The Region for Friends of Hiking
Since the dark prison times at the Leuchtenburg have finally ended and the castle has been opened up for tourists in 1871, it became a beloved hiking destination for old and young. Especially in the 1920s, when a youth hostel was opened in the gate house, a hiking and youth movement beyond competition around the "queen of the Saale valley" developed - and not without reason. From the 438 m high castle keep all friends of nature have a great round view into the Saale valley, to the Schiefergebirge, the Thüringer Wald, to the Kickelhahn and to the Great Inselsberg, on clear days even to the Kyffhäuser in the Harz.
The warmth-storing southern slopes made of limestone generate a beneficial climate in the deeply gashed Saale valley. Many plants that usually prefer a milder climate can also be found here. The blue moor grass and the dwarf sedge already bloom in February and March. Soon afterwards the anemone with its violet bell-shaped blossoms also appears and the liverleaves form a light blue flower carpet. The snowdrop anemone blooms in April. The Dohlenstein mountain and parts of the Pfaffenberg mountain have been declared as nature reserve because of their calcereous grasslands and their orchids, and the central Saale valley has been declared as landscape conservation area.
Presently, one can find 38 orchid-types in the region around Jena. Out of these, 15 types grow in the area around the Leuchtenburg. The Lichtenberg mountain, on top of which the Leuchtenburg is located, is one of three distinctive shell limestone mountains, besides the Dohlenstein and Pfaffenberg, that rise from the bunter sandstone landscape which surrounds them.
Discover this special landscape by shank's mare!
Just a few kilometres away from the Leuchtenburg, more historical treasures await the hiker like the hunting lodge "Fröhliche Wiederkunft" in Wolfersdorf that was built in 1550, the hunting lodge Hummelshain in grand neo-renaissance style as well as the ducal hunting facility Rieseneck with underground deer-stalkings.