Climbing the highest mountain of a particular area is often an adventure in itself. Hours of hiking on challenging trails. Pushing your limits and being rewarded with well deserved breathtaking views. Climbing the Hohe Acht is an exception to this rule. The views from the top are stunning but the climb to it is far from spectacular. I have to be honest: climbing the Hohe Acht is a piece of cake! The Eiffel is a hilly to slighty mountainous area and although the Hohe Acht is 743m high, the climb is nothing special. However, a visit to the Eifel was not complete without having reached the summit!
At 746.9m above sea level (NHN), the Hohe Acht is the highest mountain in the Eifel mountains of Germany. It is located on the boundary between the districts of Ahrweiler and Mayen-Koblenz in Rhineland-Palatinate.
On the Hohe Acht the Kaiser Wilhelm Tower was built in the years 1908/1909 which provides a view over the Eifel to the Westerwald, Hunsrück and the Rhine. The order to set up this stone watchtower came because of the silver jubilee of Kaiser Wilhelm II and Empress Augusta Victoria and in memory of Kaiser Wilhelm I. There is a network of footpaths around the Hohe Acht and at many places there are good views over the Eifel landscape. Source: Wikipedia
On and around the mountain there are several possibilities for hiking. On the parking area where all the hikes start the different options are clearly marked on an informative panel. Hikes of 4km, 5km and even a long distance hike are possible. These trails are all well marked. You will always climb to the summit after hiking around the mountain. The top can also be reached by a steep climb of about 1km but that’s not what we came for. We opt for a 5km hike. It’s Sunday morning and the heavy rain of the last few hours has eventually vanished. The perfect conditions for a peaceful and refreshing morning hike through nature. Besides a keen group of classic car enthusiasts preparing for a tour day we are the only hikers on this parking area.
Some sections of the trail are still very muddy due to the rain. Fortunately, we have sturdy hiking shoes because on sneakers you won’t be able to go far in some areas. We walk at a leisurely pace through the woods where the trail slightly ascents and descents. The air is fresh and there is a strong wind that occasionally reaches us through the trees. Apart from our own company and cheerful birdsong there is nothing and no one in sight.
The atmosphere is still very autumnal, despite being already late March. Numerous orange-brown colored leaves spread on the ground. The combination of bare trees, green trees and large quantity of leaves gives this area something magical and soothing. We pass quietly flowing streams, tree houses and still don’t meet any fellow hikers. This morning we experience the tranquility and natural beauty of this magical beautiful forest. We even spotted a small deer suddenly jumping out of the bushes and quickly running deeper in the forest.
Only when the climb towards the summit approaches another couple of fellow hikers joins us. This climb of several hundred meters is a little bit more challenging after only walking on slightly ascending and descending trails. After a few minutes climbing we see the observation tower coming closer and closer.
To admire the view over the surrounding villages and valleys you should first climb the tower. A small staircase leads to the final summit where stunning vistas of rolling green mountains await us. The wind on the top of the tower is so powerful that I have to hold my camera very carefully. The overcast sky and timid rays of light that occasionally manage their way through the clouds provide a different light on each photo. After shooting several beautiful panoramic pictures we hike back to the parking lot through a short steep trail. We finished a two-hour hike and we can now proudly say that we have climbed the highest mountain of the Eifel.
Have you ever climbed a less high mountain or do you know an equivalent area with accessible hikes?