Kirnitzsch Valley – Alte Straße – Neuer Wildenstein / Kuhstall cave and back
(Alternative return via Kuhstallstraße – Kirnitzsch Valley)
A strenuous hike to one of the most impressive rock formations of the Elbe Sandstone Mountains. The steep ascent is rewarded by a magnificent view and a unique rock formation.
|Distance: approx. 4.2 km (about 5.5 km via Kuhstallstraße)
Narrowest point: no restrictions
Obstacles: none (on alternative route: cross-drains)
Accessibility in wet conditions: yes
Transport connections: Bus line 241 to Lichtenhainer Mühle, by car to Abzweig Alte Straße car park
Parking: very small car park directly at the Alte Straße turn-off, no separate disabled parking
Refreshments: “Am Kuhstall” restaurant
Start your trip at the stop of Lichtenhainer Mühle in the middle of Kirnitzsch Valley. Very limited parking is available about 300 m down the valley at the corner of the road to Kuhstall. This is where you leave the Kirnitzsch Valley and follow the yellow line trail – also a national park cycle path – toward the Kuhstall. The so-called Alte Straße, which is also used for delivering goods to the Kuhstall restaurant, requires some effort right after crossing the meadow. Fight your way up the very steep and curvy path, which is quite well paved. Shortly before your destination you will reach Kuhstallstraße, which originates at the Lichtenhain waterfall. The last stretch to the Kuhstall is a relatively flat path taking you straight to the impressive cave on your left hand side. Crossing the cave is not so easy because its ground is rough and sandy, but with some assistance it should be manageable. Now a glorious view of the rear region of Saxon Switzerland opens up. It is also worthwhile taking a closer look at the bizarre rock structures of the cave.
Not far from the cave you can visit the “Kuhstall” inn. Behind the restaurant there are also the “Schneiderloch” (tailer’s hole) and the “Krumme Caroline” (crooked Caroline) rock formations with a beautiful view. Unfortunately they are not accessible by wheelchair. Their names are based on a legend.
To return to the starting point, we recommend taking the same route back. Ambitious visitors withassistance can also return by way of the red-marked Kuhstallstraße. However, this path is very steep, bumpy and contains several cross-channels. Once you have passed this section you will get back to the bottom of the mountain. Keep to the right where the stairs lead to the Lichtenhain waterfall and follow the path down into Kirnitzsch Valley. Shortly before the bottom of the valley, after a sharp left corner, you will reach a wooden bridge over the Kirnitzsch River. Now follow the road either upstream to the starting point or downstream to the Lichtenhain waterfall (connection to Kirnitzsch Valley Tramway or bus line 241).
The raftsmen’s track – as a parallel path along the road – would be a nice alternative, but it is very uneven. Due to the many roots and muddy conditions on wet days it can only be managed with active support.
This mighty rock is called the “cowshed”, that is long known.
The war in ancient times brought to the peasant grievous suffering,
for the mercenaries pushed him hard, and they brought their cattle here.
Gave it into the mountain’s faithful hands to look after their belongings.
Once there was a tailor man seeking a better life again.
He threw away his needle and scissors, and came to this rocky place.
Entered a pact with the devil and began his robbery.
His deeds were terrible, for where there was a rich monastery,
the villain would rob the place sparing not even the priests.
Thereupon a great cry came, calling for the Burggrave himself
From Hohenstein on his high horse, he brought his entire servitude.
Here in this rocky nest, they caught the robber.
He was captured, despite his hardest efforts, then put into heavy chains.
His last hiding place is now called “the tailor’s hole”.
His hunchbacked wife, the evil Trine, was called “The Crooked Caroline”