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Quality trail recommended route Stage 1

Vogtland Panorama Trail® - Stage 1

· 1 review · Quality trail · Vogtland · Open
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Vogtland - Sinfonie der Natur Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Göltzschtalbrücke
    Photo: CC BY-SA, Archiv TVV / Sebastian Theilig
River cantatas

The rivers Göltzsch and Weiße Elster form the two great lifelines of the Vogtland. We follow their course after starting at the imposing Göltzschtal Bridge, and shortly afterwards also encounter their little sister, the Elstertal Bridge. In the valleys you can listen to the murmur of the rivers and the babbling of the brooks.

Distance 23.4 km
7:07 h
529 m
453 m
406 m
260 m
The impressive giant Göltzschtal bridge is the fitting overture for this enchanting hiking trail and on the last metres of the day's tour, the Elstertal bridge offers the furious final chord. The construction of the two gigantic brick bridges began in 1846 and ended, after only 5 years of construction, on 15 June 1851 with the simultaneous inauguration of the two railway bridges.

Millions of red bricks were used to give the bridges their typical colour. Every day, 150,000 bricks were brought from 6 large brickworks in the vicinity and laid by hand.

The Göltzschtal Bridge has an impressive 26 million bricks, its "little sister" the Elstertal Bridge 12 million. A special mortar was used for the construction, a mixture of lime, sand, brick dust, alum slate slag and water, which the Reichenbach pharmacist Heinrich Carl developed especially for the construction.

At times, a total of over 2,500 workers were involved in the construction and the persistent legend that the designer threw himself off the Göltzschtal Bridge on the day of the inauguration because he was afraid the bridge would not bear the load is not true!

Author’s recommendation

Places of interest: Göltzschtal bridge (largest brick bridge in the world), Göltzschtal (wild and romantic valley landscape in the lower reaches of the Göltzsch), Greiz (medieval townscape, upper and lower castle), Elsterberg (castle ruins above the old town), Steinicht (rocky area in the valley of the White Elster), Liebau castle ruins (romantically overgrown castle walls), Elstertal bridge (second largest brick bridge in the world), Triebtal (narrow, gorge-like rocky valley).
Quality route according to "Wanderbares Deutschland"
Highest point
406 m
Lowest point
260 m
Best time of year

Track types

Asphalt 1.46%Dirt road 4.44%Forested/wild trail 39.71%Path 4.10%Road 0.46%Unknown 49.81%
0.3 km
Dirt road
1 km
Forested/wild trail
9.3 km
1 km
0.1 km
11.6 km
Show elevation profile

Safety information

Predominantly a valley hike, which nevertheless offers repeated ascents and descents to vantage points, in part only narrow paths, sure-footedness required on the Köhlersteig.

Tips and hints

Tourismusverband Vogtland e.V. - Tel. +49 3744 188860, Information: Tourism and traffic centre - Tel. +49 3744 19449

Tourist information: FVV Nördliches Vogtland - Tel. +49 3765 392808 (guided tours at the Göltzschtal bridge), Greiz - Tel. +49 3661 689815, Elsterberg town council - Tel. +49 36621 8810, Pöhl dam - Tel. +49 37439 4500


Netzschkau, Göltzschtalbrücke (294 m)
50.623292, 12.245799
50°37'23.9"N 12°14'44.9"E
33U 305192 5611555



Turn-by-turn directions

The first stage of the Vogtland Panorama Trail® begins directly under the impressively high Göltzschtal bridge. The trail climbs briefly before two paths separate in the direction of Greiz and Reichenbach. On the left, the path leads back to the valley floor and runs along the impact slope of the Göltzsch into the idyllic Friesenbach valley. From there, we hike further down the valley on the narrow "Köhlersteig" (charcoal burner's path) to where the Göltzsch flows into the Weiße Elster. The last section in particular is fascinating with its wild rock scenery above the river.

Alternatively, you can start the Vogtland Panorama Trail® at the railway station in Greiz and add the walk on the Köhlersteig as a "finale furioso" to the 12th stage. The routes meet at the junction of the two rivers. The trail crosses the Göltzsch and then climbs steeply up to the plateau bordering the Weiße Elster to the east. The next destination is the Kriebelstein, an ideal place to rest, high above the town of Elsterberg with its castle ruins worth seeing.

Back down in the valley, the trail now remains faithful to the White Elster until it reaches the Barthmühle. Always staying on the eastern bank, you walk upstream through the beautiful river valley, which is fortunately free of roads. Only now and then does a train pass. This does not detract from the idyll, but rather enhances it - after all, this first stage is marked by two important railway bridges.

After a short detour to the overgrown walls of Liebau Castle, the Elster Valley Bridge is already in sight. Its location high above the narrow, rocky valley makes it even more dramatic than the Göltzschtal bridge, although it is not as tall or as wide. At Barthmühle, the tracks are crossed and the path leads under the bridge into the Triebtal valley to the Pyramidenwiese meadow. We cross a small bridge over the Trieb and climb up to Jocketa station.

Public transport


Regular train connections between Netzschkau and Reichenbach and between Greiz and Jocketa with the Vogtlandbahn ( Further information is available from the Vogtland Tourism and Transport Centre on +49 3744 19449 or

By road

Each entry and end point is signposted in the route information and has parking spaces nearby. You can reach the Göltzschtalbrücke entrance via the A 72 - Reichenbach exit or Treuen via Mylau to the Göltzschtalbrücke car park.


A public car park is available at the Göltzschtal bridge.


50.623292, 12.245799
50°37'23.9"N 12°14'44.9"E
33U 305192 5611555
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

Further information can be found on the pages of the Vogtland Tourist Association at or on +49 3744 188860 as well as at the other tourist information offices along the tour route.

Author’s map recommendations

You can obtain the VPW hiking guide free of charge from the brochure shop at


The VPW is a stage hiking trail and should therefore be walked with appropriate equipment.

Questions and answers

Question from Reiner Hengst · December 27, 2021 · Community
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Answered by Birgit Schultheiß · December 27, 2021 · Community
2 more replies


Johannes Nyvlt
January 08, 2018 · Outdooractive Editors
When did you do this route? January 05, 2018

Photos from others

23.4 km
7:07 h
529 m
453 m
Highest point
406 m
Lowest point
260 m
Public-transport-friendly Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available


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