Station 1: Alte Wiesenburger Landstraße
The starting point of the 5.9 km long trail, created in 2001/2002, is the path between the Kirchberg district hospital and the Burkersdorf waterworks, a district of the town of Kirchberg in the southern part of the Zwickau region. The nature trail begins at the Alte Wiesenburger Landstraße.
When you arrive at station 1, the trail leads you to the first display board with directions for the nature and mining nature trail. In this area you have a charming view over the foothills of the Ore Mountains with the city of Zwickau, its St. Mary's Church, the districts of Marienthal and Eckersbach, and the Volkswagen factory Mosel. If the view is good, you can see as far as Thuringia and Leipzig. The Kuhberg near Stützengrün and the neighbouring mountains of the Vogtland round off the panorama.
Station 2: Beautiful view with a view of the Silver Road and Weißbach
After about 1 km, a seating area at the edge of the forest invites you to take a break. You have a view of the Silver Road below and the village of Weißbach in the valley with its beautiful half-timbered houses and the Salvator Church from 1515, which was rebuilt in 1693 in Baroque style. The forested mountains of the Ore Mountains stretch out to the horizon. A display board informs you about the Silver Road between Schneeberg and Zwickau. In the immediate vicinity of the seating area, above in the forest, is a former mining site from the 13th - 20th centuries.
Station 3: Hikers' rest area, nature conservation station and "Engländerstolln" (English mine)
Between 1943 and 1945, 20 English and later South African prisoners of war, under the supervision of German miners, excavated a search tunnel here to extract ore containing tungstenite. In 1991, the mouth hole was sealed with a 6-metre-thick concrete seal by the Freiberg Mining Authority. In 2001, the Kirchberg Friends of Nature and Local History bought the overgrown slag heap area from the Treuhand and began to transform it into a mine site according to tradition. In 2002, the nature trail was publicly inaugurated and the Kirchberg mining fraternity was founded with the consecration of the flag. On 1 January 2003, the fraternity joined the Saxon State Association of Miners', Ironworkers' and Squires' Associations and has taken part in the mining parades ever since.
The opening and excavation of the "Engländerstollen" in 2003 was the prerequisite for finding access to the old "Martin-Römer-Stolln" from the 13th/14th century. Since then, our mining brothers have been trying to excavate it step by step.
The association's "Zechenplatz" site, which is located on the nature and mining trail, has an area of 6,490 m². Various biotopes exist here
the "Engländerstolln" as a typical winter roost for bats (greater mouse-eared and brown long-eared bat, pug bat, water bat), amphibians, insects and reptiles the part of the forest with mixed forest character the old mining dumpHabitat for many bird species (wren, tit species, woodpeckers, warblers, etc.), insects, small mammals and rare plant species.Furthermore, various models for nesting boxes, insect hotels and display boards were set up as visual aids for schoolchildren and visitors.The entire core centre in the area of the "High Forest" is integrated into our work during guided tours as a concatenation of natural cycles, forest management, nature conservation, in its biological diversity.
Station 4: Pingenfeld of the "Martin-Römer-Stolln
After a tour of the adit, walk back past Station 2 and take the half-left path past the "Wolfsschacht", past our new weather shaft coop built in 2016. This is the beginning of the old "Martin-Römer-Stolln". Before we enter the walled mining area - a display board also informs us about the history - the path leads (excellently) uphill to the next station.
Station 5: Centre of the desolate mountain town of Fürstenberg.
Here we find relics of the old medieval tower hill castle, which was surrounded by a rampart and moat and has a cistern about 2.80 m deep. The site is one of the largest in the district. There is another information board on the rampart.
A few metres further on, we can then enter the former mining centre.
The entire mining area, covering about 10,000 m², has numerous pits and with a well-trained eye one can also see where pit houses once stood. The desolate mining town of Vurstenberg or Fürstenberg naturally had a much larger radius. The pottery found in the ground can be assigned to the period from the 13th to the 18th century.
After leaving the mining area, we come to the Reitsteig (salt trail), which leads in the direction of the salt road and ultimately forms the connection between the nature and mining trail "Zum Hohen Forst" and the Schneeberg-Neustädt mining trail.
Along the Reitsteig, where the former "industrial plants" can be assumed on the basis of the slag finds, our tour leads right at about 566 m NN in the direction of "Kleiner Hirschenstein", an impressive rock massif.
Station 6: At the "Kleiner Hirschenstein
An old beech tree, its mighty roots clinging to the rock, and the silence interrupted by the soft rustling of the leaves, radiate a breath of times long past. It is said to have been a sacred grove, or so our ancestors rumour. From a geological point of view, this is the boundary of the Kirchberg granite massif, shown on a display board. The ancient tree disappeared a few years ago, a new one is growing up.
Via a forest aisle, the hiker descends to a forest path, the "Kleiner Flügel", which we follow to the Wiesenburger Landstraße junction. To the right and left of the path there are again witnesses of the old mining industry.
Station 7: "The Pike Holes" and the "Martin-Römer-Stoll" (Martin Roman Gallery)
After crossing the Alte Wiesenburger Landstraße, you come to two large pits of the "Martin-Römer-Tiefen-Erbstolln", which are popularly known as "Hechtlöcher" (pike holes).
A display board informs about the second mastering of the mine in the years 1795 to 1820 and commemorates Martin Römer, the successful mining entrepreneur and governor of Zwickau.
After walking back to the Alte Wiesenburger Landstraße, it is possible to return to the starting point of the hike. However, it is recommended to continue the walk.
Station 8: "Great forest meadow
Visitors reach the Great Forest Meadow via an old sunken path. The name Große Forstwiese is mentioned in old maps and contemporary documents. It is a natural, extensively used meadow with a rich variety of flora and fauna. A display board provides information about mining and ore processing in the upper Rödel valley and introduces the hiker to old mining galleries in the village of Hartmannsdorf. The last station is on the Gerichtsweg at the Gerichtseiche (court oak).
Station 9: "Courthouse oak
For centuries, most of the villages in the Rödel valley belonged to the lordship of Wiesenburg, whose seat of power or administration was Wiesenburg Castle. Jurisdiction was exercised by the owners of the manor. Anyone who was called to court from Hartmannsdorf to Wiesenburg used the shortest connection between these two places, the Gerichtsweg. A display board describes the inner-city mining industry and the hammer works in the old Kirchberg. The presentation of the mining gallery "Am Graben", which was opened to the public as a visitor mine in 2001 by the Kirchberg Friends of Nature and Local History, has created another opportunity to familiarise oneself with the region's mining and its history. In 2012, the "Alt-Kirchberg" museum, located directly on the town's Altmarkt, was opened. The listed building houses exhibition rooms on the history of the town of Kirchberg and provides information on our nature conservation work.
From the court oak, our nature trail finally leads back to the starting point of the hike to the car park, to Station 1.