VitalTour "Geheimnisvoller Lemberg"
A wonderfully varied way around the Lemberg - the "King of the Nahe-Mountains". Through the valley along a creek, and along steep drop offs with wonderful views into the distance, this roughly 14km long trail combines very different types of scenery.
We read the description and decided this was to be the hike we wanted to do on our last day in the Nahe region.
The trail can be started from multiple different parking lots, we chose to start from the Parking Lot "Besucherbergwerk Schmittenstollen" mainly because the weather wasn't looking too swell and we'd be able to take a shortcut back to the parking lot in about the middle of the trai in the case the weather turned for the worse.
The first part of the trail wasn't very spectacular. On a forest road we walked towards the "Waldgasthof Lembergblick". Here there wasn't much to see beside the forest itself, which did look beautiful because the leaves have started changing their color. But once we passed the "Waldgasthof" the trail did start to get more interesting. The trail switched from the wide forest road to a small footpath and led down into the Trombach Valley.
Here we had hoped to find a wild little creek, but unfortunately the Trombach was carrying only very little water due to the long and dry summer. The scenery with the little creek is nevertheless beautiful, but with the overcast sky it was also a bit dark and gloomy down there in the valley. So we weren't unhappy when the path changed direction again and we were walking uphill again, out of the valley and into a less dense piece of forest.
The route was now leading us towards the Besucherbergwerk Schmitten again, which would mark the halfway point of our hike. Along the way we encountered a whole lot of faces carved into the trees, the so called "Lemberg-Geister", or "Lemberg-Ghosts". Sponsored by local companies, an artist carved the faces into the trees, making sure to keep the trees intact. Now the carved faces change and evolve with time, some have already almost overgrown with tree bark. We had quite a bit of fun looking out for the phantasy creatures, and it's probably a real highlight for kids.
Following the Lemberg-Geister we reached the Besucherbergwerk Schmittenstollen, a former mine for mercury. It can be visited today, but booking a guide is required. Since signs announced that visits have to be scheduled beforehand due to Corona, we didn't try to go in. It seems normally booking a tour with a guide is required and we didn't have the time for that anyways.
Passing the Mine we started into the second part of our hike. The path now started to get more more narrow again, leading along the side of the mountain. In between patches of trees wonderful views open into the distance.
Our absolutely part of the trail was on that section, an outlook called "the most beautiful view to the Nahe". And it really is a very special place, so we took a short break sitting on a bench by the rock, just looking into the valley. Now in fall the leaves of the trees around us started to turn red, as did the trees on the opposite side of the valley.
After a short break we continued along the way. The path soon leads back into the forest and zigzags upwards for a bit. Along the way are a bunch of beautifully carved wooden benches, that show either scenes from local myths or have a more genereal theme, e.g. a bench made from hearts to symbolize love.
Soon the trail leads through a field of scree and rubble that used to be an old quarry to another viewpoint. Here someone erected a small wooden cross as a summit cross. The path continues along the western side of the Lemberg, offering fantastic views into the Hagenbach-valley.
Then the path suddenly stumbles upon a wide clearing - formerly used to transport the rocks from the quarries to their next destination - before continuing on an old, overgrow paved road. Just a few hundred meters ahead now lies the "Silbersee" to the right of the path.
It's not a natural lake but formed during the times when the Lemberg was used as a quarry. Nowadays it's a nature reserve, but also a nice spot for a picnic in the summer time. Unfortunately it had just started raining when we arrived here, so we just took a peak and then continued right on.
We continue on the old road until we reach the "Lemberghütte", a restaurant situated right at the forest. There's also a viewing platform that offers almost the same view as the "Schönster Naheblick" so this one might be a good compromise for people that are scared of heights and worried about the small, almost alpine path on the VitalTour.
At the Lemberghütte we took a break with coffee and cake before continuing with the last kilometers back to the parking lot.