There’s no shortage of panoramic views along the SaaleHorizontale trail. Jena from afar, Jena close up, or Jena from high above. The recurring glimpses of the university city nestled into the Saale river valley are always captivating. One minute you’re looking at a sleepy little village set among meadow orchards; the next minute the striking JenTower appears between the trees. The first section starts at the Platanenstrasse tram stop. After a quick ascent to Lobdeburg Castle the route runs along the steep hillside all the way to Johannisberg hill. From there it takes you across a meadow, past a striking large-leaved lime tree, to the sun-dappled Fürstenbrunnen spring.
Above the Pennicken valley the path hugs the steep rock face, offering magnificent views down into the Saale valley and across Jena. The trail then continues through dense beech forest into the Ziegenhain valley before reaching Ziegenhain itself, where the ascent to Fuchsturm tower begins.
Distance: 15.7km Uphill: 303m Downhill: 197m
Access: Tram no. 3, 5, 34 or 35 to Lobeda-Ost / Platanenstrasse stop
Departure: Bus no. 16, Ziegenhainer Tal stop (2km from the trail)
Places to eat: Lobdeburg, Wöllnitz, Ziegenhain
Day section 1 can be further broken down into short routes 1 to 4.