Your hike begins at Scharfenstein train station. Rambling through the romantic Zschopautal valley, walk upstream to Hopfgarten, up to the Kellerlochfelsen and follow the Alpinsteig trail down to Flossplatz. After crossing the Zschopau river, the Erzgebirgsbahn Railway and the B101, the route continues uphill along Holzstrasse to Drebach. The route passes the Zeiss Planetarium with the Planetenwanderweg (Planet Trail) and a geological history trail, and later the Grosser Teich (a pond). On excursions to the Steinberg and the Heideberg ‒ where you can enjoy a rest and a view of Augustusburg Castle and Scharfenstein Castle ‒ you can enjoy the sweeping views up to the Erzgebirgskamm ridge. The path continues to the “Affenstein” viewpoint, with scenic views over the Zschopautal valley. Cross under the Erzgebirgsbahn Railway, then cross a bridge over the Zschopau and continue further upriver. Following the Zschopautal hiking trail, go past Scharfenstein Castle and return to where you started.
From the station building in Scharfenstein, keep right (upstream) along Hauptstrasse. Before the level crossing, turn towards Grossolbersdorf (marked in red and green). After about one hundred metres, opposite the former restaurant and guest house “Siebers Erben”, follow the Zschopautal hiking trail, which is marked in red. This runs parallel to the Zschopautal railway to Hopfgarten along the entire route. On the way you will cross the Grossolbersdorfer Bach (stream), which is flanked by a nature discovery trail.
In Hopfgarten, you’ll come to Grünauer Strasse, which you follow downhill to the right. Cross over the railway tracks and turn left into Uferstrasse before the bridge over the Zschopau. At this point, you will leave the red markers behind.
After a few hundred metres, you will cross under the railway line at a rest spot with a children’s playground. Then follow the yellow markers uphill towards Warmbad. The hiking trail, which on this section runs along the Zschopautal cycle path, splits into two parallel sections shortly after the signpost. These sections will meet again after a few metres. Following the river valley, you will pass the Kellerlochfelsen viewpoint after a few kilometres; there is a great view of the valley to be had here.
A few hundred metres after this point, you will come to a junction with a signpost. Turn right, following the yellow markers towards Flossplatz. This section of the route, now called the Alpiner Steig, bears right again after a good 50 metres and follows the Königsbach stream towards the Zschopautal valley along a narrow path that is quite rough in some places. Along the way, you will come across the “Stolln am Brandbach” (an old tunnel), where there is an information board and a spring. Arriving at the Zschopau, walk upriver. Pass under the B101 bridge and turn right over the next bridge over the Zschopau, heading for the Warmbad stop on the Erzgebirgsbahn railway line.
Cross the tracks at the level crossing and follow the green markers right on the footpath along the main road. After about 100 m (before the bridge), cross the main road and turn towards Zschopau. Shortly after this, the green-marked hiking trail, which now runs along Holzstrasse, leaves the Zschopautal at a bus stop. It now runs uphill to the left in the direction of the arbour. After about one kilometre, Holzstrasse intersects with the Zschopautal hiking trail. Continue straight ahead on the green-marked trail towards the arbour, which soon comes into view at the edge of the forest. At this covered rest area with hikers’ car park, cross Wolkensteiner Strasse in the direction of Drebach Planetarium (green). After about one kilometre, turn right following the yellow markers, downhill towards Drebach. In the village, cross Hauptstrasse at the Gasthof Erbgericht guest house and follow the Strasse der Jugend towards “Sternwarte”/Planetarium, until you come to the sports field and the Krokusblüte sports restaurant. At this point, you can take a detour via Milchstrasse to the Volksternwarte Drebach (observatory). Our green-marked hiking trail now turns right, following a section of the Planetenwanderweg (Planet Trail) and the geological history trail through a new development. The path then turns left and leads you out of the village and into open country. After a short ascent we reach a crossroads at a small wood, where the model of the planet Neptune is located. Leave the Planetenwanderweg to the right, and follow Plattenstrasse until you reach Venusberg (marked in green). On the way you pass the Grosser Teich pond. Shortly before entering town, you can take a detour to the right, taking Badstrasse to the Venusberg outdoor pool (open in summer). Another detour on the left leads to the Steinberg (marker is a yellow circle). This is a great place to take the weight off your feet and take in the surrounding landscape.
Our green-marked route soon crosses Herolder Strasse. We follow the signs towards Waldhof through a business park, past the sports field to Gelenauer Strasse. Here we turn left. After about 150 m, we follow the road in the direction of Griessbach (marked in green) until we reach an old red beech tree with a bench and a signpost at a junction. Our now yellow-marked hiking trail leaves the main road here, leading us downhill to the Waldhof restaurant and guest house.
Turn right immediately after the guest house, taking a narrow hiking trail marked with a yellow circle. After a few metres, you will cross a small wooden bridge. The path then branches off sharply to the left up the slope. After a short while, you will come to a wide path, always following the same markers, which leads you along meadows and fields to Griessbach.
Enter Griessbach at the bus turning circle. After another 100 metres, you will reach a crossroads with signposts. Here, turn left and follow the yellow markers through open country towards Heideberg. There is a rewarding detour to the left. In addition to a mountain hut with benches, the spot affords a great view of the Ore Mountains and Scharfenstein Castle. Back on the main path, we follow the green markers into the forest until we reach the “Affenstein” viewpoint. See what the Zschopautal valley and Wilischthal train station look like from high up.
From the Affenstein, the path, now marked yellow, leads us down through the forest towards Wilischthal. Passing two houses on the edge of the forest, continue downhill on the path which is now asphalted. Cross under the railway bridge, and head uphill in a loop crossing over the Zschopau. At the end of the bridge, turn right onto a narrow path towards Scharfenstein (yellow markers). After a few hundred metres, this path will take you to Hauptstrasse, which you will have to cross. At this point, you will see the red-marked Zschopautal hiking trail, which runs parallel to Hauptstrasse alongside the Zschopau, heading towards Scharfenstein. Shortly before Scharfenstein, opposite the castle, the path leads us to the Brauerbach stream, which is home to a rare species of fire salamander. Keeping to the right, cross the stream, past an information panel and a small forest car park, and follow the red markers to Scharfenstein Castle, which is encircled by a nature trail. Past the castle access road, you will return to your starting point, walking downhill in the direction of Scharfenstein train station.