Route length 21km
Duration  5h
Level of difficulty  difficult

Hiking along the most gold-rich river in Germany.

A hint of the Wild West winds also blow through the Thuringian Forest. There is no doubt that the legendary gold rush at the Klondike in the late 19th century drastically changed the living conditions in the far northern regions of North America forever. But here, the land around the little river Schwarza remains rather idyllic and sleepy. The Schwarza is the most gold-rich river in Germany. The iron pyrate that has accumulated in the shale sediments of the Schwarza valley breaks down into its constituent parts under the influence of water - among them tiny traces of gold that have continued to build up galvanically, thus growing into grains of gold. The village of Goldisthal, the destination of this hike, is not named after the metal, however, even though a gold mill was operated here quite unsuccessfully for a long time. The panoramic trail through the Schwarza Valley starts in Scheibe-Alsbach and leads along the shore of the reservoir of the same name to the source of the river at an altitude of 770 meters. From there, the trail continues to Rennstein, past the Dreistromstein before heading downhill again - always along the idyllic upper and lower reservoirs of the Goldisthal pumped-storage power plant. When it comes to renewable energy, the hydroelectric power plant is the most powerful of its kind in Germany.

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