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near Burgau, Nordrhein-Westfalen (Deutschland)
The Steling (or Stehling) is the highest point in the Aachen district and a desirable destination on its own. The Steling sits on the edge of the Hohe Venn (a moorland), near the village of Mützenich. It is difficult to say which is the more attractive hiking destination: the Steling or the Rur Valley with the pretty town of Monschau and its pubs. Monschau has very many hiking routes and we hope to have added one more particularly worthwhile trip.
Compared to typical Eifel hikes, the elevation gains from the Rur Valley to the Steling are considerable – 270 meters. Together with the usual up-and-down of trails in this area, there is a total of 430 meters that the hiker has to manage both in ascent and descent.
We start at about the midpoint of the ascent, near the public pool of Monschau. This allows a comfortable ascent to the Steling, a long downhill walk to Monschau with an opportunity for a lengthy rest, before returning energized along the Monschau castle back to the starting point.
In Mützenich we got way-laid by the Thanksgiving Parade of the local farming community. This is a fascinating spectacle, and one ought to reserve the first Sunday in October for a visit.
The summit of the Steling is not particularly remarkable. But there are good views to be had in its vicinity. There is also Kaiser Karl’s Bettstatt (literally: Emperor Karl’s bed – a place where Charles the Great was said to have spent the night, around 800 AD). The trail to Monschau continues on peaceful paths but takes an unusual entry to Monschau through the Laufenbach Valley and the Haller – an old fortification with great views over the stone clad roofs of Monschau.
Take your time for a good rest in Monschau, to collect energy for the final ascent first to the Monschau Castle with great views and back to where you left the car.
This is a loop that can be started at any other point.