Our contributor Steffen Scholz likes to be on his way in his closer homeland, on foot, on skis or by bike – both in summer and in winter. At this point he introduces the Erz Mountains as a rewarding terrain for mountain bikers.

Why the Erz Mountains? Because it is just a 40 minutes ride by car from my hometown Dresden. The Erz Mountains stretch on a length of 150 kilometers with a width of 40 kilometers between the Elbsandstein Mountains in the east and the Vogtland in the west and constitutes the natural border to the Czech Republic.

The Erz Mountains as a long-standing tourism region

Its touristic development started around 1870 and only 34 years later the Kammerweg opened as one of the first German long-distance trails. The Fichtelberg-Schwebebahn came into operation in 1924 and is the very first cableway in Germany. There are around 5000 kilometers of marked hiking trails in this area.

For fans of mountain biking the Erz region is a hot spot since the nineties: in 1993 the first official mountain bike-competition took place as the “Erzgebirgs-Bike-Marathon“and since 2001 there is the Stoneman Mirquidi Bike Trail: a signposted trail with approximately 200 kilometers and an altitude of 4400 meters.

In Rabenber near Breitenbrunn you can visit Germany’s first Singletrail park: on 800 hectares you can follow 50 kilometers of well marked paths.

Cycling through a varied landscape

In the Erz Mountains there is a dense route network at altitudes between 400 and 900 meters. Since this area has been developed as a hiking region for a long time, all the paths and trails are well marked and you can find a lot of cozy accommodations in the idyllic villages. The landscape is characterized by hills and agriculture but there are also forests in all their facets.

Bikers can choose whether to push themselves and go to their limits or to have an enjoyable break at one of the many guesthouses. From demanding biking-tours to touristic cycling – the area of the Erz Mountains serves everyone.

With friendliness and on the basis of mutual respect bikers and hikers are on good terms.

My little tour recommendation

For me it is important that the tour is varied and offers some highlights. The fare on the way should happen in a pub or a cafe and there should be a comfortable way back to the car.

The tour starts at a parking area for hikers in the Valley of Pöbel and leads over a ridge above the village of Seyde. You walk along the hillside to an old bridge that guides over the wild Weißeritz near the Zinn Road. From there you traverse the valley and cycle constantly slightly uphill on a forest trail to Neuhermsdorf. Alongside an old rail line the path directs to Neurehefeld and a little Checkpoint. You can either cross it or go for the longer downhill event and follow the border to Rehefeld.

From Rehefeld you take your bike in the direction of Kahleberg, where you can enjoy an impressive 360 degree view and also gastronomic accommodation. At that point you have to decide whether to close the round and go back to the car or to extent via Geisingberg.

I choose to go back – westerly downhill in the direction of Rehefeld. Turning toward the Valley of Pöbel and on a broad forest trail back to the car – with maximum speed. If you have too much swing you can use a little counter slope near the parking area.

Distance: 25 kilometers, covered meters in altitude: 480. The duration naturally depends on the individual stamina – it took me barely two hours.

Finally a last tip: to check everything before the tour is a standard procedure for experienced bikers.