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On Idarkopf Mountain

Observation tower on the Idarkopf mountain («Idarwald» Forest)

Idarkopf is above the town of Rhaunen, far away on the eastern edge of the Idarwald mountain range, and because of its exposed position it is visible far and wide. If you approach from the east, from Kirchberg, the effect is that of a compact massif, with gently sloping wooded sides. This impression is confirmed as you get closer. For example, at the high point on the road from the village of Oberkirn to Rhaunen, where the view opens out, or near the village of Gösenroth, where you are directly opposite the mountain ridge. Idarkopf, however, is not a mountain with a well-defined peak, and it is not easy to determine its true summit without help. Fortunately, there is an observation tower here, whose highest platform marks the highest assessable point. On the way up there are a great number of stairs to deal with; so many that on my last visit a party of schoolchildren struggled to keep an accurate count as they repeatedly climbed up and down, announcing varying results. Whatever the total, a the breathtaking view from the top makes the climb well worthwhile. Above Stipshausen is the winter sport centre "Idarkopf" with a 1.1 km downhill run and two ski lifts. The cross-country skiing trail leads from here through the Idarwald mountain range to the winter sports centre on Erbeskopf (818 m), where a further 40 km of cross-country skiing trail quickens the heart rate of every cross-country fan. On Erbeskopf there are no fewer than four ski lifts, to cope with large numbers of visitors on the three downhill runs. There are toboggan runs in the towns of Allenbach and Morbach as well as in the centres on Idarkopf and Erbeskopf.

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