Have you ever heard the tale about finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow? As a kid I would look tirelessly for rainbows, never to find the end, or that ever elusive pot of gold.
That was, until, I followed that rainbow all the way to Steinbach-Hallenberg in Thuringia#.
No, I didn’t find some cache of gold — I just realized what a treasure this town truly is. Located just 4km from the Rennsteig, and along the Thuringian Forest, Steinbach-Hallenberg, this is definitely my kind of place.
It’s a whole lot of other people’s kind of place too, as it’s a state-recognized leisure area. What exactly does that mean to you?
Oh, how about all the challenging and fun outdoor recreational activities? Nordic Walking is really popular here, and pole rentals are easily available. Of course you need poles, otherwise it’s just hiking. ;-)
As for hiking, you’re bound to find one to love. The trails are known as the Yellow Square Trail (going around Arnsberg); the Green Square (towards the Kieferle); Green Triangle (through the Moosbachtal); and even a circular route that’ll just take you around and around.
The trails are great, but you still haven’t given mountain biking a try, taken a carriage ride, or rented a bicycle. And if you’re here in the winter months, then it’s all about cross-country skiing, snowboarding, or alpine skiing.
Steinbach-Hallenberg’s greatness isn’t finished at the end of your last ski run, ya know. The town is home to its own castle ruin. The Hallenburg was built around 1268, but is believed to be much older. Sadly no records are available to tell us who built this formidable structure, but we do know it was destroyed long before the Thirty Years’ War.
A historic town tour is a good way to learn more, as are the guided hikes offered. And there’s plenty more to educational stuff at the Metallhandwerksmuseum (Metal Crafts Museum), offering exhibits on smelting and tools. The museum even offers workshops, if you’re so inclined.
Sorry, not me. I’ll take going to Steinbach-Hallenberg’s Castle Festival (June), its Kirmes (September), and its Advent Festival (early December) instead.
All of this is what makes Steinbach-Hallenberg the proverbial pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, wouldn’t you say?