Information board Saaleradweg 5
In the further Saale valley, meadows, fields and woodland alternate, the banks slowly rise, and the tree-covered and rocky ridges determine the winding course of the river. Jean Paul still accompanies you through his adolescent home: This section is lined with text boards with quotations from the poet's works. You are now on the 150km long Jean Paul hiking trail.
There are connections from here to the German-German Museum on the 'Green Belt' with its border fortifications, which divided the village of Mödlareuth into a Thuringian and a Bavarian half before the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Joditz, the next destination, is an idyllically situated village with a beautifully decorated centre. Here, the Johanneskirche - also a Jean-Paul site - is well worth a visit. Close to the village in a loop of the river Saale is the Auensee with rest and bathing facilities and serving as a starting point for hikes ino the untouched natural landscape of the Saale valley. The course of the river winds its way through increasingly narrow, incised, and wooded valleys. The cycle route cannot follow the river Saale as close as before and has to take its course over more hilly areas. The Thuringian town of Hirschberg lies on the path and only a short distance from the bridge over the Saale River is the Museum of Stadtgeschichte und Gerberei. High up on the bridge over the A 9 motorway near Rudolphstein, the view extends down towards Thuringia and westwards down the Saale valley towards Blankenstein - the tall chimney of the local paper factory is clearly visible. Here the cyclists leave the Bavarian Vogtland behind and take their way into the Franconian Forest Nature Reserve. After the town of Eisenbühl with its colourful iron sculpture garden, the cyclists again reach the Saale valley, with a wide view of Blankenstein in Thuringia, and continue along the Saale.
Close to the confluence of the Selbitz and Saale rivers, the Selbitzsteg marks the transition of the Saale cycle path from Untereichenstein in Bavaria to Blankenstein in Thuringia. Here at the hub of hiking, where the Rennsteig ends as Germany's longest high-level hiking trail, the two certified hiking routes "Frankenweg" and "Fränkischer Gebirgsweg" begin, and you will also come across the Euregio-Egrensis cycle path and some of the district's theme cycle routes, which lead into the nearby Höllental valley - a very original valley deeply cut by the Selbitz river and a special nature experience - as well as via the town of Lichtenberg with its picturesque marketplace ensemble and renovated castle complex with keep, on to the nearby health and wellness centre of Bad Steben.
From the beginning of the Saale cycle path in the northern Fichtelgebirge mountains to the Bavarian Vogtland and the eastern Franconian Forest, the Hof region presents itself with a wealth of natural and cultural-historical sights, varied landscapes, tourist highlights and Bavarian-Franconian hospitality.
See you again in the Hof region!