Bebenhausen – Dettenhausen – Waldenbuch

  • Distance: 15 km
  • Walking time: 4.5 hrs
  • Elevation gain: 250 m

This varied hike takes us through Schönbuch Nature Park. We board the No. 826 bus to Tübingen at the stop "Postamt Waldenbuch" and get off at Bebenhausen after about 15 minutes. It's safer to tell the bus driver our destination, to make sure the bus stops.

Bebenhausen and its Cistercian monastery are well worth a visit! The whole site is a protected monument. After getting off the bus we walk a short way back, cross the road (L 1208 Waldenbuch - Tübingen) at the pedestrian crossing and go immediately up the forestry trail (Spötterweg), following the hiking sign with the red stripe (Hauptwanderweg No. 3 = HW3). After hiking quite a way along the forest nature trail, we see on our left the man-high rock pillar known as the "King Wilhelm Stone", a minor monument dating from 1916. We continue along Einsiedler Sträßchen, past the Pfeifferstein forest car park named after the hunter Wilhelm Pfeiffer, who was murdered on 26th February 1822. His memorial stone can be found in the forest a short distance away.

We enter the wildlife reserve through the gate in the deer fence at "Stöckle" (please keep gate closed at all times), where we discover the following quotation on the fence: "Believe me, you will discover far more in forests than in books. The trees and animals will teach you things that you will hear from no other master." (Bernard of Clairvaux, d. 1153).

From here, the hiking sign with the blue cross shows us the way to Dettenhausen. On "Langer Rücken Sträßchen", an easily walkable trail between Kirnbach (on the right) and Seebach (on the left), the undulating path goes constantly up and down. At the crossing with Lindenallee you can see on your left the stump of a large lime tree which used to stand here. It was dedicated to Otto Schäffer (1898 - 1958), a district forester and respected woodsman of the postwar era. An ancient boundary stone (minor monument) is clearly visible about 70 m to the right in Lindenallee. It bears a crozier (abbot's crook) from Bebenhausen Monastery and the letters C B. This originally marked the outer limit of the monastery forest. On the right you come to the new Bärlochhütte (cabin) and Bärloch meadow, a local recreation zone with a barbeque area. There used to be a seed nursery here. After c. 250 m you'll see the old Bärloch hut with the Bärloch Oak (natural monument).

Continuing along the path, you pass on your right the mighty Kreuzbuche (Cross Beech) with the Cross Stone (minor monument). The Sweden Cross between the roots of the beech commemorates the inglorious outcome of the Battle of Nördlingen in August 1634, during the Thirty Years' War (1618 - 1648). We reach the exit of the enclosure, go through the car park along the fence on the right and cross the main road (L 464 (Böblingen - Walddorfhäslach). On the opposite side we continue along a narrow forest trail marked with a blue cross, then downhill and a short way to the right at a forestry trail, and through a small tunnel under the road. Dettenhausen now lies before us. We keep straight on along the side of the playing fields, into Pfrondorfer Straße.

At the substation the hiking sign of a blue dot leads us downhill to the left. This would be the shortest route to train and bus services, if you prefer to break off your hike here. Otherwise we follow the right-hand bend of Pfrondorfer Straße to the end of the road. Now turn left and then immediately right along the main road for about 250 m until you see the hiking sign with a red dot. Follow it past the open-air swimming pool and downhill into the Schaichtal Nature Reserve, to reach the

Dettenhäuser Mill

First documented in 1383, the grain mill was driven by an overshot waterwheel 5 metres in diameter. It was in operation up to 1912 and is now occupied by a firm. After passing the sewage plant, the asphalt road ends, leading into a pleasant hiking and cycle trail. Within sight of a barbeque area and shelter, a wide forest trail (unmarked) goes uphill to the left, also signposted as a cycle track to Waldenbuch. It leads to the Braunacker forest car park, which we see on reaching the crest of the hill. Continue straight ahead to the L 1208 main road (Dettenhausen - Waldenbuch), which we cross and turn right along the cycle and hiking trail for about 200 m to the Teufelsbruch car park. Straight ahead after the barrier (blue cross hiking sign), a road leads downhill. Immediately after leaving the woods we see Waldenbuch ahead, the Hasenhof in the background and the Bonholz industrial area on the far right. We pass Waldeck Farm (on the left) and the Buchenhof (on the right). Later we see the Schützenhaus clubhouse on the left, find the red dot hiking sign and follow it. The stream known as the Segelbach flows out of the valley. We follow its course on the right bank and arrive at the

Seitenbach Mill

This grain mill has been in operation from 1784 up to the present day. A mill shop with organic products augments the range of goods. From here we continue along an enclosure with fallow deer and reach the town at the roundabout. Following Tübinger Straße to the left, we soon arrive back at our point of departure.
This hike was devised by Walter Nogger (a guide with the Schwäbischer Albverein e.V., Waldenbuch branch.

Recommended hiking map

Topographic map "Stuttgart“, page 12, scale 1:35.000, published by: Landesamt für Geoinformationen.