Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages

Geo-Trail Saale-Unstrut

© Copyright by Christoph Keller Photo
Tour dates


44.9 km

03:21 h

113 m

286 m

540 m

472 m
Height profile


The Geo-Trail serves for cycling close to nature and terrain.

It is an amicable solution between owners, users and nature conservation. Rarely in Germany is there such an open-minded attitude towards this issue: the route connects Nebra Ark with Querfurt Castle. There are similar things along the Heavenly Paths, but if you really want to get to know the region, the Geo-Trail is recommended. On approx. 45 km it overcomes 1000 height meters, to
The Geo-Trail serves for cycling close to nature and terrain.

It is an amicable solution between owners, users and nature conservation. Seldom is there such an open-minded attitude towards this issue in Germany.

The route connects Nebra Ark with Querfurt Castle. There are similar things along the Heavenly Paths, but if you really want to get to know the region, the Geo-Trail is recommended. Over a distance of about 45 km it covers 1000 meters of altitude difference, half of it distributed over many ascents and descents (up to 10 %). Trails and footbridges are used, without upgrading. It goes close to nature through fields and meadows. Accordingly, sections may be overgrown or overgrown with vegetation: "Take it sporty, it's all about naturalness and experience".

From the Nebra Ark to Querfurt Castle, one drives from the older to the younger (Bronze Age - Middle Ages). The same applies to the rocks underground, on which the varied landscape is based. Here too, the basic rule from old to young (stratigraphy) applies. Thus geology is the eponym and guide for the Geo-Trail.

11 stages divide the Geo-Trail, starting with a theme board. This allows 2-day tours to be planned. For group tours a maximum of 10 riders is acceptable! A total of 14 geological information boards are located along the route. On the top right of each board you can see the course of the route, a profile of the following stages in which board locations (T) and milestones (x) are listed.

 Read more
  • Difficulty: heavy
  • Condition: heavy
Directions: Start - Stage 1 (Wangener Grund - Bock

-is rather short (3km) and leads north into the Wangener Grund, a former Unstrut river. When you reach the forest on both sides, the geo-trail turns steeply to the right and leads to the Bock, a red sandstone plateau (120m steepening slope).

Querfurter Mulde - Stage 2 - Tiered landscape

The 2nd stage is much more balanced and leads back down to today's level of the Unstrut (110m on 3,5km), in order to climb steeply up to the Vitzenburg in Zingst (25m caution: road use in the city). In the northeast you see a dissected valley (Schmoner Talung, Vitzenburg) and behind it a plateau (Querfurter Platte). The Geo-Trail leads from the red sandstone of the Ziegelrodaer Forest to the shell limestone plateau of the Querfurt Plateau. In between lies the Schmoner Talung cut into soft red clays and gypsum (Upper Buntsandstein).

Triassic Gate - Stage 3 - Buntsandstein Vitzenburg

The third stage begins with a view of the Triassic Gate, the Unstrut breakthrough near Nebra. The Geo- Trail climbs up the west side of the Vitzenburg ridge and leads past the castle of the same name, through the village, to the north. Steep (Look out!), the trail leads down into the valley to Pretitz, in order to ascend to another plateau at the opposite end of the village.

Salinare - Stage 4 - Red; lime; gypsum; salt

The fourth stage (2.5km) starts on a plateau north of Pretitz, with a panoramic view of the slopes rising steeply to the Querfurter Platte. When visibility is good, the eponymous red colours of the Röt can be seen on the steep slopes. Due to the substrate (claystone) and the slope inclination, even specialized plants can only with difficulty create a closed vegetation area there. To the north, the Geo-Trail turns into a hollow path (west), up to the Siedebach, further to Weißenschirmbach. In a westerly direction, one crosses the village and leaves it through the Stachelrodaer Grund (Gobitz) to the birch sheep farm and the Ziegelrodaer Forst. The flat profile of the stage has been shaped by the Siedebach out of the basal Röt sediments. From the Ziegelrodaer Forst the fields slope evenly to the east, tracing the boundary of Middle Buntsandstein. As far as Weißenschirmbach, the soft rocks of the Röt have already been eroded away. The village itself still stands on the hard sandstone banks of the Middle Buntsandstein.

Groundwater - Stage 5 - Stachelrodaer Grund

The 5th stage is short, but leads consistently uphill for 1.5 km. There are 60 meters of altitude difference to overcome. In the area of the well system in the Stachelrodaer Grund, the geo-trail climbs westwards into a narrow notch valley and runs up to the highest point to the birch shepherd's hut. The abundance of water in these valleys is noticeable right at the beginning in the first section of forest. Groundwater comes to light here naturally practically all year round. After a few hundred meters the slopes come apart. At the bottom of the valley there is an area of waterlogged water. In contrast, the valley flanks are extremely dry, covered with a lean, silicate substrate. The centuries-long use as orchard meadows, for shearing and grazing, has created a varied contrast of habitats richer than average in fauna and flora from the close coexistence of water shortage and surplus. Not for nothing are these valleys a nature reserve. To drive through this is a privilege!

