When I completed Müllerthal Trail Route 1 a few weeks ago, I felt joy and fulfilment. Yet at the same time, I was a bit underwhelmed due to the high expectations. I chose to start with Route 1 probably due to some underlying obsessive-compulsive urge to do the routes sequentially. In retrospect, whoever decided on the numbering of the three Müllerthal Trail routes probably made a strategic decision that the eastern most route needed a visitor boost. It seems quite plausible to me that the only people that do Route 1 are either (a) locals, (b) locals, or (c) people who insist on starting with Route 1. By itself, it is debatable that Route 1 is worth six hours of driving and the cost of a hotel. However, because it’s completion means Route 2 is now fair game to the borderline OCD in me, the worth is unquantifiable. After completing Route 2 over the past couple days, even without researching Route 3, there is no doubt in my mind which one is the superstar of the three. Route 2 is the Beyonce of Destiny’s Child, the Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees, the Sting of The Police. In other words, it’s the falsetto singing song-writing genius with great… dance moves.
If you follow the official route, it is about 37km. Often there are parallel paths depending on your preference for the high road or the low road and plenty of trails branching off to do further exploration. The trail frequently intersects with roads where there is ample parking for tackling smaller sections of the trail at a time. The main home-bases seem to be Berdorf (The Trail Inn is a popular hotel) and Echternach. The trail’s namesake village, Müllerthal, is a small but good option. Müllerthal is essentially a couple hotel restaurants and a campground. Berdorf and Müllerthal lie directly on the route. Echternach is close by but would add a short drive or an extra kilometer or two to the hike between the trail and your hotel.
I decided to stay in Müllerthal. More OCD perhaps? There must be a good reason they named the trails after it. I intended to do the entire route in two days, one night, so I found a small parking area on CR118 between Scheidgen and Lauterborn which put Müllerthal almost exactly half way around.
With the exception of a couple occasions crossing cornfields, Route 2, is almost exclusively contained under the canopy of a forest.
Impressive rock formations of sandstone and dolomite dominate this trail. Just when you think you’ve seen the best there is to offer, another amazing section appears. This area used to be the bottom of a sea and when that disappeared, the rivers which formed created the valleys and exposed rock along which the trail follows.
There are several places where the trail passes thru fissures in the rocks. One location, Deiwepetz, requires a flashlight for a short distance.
There are a lot of hikers on this trail, especially compared to Route 1. The busiest section is probably between Echternach and Berdorf. I lost count at one point, but I would say each day, I passed about 20-30 people on the trail, not counting those just taking pictures near the parking areas.
Bring sufficient food and water. There are possibilities to stop for food or drink, but not really for supplies. Müllerthal has the two hotel restaurants and it may be possible to buy items at the campground. Berdorf also has a couple hotel restaurants. I didn’t see any supermarket but it seemed big enough to have one. Scheidgen has at least one hotel restaurant which I could see passing by. But there is absolutely zip in between these places.
The trail is well-marked and in great condition. I cannot imagine a trail of this type that is easier on the feet. Slopes are almost always supplemented with steps.
There are a couple of nice viewpoints. One overlooking Echternach and one between Berdorf and Müllerthal at the Gorges au Roitzbachschlüff.
Here is my only complaint. You don’t necessarily need the trail signs to follow the way. You can simply follow the discarded wet wipes. There are no bathroom facilities except in the aforementioned towns. There is a public WC in the tourist office in Müllerthal. I know I have the luxury of being a guy and pissing without the need of sanitary assistance. I don’t want this to end up being misconstrued as a sexist complaint, but in many places you cannot go 20m on this trail without seeing a discarded wet wipe. Literally. Be careful exploring around the rocks because guaranteed you will find areas that are used frequently and have become a veritable dumping ground for wet wipes and feminine hygiene products. As bad as this sounds, it doesn’t take away from the overall effect of the beauty of the hike. Just make sure you can see where you are landing if you are climbing down from some rocks.
|Starting Point||CR118 Parking Area|
|Total Distance||37.0 km|
|My Moving Time / My Total Time||8 hr 1 min / 9 hr 53 min|
I am pretty sure that when people talk about the Müllerthal Trail, it is Route 2 that comes to mind. It is 37km of pure magnificence.
The question is now, Will I return to do Route 3? Well it kind of feels like a trilogy of books where you’ve lent one of them out and now the open space on the bookshelf is standing out like a sore thumb. I guess a little OCD is bubbling to the surface again. So it is not a question of Will I but When. Luxembourg is still an orange zone which means I have to yet again go get a Covid test (same as after Route 1). Route 2 was worth all the trouble but I am thinking Route 3 might have to wait for this pandemic to pass or the color to change to green. Two sticks thrust deep into the sinuses is enough for the time being. And if it ever turns out that Route 3 is actually even nicer than Route 2, then my apologies to Barry Gibb and the others for the false comparison. Thank you for reading and please be safe and healthy.