ElevationAscent: 2,672' 814 m
Descent: -2,662' -812 m
High: 3,111' 948 m
Low: 1,792' 546 m
GradeAvg Grade: 5% (3°)
Max Grade: 29% (16°)
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“Great climbs and descents in Bayern's Steinwald Mountains.”— John Holcomb
It is highly recommended to either print a map or use the MTB Project MTB Project mobile app, as there is a veritable spiderweb of trails and roads throughout Steinwald. They are all an adventure, but this loop is what works best for true mountain biking.
The first destination along the way is the Hackelstein rock formation. Climb the stairs up the rocks to enjoy the geology and keep an eye out for wild raspberries and blueberries, as they are everywhere. Leaving Hackelstein to the west or the north gives you a short little descent, then you'll continue your climb to the top.
Once you hit northern parking lot, follow the signs to Burgruine Weienstein. This is a moderate to easy fireroad climb with nice tree cover to the Burg and thick forests and rich moss to view along the way. Take a break and explore the Burg ruins along the way.
From there, head west and follow the signs towards the platte and get ready for a short, steeper rocky section that is doable as long as you pick your line and keep your speed up. From there, the trail opens up as you roll and climb your way to the top. There are many more large rock formations along the way.
If you want a shorter, steeper climb, you can bypass the ruin and take the Plattengasse Trail, but it is not too technical. It doubles as a good descent if you choose to come back down.
As you reach the top, you enter a open area with a large 35-meter tall observation tower. Take a view of the surrounding area from the tallest peak in Steinwald. From there you have two options for descents, either the Steinwald Descent or the steeper Katzentrgel to burn your hard earned gravity credits!
The Steinwald West Descent is a great way to get to Erbendorf. Use caution on the sections above Pfaben, as they are very popular with hikers. Stawold Pilz is the first descent off of the mountain all the way to the Waldhaus, and is generally doubletrack but contain the obstacles necessary to add challenge and fun. At the Waldhause, grab a a snack when it is open and keep an eye out for the fenced deer habitat nearby.
Climb to the west to continue the Saubadfelsen Trail and then continue from Pfaben to the Vogelfelsen formation to the base of the mountain. This section has a bit more singletrack that is not on all the maps, but the GPS should get you to the trailheads.
From the bottom, follow the track to climb back through Pfaben and to the peak if you still have the stamina. Once you are back to the top, head north to Katzentrgel for a fairly steep and challenging descent with rocks, roots, and tight turns. The lower half can get a little obscured with overgrown grass late in the summer.
Follow the tracks back to the start.
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