Plateau - Stage 6 - Tertiary land surface, ice age

The long 6th stage (12km) starts on the plateau. It is good to see how flat and even the landscape is. There is no summit, only flat plateaus, about the same level. The remarkable profile with about 160 meters of climbs and descents, the streams and rivers have only recently cut into a continuous plain. The geo-trail first leads westwards into the Ziegelrodaer Forst, and then roughly northwards into the next west-east oriented, parallel valley towards Schmon (Pumpenhaus). On the southern side of the valley, passing below Herrmannseck, the trail leads through the holiday settlement to the small reservoir. Further and further down the valley towards the Querfurter Platte through Ober-und Niederschmon (federal road). Behind the arched bridge the ascent through the Schmoner slopes begins, a specially protected area, which can be passed through quickly and appropriately. All in all, one drives through the Middle Buntsandstein to the Lower Muschelkalk in chronological order.

Querfurter Platte - Stage 7 - Muschelkalk, fossils

The seventh stage begins on the plateau of the Schmoner Hängen and leads along the edge of the Querfurter Platte to the north to the B 250. After crossing it, you will reach the steep edge above the Leimbach valley again. A wide of these parallel, west-east oriented valleys. In south-western direction, one descends into this valley and follows the old path coming from Querfurt. Through Leimbach you pass under another railway bridge at the western end of the village. Built of red sandstone, it crosses the valley whose exit leads to Hermannseck. The Geo-Trail meets the L 172 in a traffic-calmed down zone, which has to be used for 500m - Look out! The route turns off at the old forest, to the north into the Ziegelrodaer Forst.

Ziegelrodaer Forst - Stage 8 -Relief, Use

The eighth stage continues north, passing the fountain. In a narrow loop, the route goes steeply downhill towards Lautersburg. At the bottom of the valley, you meet the Querne, whose course follows the Geo-Trail. In the area of the ponds the trail heads northeast to Lodersleben. At the narrow point where the forest road crosses the stream, the trail turns right onto a small path and remains on the southern side of the valley. Shortly before the end of the forest, the stage stops at the source of the Rote Born.

Quernetal - Stage 9 - Querne, water

The ninth stage is very short at 2km and runs almost exclusively at the level of the Querne. Along the bed of the stream you reach a small alder forest, another source area, which stretches up to the bridge. Straight on, along the brook, you reach the former castle park with summer stage and pond. To the right, high behind the clubhouse, the track leads to the western end of the park, directly under the castle. Back at the crossroads again, the park is bordered here by a massive sandstone wall. Along this wall the geo-trail leads away from the stream and climbs steeply to the former quarry site Trümpelberg to the south (elevation 25 m).

Lodersleben - Stage 10 - Bunter sandstone, quarrying, craftsmanship

The tenth stage is also short (2km) long and leads over 50 metres in altitude down into the meadows of the Querne, directly below the steep drop off of the Querfurt plateau. Around the Trümpelberg we pass the now overbuilt quarries of Lodersleben and head west (Kacheltor). A short stretch of the Leimbacher Straße must be followed downhill to the north. (Caution!) The Geo-Trail turns sharply to the west into the Apfelweg, which leads to the "Sudel" up to the L219 (Allstedt-Querfurt). Before reaching the road, the trail follows the northernmost side of the valley below the steep slopes until it crosses the former railway road. The wealth of ashlar can be seen in Lodersleben of all places. The Querne divides the village in two halves. On both sides of the valley, the sandstone stands out, several buildings are based directly on this rock (castle, forester's lodge).

sinkholes - stage 11 - subrosion, sinkholes

The last, eleventh stage leads from the wide valley to the east into the narrow shell limestone breakthrough of the Querne to Querfurt Castle. At a length of 3.5 km there are short ascents with a total of 50 metres of ascents and descents.

Along the former railway line to the municipal vineyard, the geo-trail before it changes in a hairpin bend over the ruined monastery (Mareinzell) over the crossroads to the other side of the valley. Behind the tracks, below the spruces, the route turns sharply eastwards again and follows the valley. Behind the barrier, the accompanying coniferous forest on the northern slope recedes. The path forks and the geo-trail takes the ascending path to the transformer tower. There, straight ahead into Aug.-Bebel-Str. you reach the western castle tower. Through the outer castle the trail leads left down to the finish, the entrance gate to the Geo-Nature Park - the north-east bastion. 

Safety Instructions: The road is not passable at Zingst.

Approach: Coming from Naumburg or Querfurt on the B180 to Steigra. Then turn onto the L177 in the direction of Karsdorf. Before Karsdorf turn onto the L213 towards Reinsdorf. After Reinsdorf turn onto the B250 towards Nebra. From Nebra take the Nebraer Str. (K2646) to Großwangen.
Parking: Public parking lot of the Nebra Ark. (120 m)
51.272890, 11.539690
32U 677149 5683235

Road markings: The signposts are incomplete and you can only find your way using a map or GPS.

  • always open

Tour itinerary:


Saale-Unstrut-Tourism e.V.

Pot market 6
06618 Naumburg
Phone: +49 3445 / 23379 - 0

You might also be interested in this

Share this contribution
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin
share on xing