Hiking along the Jungle Trail

Posted on 30 Juni 2015


Jungle track would be the English name of the trail we hiked some weeks ago. The German name is Urwaldsteig. It is a local trail only a few kilometers from me away and it was time for some hiking after the stressful renovation of my new house. Willi, a good friend, came with my on this hike. We had a full weekend for the 68 kilometers and 3400m altitude. Plan was only to pick up the most important things for that trip, because we only used really small packs. So we started late in the afternoon on Friday. The sun was shining and it was really hot and we decided to start the trail counterclockwise at the National Park Centre near Ederbringhausen, because the first 30 kilometres would bring us through this green jungle and we were protected from the trees against the sun.

The Urwaldsteig is an unspoiled natural trail along the Edersee in the mingle of the Kellerwald National Park. OK you can say 40 kilometers are real jungle and the rest are boring gravel roads or trails through villages or along streets. Everywhere you can find fallen trees which form new habitat for animals and plants. on several points the trail brings you along the lake and you have a beautiful view.

We found a superb campsite a bit away from the trail that nobody could see us and we decided not to pitch our tarps on that sunny day, because the forecast for the night should be dry without any rain. Another reason for this campsite was the water supply. In the last weeks it was really hot so all streams had less water and it was really hard to get enough for drinking and cooking. In that valley we camped there was a small stream so we had everything we needed.

 

Looking for the right place unter the trees and camp like a cowboy with an excellent view in that green valley. Roe deers came across our camp during the evening to pick some food from these green meadows.

Normally I using nothing to sterilize my water, but on trips in areas which cows meadows it is the safest way.

After a delicious dinner and some smalltalk we went to bed. The mosquitos were annoying and the bivy was the best protection against these small bloodthirsty monsters. During the night I woke up because the trees began to rustle, but I could not see anything so I thought it was the wind. About an hour later it got more and more and meanwhile I had some raindrops an my bivy. Suddenly we had a heavy cloudburst. While nobody of us had an waterproof bivy we put everything in our packs and ran to a bothy some hundred meters away.

There we were protected from the rain and could dry our gear a bit before we decided to follow the trail on that rainy morning. After a while everything had come dry and we started our journey. The rain stopped after half an hour and mist in the forest came up.

   

Sun came out very quick and we could store our rain jackets in the packs. The lightweight Rohan Ether pants and shirt were a good decision for that hike, because it protects you against the sun and dries really quick when it is wet.

The rain lured out an fire salamander which crossed our way. On that day we saw three of them within 600 metres.

Along the trail you can find a lot of these squiggly oaks and a big variety of flowers. On some parts of the trail there are over 600 different plants. The trail is very diversified and it goes steadily up and down.

Around midday we reached the dam of the Edersee and made our first longer break. It was getting warmer and warmer and I felt a slight pain in my feet, because I did not train too much to walk longer sections in my Luna Sandals. The trail from Hemfurth, where you cross the road, to Waldeck is not really interesting, because you are walking next to the road and there is a lot of noise from cars and motorcycles. By the way you can say that the trail from Waldeck to Herzhausen is not really interesting. There is only one significant section which is called “Knorreichensteig”. There you can find hundreds of squiggly oak trees and you have a beautiful views on the lake, but this section is only 15km long. The rest is really boring, because you are walking and gravel roads and on some parts a long the street.

It was my second longer trip with Luna Sandals and my feet have suffered badly because of changing conditions between wet and dry and while I was not really trained. Another shortcoming is that you get lots of mosquito bites in the evening while your feet are not protected.

But so what. I am happy that I made this hike in Lunas. It was a perfect training for my legs and the aching was one day after the trip away and I only had to small baby blisters.

 

Fresh green gras. This is one of the rarer once and is protected, because it is on the red list.

 

Typicial oaks along the steep slopes of the “Knorreichensteig” a part of the Urwaldsteig.

The blue sign is for our trail and the others for the trails which run parallel.

Although we had decided to use the tarps during the night, we preferred to camp like a cowboy as in the night before even if there would be the risk to get again a shower in the night. The mosquitos at this campsite were terrible and after dinner we went into the bivy bags to protect ourselves against these monsters. Sleeping on my new Therm-A-Rest NeoAir X-Lite was a dream and little luxuries that I have allowed myself, because I am getting older and wanna sleep well and do not wanna wake up in the morning with backache because of too short or thin mat. The new lightweight Cumulus Ultralight Bivy is also a fantastic piece of gear which I wanna introduce you in a separate article. He could not prevent me against the heavy cloudburst, but against mosquitos or other insects which are around you when you go cowboy camping the bivy is perfect.

The pack was packed during the night and the tarp and two sticks were on hand in case of heavy rain during the night.

Warm enough for summer trips and a perfect combination with my Montane Fireball Smock. The Footbag Walden 150 from Arklight. My one is and older models with a thicker outershell.

 

At least I can say this trip was really cool and for the future it is on my plan to explore more longer trails in my neighborhood instead of traveling to other trails. Stay local. If there are question about my equipment, please leave a comment and ask. And here are few photo from Willi.


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