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Viewing Point Damianskopf

6. Stage

The deep Morgenbach Valley and the rustic Eselspfad path show you the quiet side of the Rhine Valley.

From the Jägerhaus, the trail becomes steeper and narrower as it winds its way through the Morgenbach Valley, which is a protected nature reserve. Many of the rocks, which flank the sides of the valley, can be climbed. When you can see the former mills on the valley floor, you have reached the turn off for Trechtingshausen. You have enough time on this final stage for an extended visit to Trechtingshausen, where you can see Reichenstein Castle and the Chapel of St Clement, before ascending on the Eselspfad out of the Morgenbach Valley to the hills above the Rhine.

This undulating path, made safer in some parts with railings, leads to the Schweizerhaus, a restaurant and guesthouse with a wonderful view. The Rhine makes up the fourth and largest transverse valley in the Soonwald, if you consider the quartzite Taunus as a continuation of the Soonwald. First you can visit the crenellated and renovated Rheinstein Castle, built in the Romantic style, whose drawbridge is just a few steps away from the Soonwaldsteig trail.

The trail continues through the narrow Poßbach valley and past the viewing point on the Damianskopf mountain to reach the Heiligkreuz foresters' lodge, where it is worth leaving the trail for a little while. A suspension bridge, an excavated Roman settlement and a giant redwood tree in the forest botanical garden await the visitor on the nearby nature trail. It is also worth visiting the Kreuzbachklamm gorge, a deep ravine carved by a river.

The trail then descends gradually to Bingen and even grants you some views of the Rhine Valley in Assmannshausen. The path descends sharply at the Prinzenkopf hill and leads to the front door of the youth hostel. From here, it's only a few hundred metres through the district of Bingerbrück to the end of the Soonwaldsteig trail at Bingen train station. There's still enough time to visit the park at the Mäuseturm tower or to cross the bridge over the River Nahe to the historical town centre with Klopp Castle, or to walk to the Drusus bridge or to the Rochusberg.