Several weeks ago, an anonymous visitor left a comment on a previous blog, sharing that they had lived in Nikoalusberg in the ’80s. They also suggested we hike to the ruins of the “Wachturm,” a watch tower not far from our village. Setting out on a chilly but sunny Saturday afternoon, Travis, Touille, and I went in search of this mystery tower, anxious to take our kind reader up on their suggestion.
One of the problems with hiking in Germany is deciding where to go and which trail to take to get there. With no shortage of trails, it’s possible to hike for hours, zigzagging through fields, neighboring villages, and small patches of woods. Since we had a general idea that the tower was off to the northeast, we randomly selected a trail at the edge of town. Even closer than we realized, we arrived at the tower in about a half hour. The ruins of Rieswarte lie between the woods and fields about a kilometer northeast of Nikolausberg.
Built by master stone mason Wedekind Graven in the late 15th century, the tower and segments of wall surrounding it formed part of the outer perimeter of defense for Göttingen.
Clearly popular with locals, we watched as parents with toddlers in tow and families of bikers lunched at the ruins or paused for a rest before continuing on. Wanting to hike further rather than head back to Nikolausberg, Travis suggested we continue on toward the village of Deppoldshausen a few kilometers away.
Dropping down the hill to briefly follow a gravel road, we passed through quiet stands of bare trees, still naked without their leafy summer clothes.
After crossing through the sleepy village of Deppoldshausen, we circled back toward Nikolausberg, crisscrossing a series of trails and even a logging road in an attempt to hike a large loop back to Nikolausberg rather than backtracking. Unfortunately, a small, steep valley with a creek at the bottom and thick underbrush blocked our dreams of a perfect loop hike. We finally double-backed, following a confusing mishmash of trails, cutting across a fallow field, and skirting the woods until we arrived back on the outskirts of Nikolausberg after dark.
Almost five hours after we left our flat, we arrived home. I was startled to realize we’d hiked almost 14 kilometers! Hiking to the Ruine Rieswarte was a nice way to spend a sunny day, and we appreciate our reader’s suggestion.