© Philipp Zieger

Malerweg Trail stage 1

A fairytale valley, a bombastic monument, a ruined mill – right at its outset the Malerweg trail shows its romantic side.

Facts and Figures about the 1st Malerweg Trail stage:

11,5 km

The first Malerweg Trail stage has a length of 11.5 km, which is a good distance to acclimate you for the full Malerweg trail hiking.

3:30 hours

The average walking time for the first stage is about three and a half hours, not including breaks and detours.

110 m altitude difference

UPHILL. In this respect the first stage is relatively comfortable. There are some few ascents and steps in this section of the trail.

141 m altitude difference

DOWNHILL. You reach the lowest point of this stage at the Elbe River bank.

Route description

The trailhead is in Pirna-Liebethal Village at the entry to the Liebethaler Grund Gorge. The trail follows a small clear stream called the Wesenitz until it reaches the Daubemühle, a former mill. A surprise along the way is an imposing monument for Richard Wagner made by Richard Guhr in 1933. Indeed, Richard Wagner was here several times. Lochmühle Mill, where he composed parts of his Lohengrin opera in 1846, is only a few steps away. At Daubemühle Mill the trail crosses the Wesenitz Stream and runs uphill to Mühlsdorf Village.

Continuing on the Alte Lohmstrasse Road and then along the forest edge, the trail reaches the memorial stone marking  the crossing point of 51° N and 14°O coordinates. Querweg, Brückwaldweg and Schleifgrund are the names of the paths leading down again into a shady cool ravine, this time to Uttewalder Grund Gorge with its legendary rock gate. This is where the famous Romanticist painter Caspar David Friedrich spent an entire day in solitude. Cliff walls line the rest of the path to Wehlen Town where the remains of one of the oldest forts of the region can be discovered. In the town, a neatly arranged botanical garden and a small museum of local history can be visited as well as the church.

Accomodation along the Malerweg Trail

Hosts listed on this page are certified to be “Hiker-friendly at the Malerweg Trail”; they are prepared to Malerweg Trail hikers. If you are looking for hotels, guest houses, hostels or camp sites along the first stage only, click on this button.


Good to know

The Editor Team’s Tips

Recommendations on the 1st Stage of the Malerweg

“Waldidylle” Inn

Malerweg Etappe 1 Gasthaus Waldidylle© Sebastian Thiel

Situated directly at the Malerweg Trail just behind the Uttewalde Rock Gate, this authentic inn looks forward to welcoming hikers as its guests. Here they like to serve traditional meals or local homemade game specialties. Of course you can find refreshing drinks or a good cup of coffee or tea on the menu, too.

Gasthaus Waldidylle
Grundstrasse 2
01847 Uttewalde (Sachsen)
Phone: +49 35024 79846

Gasthaus Waldidylle Uttewalde



Miniature Park „Little Saxon Switzerland“

Miniaturwelten Wehlen© Achim Meuer

It is not only the hearts of railway enthusiasts that beat faster in Dorf Wehlen Village! The miniature park “Little Saxon Switzerland” shows the entire National Park region scaled down to 8000 square meters in an extremely compact version with numerous attractions carefully reproduced of local sandstone. The individual scenes are brought to life by a great variety of moving vehicles. You can even tour the grounds on a park railway!

(Detour extra distance: 2.6 km | 1 h)

Miniaturpark "Die Kleine Sächsische Schweiz"
Schustergasse 8
01829 Dorf Wehlen
Phone: +49 35024 70631

Miniaturpark "Die Kleine Sächsische Schweiz" Wehlen


Detours and Highlights along the Malerweg Trail

Liebethaler Grund Gorge

The stream rushing through this idyllic gorge is called the Wesenitz. Shortly before it reaches Lochmühle Mill, there is the monument to Richard Wagner dating back to 1933. The composer is shown as Knight of the Grail with five figures sitting at his feet. They symbolize the five elements of his music: the “Spheric”, the “Lyric”, the “Dramatic”, the “Dionysian” and the “Demonic” Elements.

© Sebastian Thiel

Lohmen Village

Lohmen Castle has a tourist information point, a library and exhibitions. Another point of interest is the Lutheran church. This neoclassical building with a centralized plan dates back to 1789 and provides a wonderful atmosphere for concerts, among others for the “Sandstone and Music Festival”

(Distance 1.5 km | 20 min)

© Heike Grunow

Uttewalder Grund Gorge

Fallen rock boulders got jammed between cliff sides at a particularly narrow passage of this wild and romantic valley. It used to be a popular “test of courage” among hikers to pass this gate of rocks without showing fear or feeling uneasy. Caspar David Friedrich once spent several days in this rocky gorge all alone to take in its gloomy romantic mood.

© Sebastian Thiel

Teufelsgrund (Devil’s Gorge) near Wehlen

Between Uttewalder Grund Valley and the town of Wehlen, a path is marked on the right side in the direction of the Teufelsgrund (Devil’s Gorge). This detour turns out to be an adventure when you have to duck through the dark Heringshöhle Rock Cave and climb through a space enclosed by rock walls called Teufelskammer (Devil’s Chamber). It’s great fun especially for kids.

(Distance: 1.3 km | 30 min)

© Yvonne Brückner

Wehlen Town and Wilke View Point

Wehlen Town, a lovely small place at the Elbe River with its market square, the cyclists’ church, a neat little botanical garden and the local history museum is the final destination of the Malerweg Trail’s first stage. Some contemporary artists have their studios in Wehlen Town. For an impressive view down to the Elbe River, a little excursion to the view point called “Wilkeaussicht” can be recommended.

(Distance 1 km/15 min)

© Yvonne Brückner

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