Path of encounter

Path of encounter

The newly designed path in the Brunstal valley encourages an encounter with the forest "at eye level": sensually, emotionally, artistically and intellectually.

Visitors with and without disabilities are invited to set out on the path, to open up, to silence all thoughts of everyday life, of the past and the future, and to linger at the 14 different stations.

The Path of Encounter is one of a total of four "Thuringian Primeval Forest Trails" in the Hainich National Park, a project of WWF Germany. Selected hiking trails throughout Thuringia have been awarded this title. The aim of the Thuringian primeval forest trails is to promote acceptance and ecological understanding of forests that are not used for forestry through experiencing them. The creation of the Thuringian primeval forest trails is also intended to support nature-friendly regional development and generate additional added value in tourism.

Maple leaf

3.2 km

Starting point
Hiking parking lot "Fuchsfarm", two kilometers southwest of Mülverstedt

Brotzeit Fuchsfarm
Trift Chaussee
99947 Mülverstedt

Difficulty level


Come to the path of encounter ...

What does that mean?

Only in the encounter, only in the counterpart, does man come to himself, does he participate in life. Being human only functions as being a fellow human being, being a being only as being a fellow being. This is why the philosopher Martin Buber says: "All real life is encounter." Buber is not only referring to encounters between people, but also between people and animals and people and plants - and even between people and things. And he means an equal encounter, an encounter at eye level.

There are many stumbling blocks on the way to this encounter, and cemented views prevent us from moving forward. The stations on the trail aim to draw attention to some of these and at the same time provide possible "climbing aids" for overcoming entrenched obstacles.

Each station has its own theme, opens up a specific space, is an encouragement to make your own experiences with the path.

What you have experienced yourself, what you have thought about yourself, is what you can best convey. "Don't be afraid of your own depths", as the well station may call out to you.

Each station wants to address you with its own meaning. Here is a brief insight:

  • Entrance area - getting involved with the new and unknown.
  • Hourglass - taking time, being able to surrender to a different rhythm.
  • Inhabitants of the forest - look, don't ignore others, recognize them and take them seriously.
  • At eye level with the forest floor - change your perspective, look at things from a different angle.
  • The artistic gaze - transforming entrusted standpoints and points of view.
  • Palisade - not being put off by adversity and turmoil...
  • ... because, on closer inspection ...
  • ... you realize that it is possible to get through.
  • Tree root - to network fruitfully with the whole. Connecting and being connected, in relationship.
  • Look up to heaven - be humble, not complacent, arrogance does not allow for eye level and arrogance undermines genuine encounters. Accept the limitations of your own gaze.
  • In a jam - not getting lost and being able to turn back.
  • Three hiking trails use this path through a former orchard meadow.
  • At the well - not shying away from the depths either within yourself or in others.
  • Farewell - say goodbye, it's back to everyday life.

Notes on accessibility

  • The "Fuchsfarm" hiking parking lot has three designated disabled parking spaces
  • the signs for the individual stations are not legible for the blind and visually impaired, but can be downloaded here
  • a barrier-free toilet (dry and separate toilet) is located at the first fork in the path
  • a barrier-free picnic area (wheelchair accessible) is located at the second fork in the path
  • the "Am Verhau" station with its spur path is not suitable for wheelchair users


More information about the hiking trail can be found in the leaflet.