The Thuringian 3-Towers Hike – A Self Experiment

After Kevin and I have recently hiked a section of the Thuringian 3 towers path together with friends, I wanted to know my limits. On the last Saturday in May, Kevin had a big card tournament and was thus busy all day. But since the weather was quite promising, I decided to unpack my previously unused hiking poles and do the Thuringian 3-Towers hike on my own. Kevin and I both got up early in the morning. Kevin to get ready for his tournament and me to pack my backpack and prepare provisions. We had a chickpea-avocado salad and a strawberry-wheat-arugula salad. In addition, of course, I took a bottle of water with me.

The actual start of the 3-Towers hike is in Belvedere, just around 4km from our apartment. Since the route to Belvedere is quite beautiful, I decided to complete this route already on foot. The first tower, the Hain tower, is located near Belvedere Castle with its pretty park. On the one hand, I already knew the path from the castle to the tower, because the other way around it was already part of the Bauhaus Marathon, which I ran in 2019 in the relay. On the other hand, after a short time I already encountered small signs with the logo of the path, which represents the three towers. These signs became my constant companions for the rest of the day. Next to the Hain tower there is a small forest tavern and a mini-ruin. Unfortunately, one can’t climb up the tower itself, as it is in need of renovation. There has been an initiative for the renovation for a long time and some donations have already come together, but the project is still far from being completed.

The longest section of the trail started from the Hain tower. The weather tightened briefly on this stretch, but it remained dry. The path led me through a lot of forest and through smaller villages like Köttendorf or Oettern. Shortly after Oettern I stopped on a bench to eat lunch. Thereby two young women walked past me, who apparently also did the 3-Towers hike. Other than that, however, I hardly encountered any people who seemed to be hiking the entire trail. Instead, I was completely alone on a large part of the passages, which was very pleasant. The trail is in very good condition and well signposted, and admittedly, even alone as a woman in Thuringia, fortunately, one rarely feels unsafe. The only exception was when I ran past a group of forest workers who meant to call me quite cliché stupid sayings after.

To reach the Carolinen tower one has to walk a small loop. But this should not tempt you to skip this tower, because of all three towers this was the most beautiful. I walked the loop clockwise and it guided me up a forest path that led to a dirt road at the top. From there one had a super view over the landscape. To my right stretched here from the far also already the tower. Around the Carolinen tower is a very nice picnic area, which is surrounded on one side by forest, while the view on the other side was free and extended into a beautiful panorama of small towns, fields and wind turbines.

After the usual photo break, I continued to Bad Berka to the last tower, the Paulinen tower, which I already visited on the last hike. The end of the Carolinen tower loop also took me past the outskirts of the village of Kötsch, where a classic car meeting was held at the same time. The way to Bad Berka was almost exclusively forest road. In contrast to last time, the Paulinen tower was open this time and one could go up for a small donation. Admittedly, it was a bit complicated to get to the viewing platform with the walking sticks in hand, because I had to pass a rather heavy door while standing on an old wooden ladder. From the tower I could look back to Weimar. In addition, I had at said time the entire tower for me alone although a family with children picnicked below, but they were already on top of the tower before.

On our last hike we had to climb up the relatively steep and unpaved path to the Paulinen tower, this time I had to go down this path, which was no less unpleasant, however, as I slid in some places neatly, but could keep myself upright thanks to the hiking poles. Up from here I knew the way already, since this was now the route, which we hiked before. After some time, Kevin called me to tell me about the tournament. Surprisingly, the phone reception remained stable, so we could talk on the phone without any problems. In Buchfahrt, I passed a family with children who were happily walking a small, playful dog puppy on a leash. I had to smile a bit when I heard that the puppy was apparently named Yuri.

Exhausted, I finally arrived in Belvedere, where it eventually even started to rain on the last meters. I let Kevin know, who came to meet me, so that we met at the level of the bee museum here in Weimar and went home together via the Ilmpark. In summary, I can claim to have made full use of the day. I am very proud of myself to have mastered this long way. Alone I would not start this hike again, because it was a bit lonely in some places. Should friends or acquaintances want to run the way, however, I would certainly want to join them.