The weather forecast was cold with a chance for freezing rain, sleet, or snow but later in the day. What a great opportunity to get out before the bad weather set in.
Jules hadn’t been able to join the kids and I on the last couple of castle hikes but even with the downbeat weather she was excited to get out and explore our backyard. One of the permissible things allowed under Deutschland’s COVID lockdown–outdoor exercise.
Burgruine Sengersberg was our third castle stop of the afternoon and I was hoping to visit one additional castle ruin before hitting up our favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Nittenau. Turns out, this would be our final pitstop before picking up dinner due to the weather.
As mentioned previously, there seems to be no ideal place to park on the approach to German castle ruins and these were no different. Compounding the difficulty was the fact that we approached the ruins on a winding hill. Not ideal for pulling over and parking. We settled on parking on a corner of a seemingly deserted intersection.
This walk was unique among castle ruin hikes here in Deutschland in that it started in a field sloping uphill. Generally speaking, you will find these 800 year old ruins deep in the woods where nature has reclaimed not just the site of the castle but the surrounding acreage as well. By the year 1569, written records show this site had been abandoned.
After a short walk we entered the customary forest where we soon turned right, following the signs to the Burgruine.
After visiting over 20 castle ruins you start to get a sense of what to expect when visiting one. Much of this visit was very different than the others. Even this path through the woods with it’s brightly colored moss covering the rocks seemed out of place when compared to other hikes we had done.
The rain that had sprinkled from time to time over the first two castle visits of the day rejoined us as we made our trek to the top of the hill.
The remains of Burgruine Sengersberg are minimal. Most noteworthy is a section of wall that resembles a face. While trying to take just the right picture of the wall, Hunter (12), Eva (9), and Acadia (8) managed to scatter across the landscape.
By the time I caught up to the children and Jules they had begun an ascent on a towering rock formation situated among the ruins. How these rocks were integrated into this castle from the year 1269 will cause your mind to imagine the possibilities. They seem more like something a Native American tribe may have incorporated into their home or a ritual space than part of a former Deutsche castle.
Now this is where the fun began and why this castle hike is truly unique among it’s peers in the area. The climb began innocently enough with stone steps but soon disappeared. Then you climb over roots and rock to go higher and higher. On your side is a chain link, first to be used to steady yourself as you climb the stairs but then to ensure you don’t fall over the side where at the very least you would break a few bones.
What made our visit even more adventurous is that as soon as we reached the top of the stairs and began the final 10 meters to the summit, freezing rain began to fall. Almost immediately the branches of trees and bushes began to form white outlines as they became coated in ice. Seeing the weather turn for the worst, we paused a moment under the large cross that was present and then escorted our three children off the rock tower one at a time.
The freezing rain had started to coat the ground of the castle ruins by the time we were down the stone stairs however once we descended perhaps 50 feet in elevation on our way back to the car, the precipitation turned over to all rain.
At that point we scrapped plans for the fourth castle hike and headed to Alavu in Nittenau for takeout Vietnamese and then home.
If you plan on doing this hike, it is convenient to combine with visits to Burgruine Brennberg and Burgruine Siegenstein
This hike is rated moderate (due to the ascent to the top of the rock formation)
The pathway is open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Total Walking Time Including Photo Time At Top: 42 minutes
Total Walking Distance: 1.28 miles
Total Incline: 228 feet
Strollers: Not recommended
Drive Time from Hohenfels: 58 minutes
Drive Time from Parsberg: 62 minutes