Altendorf – Neumannmühle

This is without doubt the hardest stage of the Malerweg until now. It goes up and down. Again and again. However, this also means you’ll get great views on the surroundings.

We camped a few kilometers before the small town of Altendorf. There was a large meadow between the railroad and the river.
Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

The trail continues a little bit along the river but very soon a long but steady climb eventually took us to Altendorf.Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

We were happy to find an older woman awake early enough on Sunday morning to refill our water bottles.

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

The Malerweg trail follows a wide track from Altendorf. First along some grass fields but pretty soon you’ll enter the forest again.

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

In the forest, the wide track continues on the same level, but the Malerweg goes into the deep with a concatenation of natural, wooden and metal staircases build over a small stream.

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

At some places in the forest you’ll get a preview of what’s coming next. Big rock formation of the typical sandstone are rising above the treeline.

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

We had no clue yet, that pretty soon we would find ourselves high on those cliffs!

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

You’ll noticed many more day tourists here in this area. They all come here for the magnificent panorama view point called ‘Schrammsteinaussicht’. The path is very steep and due to the amount of people taking this route, there is a strict one way rule.

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

The Malerweg does not follow the signs to the ‘Schrammsteinaussicht’. Instead, the Malerweg takes an alternative approach and only starts climbing a few hundred meter further. At the top, the Malerweg continues to the right, but those who still want to see the ‘Schrammsteinaussicht’ can follow a marked (in both directions) path on top of the cliffs to this famous view.

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

Since Lada has a little fear of heights, and since not so few people where coming from the opposite direction on a relative narrow path, I went to see this view below on my own. It’s about 10 minutes away of the official Malerweg trail, but definitely worth it. Although being a bit overcrowded.

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

I took some photos, and watched a while how a climber with orange shirt slowly made his way up taking the ultimate vertical approach. Then I went back to Lada to continue the Malerweg together. Still many great views before the trail starts to descend.

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

A bit confusion occurs when our GPS trail shows a different path than the marked trail. Especially when one of the options immediately starts climbing again and the other one just continues on the same level.

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

Of course we kept following the marked trail and discovered plenty of wonderful places.

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

We got a little tired of this intense part with constantly climbing and descending. Especially when it looks like we are surround by sandstone rocks wherever we look.

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

Finally we arrived on a wide sandy trail trough a forest. Then a long descend on an hardened road – with one more spectacular view – brought us to the Kirnitzschtal. A road we also took yesterday with the car.

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

The Malerweg follow the road for a while but then crosses the river and start for a final climb through a forest. First it just looked like the creators of the Malerweg just wanted to avoid the asphalted road but then we find out there still was a spectacular nature wonder waiting at the end of this stage of the Malerweg.

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

All what’s left now is descend again to the Kirnitzschtal where our car is parked.

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

A very rewarding stage of the Malerweg, but not to be tackled without a good physical condition.

We drove back to Waitzdorf – where we passed yesterday. There is a hotel with restaurant and bar where we would have a dinner. We arrived to late for dinner but still got German beer served.

Hiking the Malerweg trail in national park Saxon Switzerland in Germany. Stage 3: Altendorf to Neumannmuhle

After we watched the sunset from the panorama view near Waitzdorf, we arranged the trunk of the car with a mattress so we could finally have some well deserved rest. Tomorrow, we are heading to Prague. The Malerweg will – hopefully – wait for us.