Quellenweg (Trail of the fountains)
The Quellenweg connects the sources of the four main rivers Saxon Saale, Eger, Fichtelnaab and Weißer Main. The four rivers leave the Fichtelgebirge in the four directions, the Saale to the north, the Eger to the east, the Fichtelnaab to the south and the White Main to the west.
Length: 52 km
Difficulty: depends on stages
Route: Münchberg – Saalequelle – Egerquelle – Weißmainquelle – Fichtelnaabquelle – Marktredwitz
Description of the Trail
We recommend dividing the Quellenweg into two daily stages:
Stage 1: Bahnhof Münchberg – Zell – Saalequelle – Egerquelle – Weißmainquelle – Fichtelnaabquelle – Neubau
Length: über 30 km
Route and altitude profile of this stage
We start at the station in Münchberg and leave the city in the direction of the forest. It goes on from the forest on country roads, which we do not like and also does not come close to our idea of hiking trails. Although the path leads through beautiful little villages (Mechlenreuth, Kleinlos and Großlosnitz), but always on paved road to Zell. After the swimming pool at the end of the village, turn left towards the Saalequelle.
The distance to here are a good 10 km, which you can actually save. Neither a source nor interesting waypoints on the way, which would really be worthwhile.
From here begins the actual Quellenweg. The route is varied, interesting and almost always runs in the forest on great forest trails.
The four springs themselves are perfect for resting and lingering and are ideal for kids to understand the emergence of rivers.
Stage 2: Neubau – Fichtelsee – Nagler See – Hans König Brunnen – Reichenbach – Luisenburg – Alexandersbad – Marktredwitz
Lenght: about 24 km
Route and altitude profile of this stage 2
For me, this section of the source path is unclear from the outset with regard to its designation and routing. Over 20 km of track without any other source directly on the way, but we also want to move this section to make us a “picture” of the way.
We start at the end point of Part 1 at the Fichtelsee parking lot. It goes down to the Fichtelsee and from there into the forest.
However, almost exclusively on wide forest roads, which does not really increase our motivation.
Little variety in the route or interesting stations on the way.
Notable exceptions are three anthill, the Nagler lake, the Hans-König-Brunnen and some views such as the Hohe Matze, Kösseine and Luisenburg. These are also happening on the mountain trail.
But about two-thirds of the way on these wide forest roads. In addition there are paved roads to Reichenbach and Marktredwitz. Only very few sections are real hiking trails, which are interesting for us.
Assessment of the Quellenweg
The Quellenweg offers on its way the sources of the four main rivers Saxon Saale, Eger, Fichtelnaab and White Main, which leave the Fichtelgebirge in the four cardinal points.
These are located on a distance of less than 20 km and this is interesting, varied and with real highlights on the way. In addition, you have all four sources on his tour.
Why “extend” the Quellenweg over 30 more kilometers is unclear. One explanation could be the stations at the start and end points in Münchberg and Marktredwitz, but to build 10 km as a “feeder route” and over 20 kilometers as a further route, I find personally not good.
The 52 kilometers of total distance are too much for a day trip.
In addition, both other sources on the way, as well as really interesting sections, missing a few highlights. These do not apologize for the other sections of the route or make the remaining kilometers of hiking particularly recommendable.
Recommendation for the Quellenweg in the Fichtel Mountains
Hike the actual Quellenweg with the four sources.
Starting point: Wanderparkplatz on the outskirts of Zell
Distance: about 20 km