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Soonwald: Pristine forests and natural habitats preserved

The Soonwald is one of the largest contiguous forest areas in Germany. Because of its altitude (400-600m; the highest peak is the Ellerspring with 657m), its low settlement density and its distance to the great traffic flows of our time, it is an ideal recreation area for people seeking peace and quiet. With over 800 km of circular hiking trails, the forest areas are well developed and observation towers at the most beautiful places offer spectacular panoramic views.

You can hike here for hours without ever meeting another human being, although traces of more than two thousand years of human history can be found everywhere. On the high mountain ridges, there are ancient Celtic hilltop forts, surrounded by gigantic stone walls; there are ancient Roman long-distance roads, constructed some 2,000 years ago at a standardized width of 5 to 6 metres and protected by watchtowers at regular intervals; and there are the remains of luxurious Roman villas. In addition, we find medieval fortresses and castles from the glory days of the political might of Sponheim and Kurtrier. There are churches and monasteries in the architectural style typical of Hunsrück with ingeniously painted surfaces and galleries; evidence of a very special breed of people, who despite difficult living conditions and scant resources created their own works of art over hundreds of years.

vSpacer Four-towered castle of Gemünden («Soonwald» Forest)

Hiking Guides
Wolfgang Bartels: Hunsrück; DuMont Buchverlag, 1996
Norbert Forsch: Hunsrück; Deutscher Wanderverlag, 2000
Noteworthy illustrated book
Uwe Anhäuser: Kultur-Erlebnis Hunsrück; Idar-Oberstein, 2000
Photo: Four-towered castle of Gemünden, «Soonwald» Forest

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