Saugraben Walking Path

The Saugraben hiking trail

Wild boar like to burrow in the ditch or in other damp hollows along the path. But don't worry, wild boars are shy and nocturnal - so hikers need not fear an encounter with wild boar.

The trail can be hiked from the parking lots "Am Zollgarten" and "Fuchsfarm" in about 3 hours. Sturdy footwear is recommended, as wet or somewhat muddy areas can occur in some places after wet weather.

Wild boar

10 km

Starting point
The hike can be started from the parking lot "Am Zollgarten" near Kammerforst or from the parking lot "Fuchsfarm".

Trift Chaussee
99947 Mülverstedt

Difficulty level
medium, there are a few meters of altitude to overcome and it can get quite muddy


Beginning "Am Zollgarten"
The name "Am Zollgarten" is a reference to the former customs house on the Sauberg (392 m above sea level).

Succession in the Hainich means development into mixed deciduous forest.After the end of military use and sheep grazing, succession can now be observed on the former shooting ranges, from the dense, felty grass stage with thistles, teasel, chicory and St. John's wort along the edge of the path to the gradually denser scrub stage of sloes and roses to the young ash forest, in which individual beech trees are already growing.The hiker moves along above the Saugraben until the path leads to the left through young ash forest over the Triftchaussee into a structurally rich mixed deciduous forest.

World Heritage Site
The forest here is old, unspoiled and rich in structure. It is clear that this is a World Heritage Site. The path now meanders past standing and lying deadwood into the Brunstal valley. Deadwood provides space for new life. Dead trees or trees knocked over by storms are part of natural forest development; they remain in the forest and are left to decompose over decades. Deadwood is the basis of existence for around 520 species of wood-dwelling beetles and 1,650 species of fungi. Woodpeckers also look for food here and build breeding cavities, which are later used by tawny owls and bats.

In spring, the Bruns Valley is lined with thousands of spring snowflakes. In places, the water has dug over 3 m deep into the valley floor after heavy rainfall and melting snow. In addition to beech trees, ash and maple trees also grow here. The next section of the trail requires particular care and attention, as the rare wildcat has various hiding places and resting areas in the valley. Please stay on the hiking trail!

On the trail of the wildcat
The wildcat, the shy predator of the Hainich, lives a very secluded and hidden life. It usually sleeps during the day and hunts at night. In appearance, it resembles a wild-colored domestic cat, only it looks somewhat stronger and has a dark curled tail with a blunt, black end. In many regions of Germany, the wildcat is extinct or threatened with extinction; it is therefore important to treat its habitats with particular responsibility.
Once you reach Triftchaussee, turn right and you will reach the site of the former fox farm.

At the small crossroads next to the orchard meadow, the Saugraben hiking trail branches off to the left to the "Am Zollgarten" parking lot or continues straight on to the "Fuchsfarm" parking lot, where a break with homemade cake and a hearty snack awaits at the "Brotzeit Fuchsfarm".

Orchard meadows
The orchard meadow is worth seeing at any time of year. Enchanted by thousands of blossoms in spring, the fruit ripens in summer and fall and in winter the gnarled trees stand bare and frozen. The old fruit trees are also an important habitat for a variety of animals.

From the "Fuchsfarm" parking lot, you cross a meadow orchard and turn right at the crossroads. The trail leads into the forest via the Triftchaussee, past an alder quarry to the Hünenteich pond. From here, the trail climbs up to the ramparts of the Hünenburg, a former mining site, past the Kellerloch, and the hiker leaves the forest again. The village of Graurode was once located here.

The deserted village of Graurode
There are around 40 abandoned settlements around the Hainich. Most of them, including Graurode or Gravenode, were founded in the 10th/11th century and had already become deserted by the middle of the 14th century at the latest. Plague epidemics and economic reasons due to infertile soil and a lack of water were the main reasons for the desolation.

UBiS and WiKaKiWa
Today, the UBiS environmental education station is located here, where children of all ages can explore nature. Just behind it, the wildcat children's forest invites them to play.

You return to the "Am Zollgarten" parking lot via succession areas, where the circular trail ends.