Kloster-Felsenweg - Fürstlicher Park Inzigkofen
Orignally created by electress Amalie Zephyrine as a landscape park, the baronial park in Inzigkofen is today a little more wild but still very impressive.
During our visit to the Park we mostly followed the Kloster-Felsenweg, one of the DonauFelsenLäufe.
We started in the town of Laiz and first walked to the river banks of the Danube river. There we followed the dike along the river towards Inzigkofen, until a sign pointed us to the "Amalien-Felsen". Down by the riverbanks the view onto the 29m rock, jutting out of the Danube, is amazing. Great iron letters attached to the rockface form the sentence "Andenken an Amalie Zepyrine 1841" (In Remembrance of Amalie Zephyrine 1841), a nod towards the founder of the park. There is also a pathway onto the top of the rock.
Just a few steps further a swingbride leads across the danube to the other riverbank. There we explored the hermitace with the chapel named for St. Meinrad. Most visitors of the park only walk back and forth across the swingbridge, but don't spend much time exploring the other side, so we were almost on our own. Just us, the birds and the many mice rustling through the fallen leaves on the ground. At the chapel on top of the hill we took a short break, watching and photographing a cheeky little robin.
Afterwards we continued across the swingbridge, then we followed a wooden boardwalk along the rock wall until reaching a bridge, spanning a small canyon, named "The Hell". The geometrical bridge is fittingly named "Devil's Bridge". A sign at the side of the path told us, that in earlier days there was also a stairway down into the gorge.
We followed the wooden boardwalks until they separated from the rock face, then walked up to the "Känzele", a viewpoint with a really nice view into the danube valley. Right afterwards a steep descent leads down into the valley, by some spectacular caverns, the "Inzighofer Grotten". Those natural grottos and rock ledges are part of the park and used to be furnished with wooden benches for hunting parties. The iconic rockdome, one of the main attractions of the park, is also located down here with the grottos.
Afterwards we continued down along the stairs unti we reached the valley bottom, where we followed the path parallel to the river until we reached another bridge across the river. Right across the former train station Inzigkofen the path now led steeply upwards again, until we reached a viewpoint to the "Gebrochen Gutenstein", some castle ruins that are now only a stone wall situated on a rock spur.
The next section along the small stream called "Schmeie" was one of the most suprisingly beautiful parts of the trail. Here we were again all by ourselves and enjoyed the silence, the chirping of the birds and the low mubling of the creek. We took another break, just to listen to the sounds of the nature surrounding us, and to let the atmosphere soak in.
Afterwards, the remainder of the trail was rather uneventful, and especially the last, pretty bare section leading to the waypoint "Erratischer Block" we didn't enjoy so much. The coarse gravel there wasn't very nice to walk on, and the landscape bleak, so that we were happy to find a small footpath to the woods to get back to the start of our tour.
Length: 13.1km (+ additional km for exploring the park)
Duration: ca. 4.5h
More information is available for example in the tour desciption the website of the swabian alb tourism association