Mikulášovice, centre – Wachberg 4.5 – Saupsdorf BUS STOP 6 – Kleinsteinhöhle 8.5 – Arnstein 12 – Neumannmühle BUS STOP – Felsenmühle 14.5 – Kuhstall rock gate 16.5 – Lichtenhainer Wasserfall, TRAM, BUS STOPS 18 km
Although the hike begins in Bohemia, most of the route leads through Saxony. The best connection from Děčin to Mikulášovice is on Saturdays and Sundays when there are connections to the train at the Mikulášovice Dolní Nádraží train station via tourist transportation lines, direction Panský. Get off immediately at the Mikulášovice-střed (Mikulášovice-centre) stop.
Mikulašovice, once the largest city in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, renowned for the production of knives (MIKOV--the popular fish-shaped penknives are still produced today), with its imposing St. Nicholas Church, offers a number of cross-border routes.
Follow the green route from the centre of town south over the railroad tracks, past a nice forest swimming area and through meadows to Zlodějská Cesta (Thieves' Road) on the ridge, and in 1 km continue west and then once again through the forest, follow the route across the border to the Wachbergbaude mountain restaurant with beautiful views of the Lusatian Mountains, Studenec, and Backcountry Saxon Switzerland with the Affensteine cliffs (in the direction of our next route).
From here, we follow the red route until we reach our final destination.
We descend to the edge of the forest with views of Saupsdorf, which lies beneath us. Soon, we find ourselves in a tidy village with many half-timbered houses. There is a stop for the Sebnitz – Hinterhermsdorf bus line here, so it is possible to begin the hike in Saupsdorf as well.
Once out of the village, we continue through meadows to the forest, and then through the forest to the edge of some cliffs with views of the rock formations surrounding the lower reaches of Křinice (Kuhstall, Blosstock). We find ourselves on Kleinstein cliff. Steps take us to the foot of the cliff, and a small detour leads us to the Kleinsteinhöhle double rock gate, reminiscent of a giant stone arch. This is one of the largest rock gates in Bohemian-Saxon Switzerland.
From the gate, the markers lead downward through the forest to a path wending through the flat terrain beneath the cliffs. To the left, it is a 5-minute walk to the road, and then 1 km to the Saupsdorf, Rämichtmühle stop (timbered house, restaurant), from which the bus will take you to Sebnitz or Bad Schandau.
We, however, turn right, continuing through the forest along a twisting path, and on the left, deep in the valley, we are joined by the Křinice. We come to a crossroads at the Buschmühle mill. Follow the markers to the right to Arnstein. Later, the path climbs steeply, in places with challenging ascents between cliffs, to the summit plateau. One of the area's beautiful cliff side castles offers views between the trees toward the Affensteine cliffs. The return descent follows the same path (approximately 1 km) to the crossroads.
Continue further into Křinice Valley to the road. We pass three former mills (Buschmühle, Neumannmühle - small museum, Felsenmühle) that offer food and drink as well as accommodation. All three are located in the beautiful, deep, and rocky Křinice Ravine, and are the points of departure for hikes to the rock formations of the secluded Zeughaus.
At Felsenmühle, we leave the road, and ascend through the Small Zschand Ravine, and soon turn right along the Haussteig path upward through the forest to a crossroads. Here, to the right, we climb steeply into the narrow Nasse Schlucht Gorge in the large cliff masses, and ascend the steps to a mountain lodge (food and drink, market) and to the large Kuhstall rock gatewith its beautiful views of the grandiose cliffs and extensive forests of backcountry Saxon Switzerland. From the gate, you can climb the Himmelsleiter/Nebeský/Heaven's ladder through a narrow crevice to the rock plateau. This was once the location of the Wildenstein Castle, which was the property of the Berka of Dubé.
From the lodge, we descend along a wide, high-traffic forest road to Křinice Valley to the Lichtenhainer Wasserfall inn. The manmade waterfall has been a tourist attraction since the 19th century. This is the end of the route.
From here, you can take the Kirniztschtalbahn tram through Křinice Valley 8 km to Bad Schandau. Those who have pre-purchased a Labe-Elbe ticket will receive a discounted fare. From Bad Schandau, we reach the waterfront, with ferries running every 30 minutes to the train station. The Labe-Elbe ticket is valid here.
From Kleinsteinhöhlem our route joins the Malerweg route, one of the most popular in Saxon Switzerland.
Places of interest on the route:
Mikulášovice - St. Nicholas Church
Easter rides in Mikulášovice
Mikulášovice swimming area
Wachberg lookout tower
Kleinsteinhöhle rock gate
Arnstein cliff side castle
The former mills in Křinice Valley – Neumannmühle
Kuhstall rock gate
Neuer Wildenstein cliff side castle
Lichtenhain waterfall/Lichtenhain waterfall
The tram in Křinice Valley/Kirnitzschtalbahn
Main route - Mikulášovice, centre – Wachberg 4.5 – Saupsdorf BUS STOP 6 – Kleinsteinhöhle 8.5 – Arnstein 12 – Neumannmühle BUS STOP – Felsenmühle 14.5 – Kuhstall rock gate 16.5 – Lichtenhainer Wasserfall, TRAM, BUS STOPS 18 km
Variant 1 - Saupsdorf BUS STOP – Kleinsteinhöhle – Arnstein – Neumannmühle BUS STOP – Felsenmühle – Kuhstall – Lichtenhainer Wasserfall TRAM, BUS STOP 11 km
Variant 2 - Saupsdorf BUS STOP – Kleinsteinhöhle – Räumichtmühle BUS STOP 4,5 km
- On foot
- For experienced walkers
- Medium difficulty