© Ottmar Vetter, www.elbsandsteingebirge.de

Panoramaweg trail and Flößersteig trail

At a glance

  • Start: village Altendorf
  • Destination: village Altendorf
  • Medium
  • 16,28 km
  • 4 hours 40 minutes
  • 315 m
  • 331 m
  • 133 m

The described hike does not cover the entire Panoramaweg trail and Flößersteig trail. Consequently we rather concentrate on the areas around the villages Altendorf, Mittelndorf and Lichtenhain. This region offers the best lookout points and also has many options for connection-hikes into all directions. The route is described as a round trip. Thus you can easily switch the starting and endpoint to other places, like for example the Kirnitzschtal valley.

The starting point of our hike is a small public parking lot in the village Altendorf below the mountain Adamsberg. The parking lot is also located nearby the tourist information of the municipality and not far from the storage house of the volunteer fire department. The villages Altendorf and Lichtenhain are among the oldest villages in the region. Altendorf was first officially mentioned in documents in 1445. The place was a manor which was part of the knight seat in Prossen ... later after the years of the political changes Altendorf was part of the municipality Kirnitzschtal. But since 2012 Kirnitzschtal was incorporated into the town Sebnitz. We walk through the town center on the street Sebnitzer Straße toward east. On the left side we see the nursery Berger. At the end of the village we turn right into the field, and onto the Panoramaweg trail. Following the forest track we get on low ground and then turn to the right direction. This low ground section ("Schäfertilke") down the valley develops changes during strong rain into a raging mountain trench with fallen trees and debris. There were several landslides and the lower situated Kirnitzschtal valley is also affected by that. Despite that hikers do experience an idyll. In accordance with the waymark we leave the forest to the left direction ... and suddenly the entire Saxon Switzerland Hinterland appears in front of us. A bench invites us to take a rest. But the view becomes even better after another 100 meters further, where a sloping meadow area invites us for a rest. Directly in front of us are the rocks Falkenstein and Hohe Liebe. Both rock formations are "monuments" for the Saxon climbers. The Falkenstein raises upward as a monolith directly in front of the Schrammsteine rock formation. The conquest of the "Turnerweg" trail by Schandsuer Turner in 1864 was the birth of the Saxon climbing scene. To date, the rock Falkenstein is a popular climbing destination. In good weather during the summer months, there are always climbers on this rock. The cone-shaped rock Hohe Liebe is entirely wooded up to the summit and does not provide any climbing opportunities. However, at the summit is a memorial for the killed climbers during the First World War. Formerly the rock Hohe Liebe provided an excellent panorama view ... but now nearly all these lookout points became overgrown. Behind the two rocks Falkenstein and Hohe Liebe two other rock formations dominate the horizon, the Affensteine and Schrammsteine. The best time to enjoy the impressive view is during late summer afternoons when the sun is already shining on the rocks from the west. The trail continues to the village Mittelndorf. The well-marked trail leads through the densely populated town center on a 150 degree turn past the old fire water pond toward the eastern exit of the village. Here is an extremely well located small campsite. The aforementioned panoramic view is also visible from here while sitting in the camping chair. The most famous historical personality of the town was the forester Matthes Puttrich. In the Thirty Years' War he has successfully led the armed citizens of the town against the attacking Croats. Still today the name "Kroatenschlucht" (Croats gorge) remembers us of this bloodbath. The waymark shows us to follow the path steadily on the same altitude along mountain slope toward the pastureland in the east. On our way to the village Lichtenhain we recognize at the edge of the forest on the left wayside a nice rustic picnic area. Later after having passed a small forest section we then walk on an asphalt road "Folgenweg", which leads us directly to Lichtenhain. The first building of the village is the little chapel at the cemetery. Lichtenhain has its own church. Since about 1550, the parish church in Lichtenhain was the religious capital of the region around the Kirnitzschtal valley. Close to the church is situated the mountain farm (Berghof) of Lichtenhain. Since our path continues directly through the fields below the mountain farm, we stop here for a cold beer on the terrace and enjoy the panoramic views on the rocks. The path continues through the fields and after about 500 meters we enter a forest section, where the street Talstraße leads us downhill immediately. We walk on and finally arrive in the Kirnitzschtal valley, where the host of the guest house at the Lichtenhainer waterfall already awaits us. The waterfall is slightly embarrassing but the fried trout in the tavern is delicious! At this point of our tour we begin our way back along the river Kirnitzsch on the Flößersteig trail until the campsite Ostrauer Mühle (mill). The Flößersteig trail earned its name from the forestry use of the river Kirnitzsch for the transportation of wood. From the upper sluice at the village Hinterhermsdorf until the Elbe valley various dams were built into the Kirnitzsch in order to increase the water level and thus transport the felled timber to the mills or to the Elbe. Since this was not a continuous waterway, the rafters had to control the transportation of the timber from the Flößersteig ("rafters walkway"). We leave the waterfall in Lichtenhain and shortly follow the rails of Kirnitzschtalbahn (railway in the Kirnitzschtal valley). We then pass by the bridge at the waterfall Beuthenfall and reach the Flößersteig trail. Here we find a beautiful climbing section which starts right at the Kirnitzsch river bank and leads through the tree roots. In this lower part of the river the Flößersteig trail is less spectacular, since the historic mills (Buschmühlenteich, Neumannmühle and Felsenmühle) are all located upstream. In return for this we can hike through a "wetland" (biotope) which was partially completely under water during the frequent floods of the Kirnitzsch. If it were not forbidden, you could at some hidden parts of the river take a dip. By the way, in parts of the lower river section fishing is allowed. It is possible to catch graylings, brook trouts and very small trouts. Along the Flößersteig trail we pass by the Beuthenfall waterfall, the forester's house (Forsthaus) and the mill in the village Mittelndorf. We also cross the campsite Ostrauer Mühle. We arrive at a very old sandstone bridge which we cross and take the hiking track that runs parallel to the street. After about 600 meters we see on the right side the entrance to the steep slope of the Dorfbachklamm ravine. At first the way up is only on rough stone steps, later follow metal ladders and finally we are faced again with heavily eroded stone steps. On the edge of the trail runs depending on the weather a quiet trickle or a wild river. These waters probably once formed this canyon ... and apparently do so until this day, as one can see in the upper parts of the climb. At the top, right from the information panel is again a possibility to walk up to the cliff edge of the Kirnitzschtal valley. We recognize a huge boulder (the lion head) which literally "lies" there. Probably many hikers have secretly already tried to roll the "ball" back into the valley ... Unfortunately here at the narrowest point of the Kirnitzschtal valley some sad tragedies took place after the end of the war. In fear of the Russian siege whole families have plunged to their deaths (memorial plaques can be found on the rock). We now follow again the serpentines of the Malerweg trail and finally reach the entrance to the village Altendorf ... the "Hegebusch". This romantic and small residential estate enjoys the privilege of a sunny, elevated location directly beside the border of the National Park. The road to the village center leads us to the street Sebnitzer Straße and from there to the left direction back to our starting point.

Tour dashboard


  • Unknown (43%)
  • Street (9%)
  • Tarmac (12%)
  • Gravel (2%)
  • Hiking trail (15%)
  • Path (19%)


General information

Next steps

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