Hike over the crest of the Lützelsoon mountain, where wildcats bathe in the sun on the quartzite scree slopes.
Behind the Celtic settlement the trail goes down into the valley and crosses the River Hahnenbach near the ruins of Schmidtburg Castle. For the next 1.5 km the Soonwaldsteig trail follows an educational water trail upstream. At the north end a meadow in the Hahnenbach flood plain provides an 'island of peace', where you can enjoy the silence.
The trail then leaves the valley and ascends to the north in an arc around Schneppenbach and up to the Lützelsoon. There is a good view from the viewing tower on the Teufelsfels (567 m), the first distinctive peak of the Kleiner Soon mountain. The rest of the narrow quartzite ridge, where wildcats sometimes doze on sunny days, is characterised by stony scree slopes. Boundary stones and wooden stakes mark the district border. At the end of this challenging section of the trail, the Blickenstein rock, a large natural monument (near the Womrather plateau, 597 m), with its tiered, south-facing slope, is an ideal place to break for lunch.
After this, the Soonwaldsteig trail winds its way along the north face of the Lützelsoon. You will soon see Gemünden Castle. From the nearby hikers' hut, which is a short detour away from the trail, we can look down into the Simmerbach Valley, the second transverse valley in the Soonwald region. A pair of peregrine falcons breeds on the Langenstein natural monument, a rock pinnacle, which looms out of the leafy forest. The stage ends after descending northwards around the Langenstein on the B421 (Gemünden-Simmertal), on a footbridge which was purpose-built for the Soonwaldsteig trail.
A bus runs in the Simmerbach Valley between Simmern and Kirn. The next bus stop is 2.2 km to the north at the entrance to Gehweiler, where there is also a rest stop.