Gossdorf-Kohlmühle TRAIN – Gossdorfer Raubschloss – Hankehübel - Waitzdorfer Höhe -– Ochelské lookouts – Gossdorf-Kohlmühle TRAIN 13 km
With the exception of the initial steep climb, this is a hike with easy trails, at first through open terrain with views, then through an area of sandstone formations with the Waitzdorfer Aussicht lookout tower (from the Ochelské Stěny – Ochelské Walls).
From the Gossdorf-Kohlmühle railway station in the forested Sebnitz River Valley, first through the valley via meadows along the red route, in the direction of Sebnitz. After 2 kilometers turn left into the Schwarzbachtal Valley. We walk along the valley following the yellow markers, and soon will come upon a signpost for Gossdorfer Raubschloss – Hankehübel. We climb the steps of a fairly steep slope through a beech tree forest to a forested promontory with remnants of the Gossdorfer Raubschloss castle, supplemented with Romantic-era construction from the 19th century.
The route continues along a narrow rock ridge (beneath us is the former Kohlmühle – Hohnstein narrow-gauge railway that was closed in 1951), and then we once again begin an ascent through the forest. From the forest we enter an open landscape of meadows with views of Unger and Tanečnice, and then ascend slowly to the bare hillocks of Hankehübel (330 m) with benches before which unfolds a surprising panoramic view of the table mountains that includes Děčínský Sněžník, Winterberg, and the Schrammensteine cliffs, as well as the Krušné Mountains, Unger, Tanečnice, and Luž. To the north and northwest, we see the nearby village of Gossdorf with the Gicklesberg and Waitzdorfer Höhe peaks.
Follow the markers for the descent to Gosssdorf. Notice the interesting half-timbered houses. At the upper end of town there is a signpost. Stay on the road to Hohnstein and the yellow route that will lead us all the way to Waitzdorf. The road leads northwest, first descending and then climbing through open terrain; after the intersection, there is a left turn, and we ascend through a field to the forest, and follow along its edge to a sharp bend. The path leads upward through the forest to the open, grassy, expansive summit of Waitzdorfer Höhe (414 m). The path is bordered on either side by barriers. Unlike the view from the Hankehübel lookout tower, the view of the table mountains that now unfolds is more "sunken" into the landscape. Lilienstein is the most prominent feature. One can see as far as Dresden and to the Krušné Mountains.
Follow the markers downward through meadows to the small town of Waitzdorf with its old, preserved half-timbered houses situated on a highland plain, seemingly cut off from the rest of the world. The town also boasts the cosy Waitzdorfer Schenke restaurant, open only on the weekends in the winter. There is a crossroads of hiking trails at the edge of town.
We continue along the direction markers for "Waitzdorfer Aussicht".
Walking along the flat meadow to the beech tree forest we come to the Waitzdorfer Aussicht lookout tower. We suddenly find ourselves at the edge of the Ochelwände (Ochel Walls) cliffs, falling off steeply to the Polenz River Valley. There is an excellent view of the table mountains of Saxon Switzerland, similar to the one from nearby Brand, one of the most beautiful views in the region.
We return from the cliff side viewpoint to the path in the beech forest and continue further to the wide Mühlweg forest path coming directly from Waitzdorf. We follow this path east (the red markers, which we follow for the rest of the route), through continuing forests, later descending through sandstone rock formations and into the dark Kohlichtgraben Valley. We descend through the valley south, walking along a pleasant rocky ravine lined by the stream, finishing along a low-traffic road to the Sebnitz River Valley. Through the village of Kohlmüle we make our way to the Gossdorf-Kohlmüle train station, a stop for the trains of the National Park Railway, direction of Rumburk through Sebnitz (the following stop in this direction is Mittelndorf, where today's route began), or through Bad Schandau to Dečín.
Places of interest on the route:
Schwarzbachtal Valley, which was transacted by the narrow-gauge Kohlmühle – Hohnstein railroad
Gossdorfer Raubschloss castle ruins
Hankehübel lookout tower
The town of Gossdorf
Waitzdorfer Höhe Hill and its views
The historic town of Waitzdorf
Ochelwände (Ochel Walls with the Waitzdorfer Aussicht lookout tower)
Kohlmühle in the Sebnitz River Valley
- On foot
- For families with children
- For beginner walkers