Into the romantic gorges around Wehlen
The destination of this challenging hike is the Uttewald rock arch on the Painters’ Path, which has actually served as a motif for a number of landscape painters over the centuries. The tour takes you through the cool gorge of Uttewalder Grund.
Distance: 5 – 6 km
Narrowest point: approx. 90 cm, at the rock arch approx. 60 cm
Obstacles: challenging path, partly larger sandstone pavement or sandy spots
Accessibility in wet conditions: yes, but muddy
Transport connections: Stadt Wehlen S-Bahn station, left of the Elbe, then ferry across the river, by car to Wehlen city car park
Parking: Parking available in Wehlen city, S-Bahn arrival recommended
Refreshments: “Waldidylle” restaurant in Uttewalder Grund, various inns at and around the Wehlen Market
From the Stadt Wehlen S-Bahn station follow the signs to the ferry and cross the Elbe River. On the market square turn left and continue to the road to Dorf Wehlen. This goes up steeply to the first turn where you turn off toward Wehlener Grund. Moving past the visitor information panels you must then ascend a well-paved asphalt path for about 1000 m. At the large crossroads (Friedrich-Märkel-Stein) you follow the cycle path on the left into the Uttewalder Grund gorge. Here you can rest on a short, level stretch before ascending again to the turn-off to Uttewalder Grund. Turning left you will find a very slightly ascending path that is about 600 m long. This stretch is difficult to access as there are some rocks and roots that must be overcome.
On the way to the Waldidylle restaurant the path leads through the romantic rock valley that turns into a narrow ravine after the rest area. At the narrowest part of the route you will reach the rock arch. Here the path may be sandy in some parts. Assistance is necessary. The path through the arch is only about 60 cm wide, making it impossible for most whellchairs to go any further. Returning on the same way the restarant will invite you for a visit.
When taking a closer look, you may discover some yellow spots on the rock faces among all the green of the mosses and ferns. This is no graffiti but bright yellow sulphur dust lichens. There are numerous lichen varieties. Many of them are green or brownish-gray and can be found anywhere the air quality allows it – like in our national park. Lichens are mixed plants of algae and fungi, which form communities of mutual benefits (symbiosis).