High up on the ridge, the small paths often branch out, so pay close attention to the markings. Finally, descend steeply into a hollow with an open field and climb back up over a stony step. Where the root path makes a left turn uphill and meets a cross path, you can make an almost level detour to the Lichtenegger Wand to the right. Back on the marked path, walk uphill a little again before passing the Kronberg (on the right) with its 599 m. You will reach the top of the mountain. This is the end of your "flight of fancy", the descent becomes steeper and steeper. Almost at the bottom, a bench flashes through the trees on the left, which turns out to be the best place for a snack with a view of Lichtenegg Castle. The path leads past it, you step out of the forest and come to the road. Here is another bus stop, but the Birgland Express does not stop here, but 900 m further on in Tannlohe. You are now walking towards the Lichtenegg castle ruins. After the elevated square with several information boards, you will reach the Alter Schloss-Wirt inn. Here you can rest and enjoy Franconian delicacies and chilled beer, lemonade etc. on the spacious terraces in self-service. Via the private stairway, you may climb up to the Lichtenegg castle ruins (km 13.8) at an altitude of 585 m at your own risk.
Here, too, we are dealing with the remains of a former noble castle that was first mentioned in a document in the Nuremberg Imperial Salbuchlein more than 700 years ago, but is probably much older. This area was already inhabited more than 3000-5000 years ago, as Corded Ware finds prove. In the Middle Ages, the castle belonged to the bailiwick of Nuremberg and changed hands frequently until its destruction in the 15th century. Since 1998, it has been restored with private funds and is now owned by the Birgland municipality. The former keep, palace and castle walls give an idea of their former size and importance. Built of almost white limestone, it shines far and wide, high above the village of Lichtenegg. Stairs have been added, and we climb comfortably up 585 metres. At the top, a unique view opens up to Franconia and the rougher, northern Upper Palatinate.
Walk down the stairs, then turn left at the wider cross path and turn right at an acute angle at the next path. Watch out at the beginning of the forest! The marked narrow path goes off to the right of the wide path and can easily be overlooked. You cross the border from Upper Palatinate to Middle Franconia here. With many marked curves, you walk in the forest to a wide path with signpost Haunritz. Descend on a steep and narrow meadow path with a few steps, flanked by llama pastureland. A panoramic descent of the finest kind, on which we can soon look the Old Fritz in the eye - and twice: we first see the inn "Zum Alten Fritz", then the associated lookout rock. This dolomite rock, the village's landmark, is said to resemble the Prussian king Frederick the Great. At the inn is also the bus stop Haunritz, Zum Alten Fritz. You reach the village square with the striking climbers' fountain, pass an ancient paper mill, a beer garden and a large playground, even with a barbecue area. Then you walk through several archways of Haunritz Castle from 1719. At the cross path you continue offset to the left. Before that, you can make a small detour to the right to the fish pond at the fountain and interesting old weirs - a whole system - with the Herrenmühle mill opposite. On the grassy path in the Högenbach valley, fun-filled final valley kilometres await you. On the left side of the path, the stone walls of a mossy ruin appear, it rushes and rushes louder and louder: a karst spring pours strongly and bubbles violently, a welcome refreshment in summer. Continue past the Hartmannshof waterworks and turn left just before the Fallmühle. Another scenic path follows, high above Weigendorf with a view over to the Hartmannshof quarry. At the end, in the old station building at the railway station, the prehistory museum Urzeitbahnhof and an osteria invite you to finish.
A very special treasure can be seen here: The wisdom tooth of a Neanderthal is considered the oldest evidence of a human being in Bavaria to date. The exhibits of the Prehistory Museum Urzeitbahnhof invite you on a "journey through time" into the past, from the Stone Age hunters about 12,000 years ago to all periods of prehistory up to the end of the Celtic civilisation around 15 B.C. You can learn interesting facts about Celtic hunting, food sources, places of worship and sacrifice as well as ideas about the afterlife at that time.
It is best to enquire about the current opening times by telephone.
Source and further information: www.museen.de/vorgeschichtsmuseum-urzeitbahnhof-pommelsbrunn.html
Bahnhofstraße 7 A
Return by S-Bahn S1 from Hartmannshof station in the direction of Nuremberg.