Roman ruins and wild forests
The sixth leg of the journey took me out of Urft and along the Römerkanal wanderweg. The Eifelsteig stage had been rerouted a bit, and instead of going with the recommended diversion, I followed this trail for a few kilometers until it merged with the original Eifelsteig. The Römerkanal wanderweg is a trail that takes you along an old Roman aqueduct, passing a lot of different ruins along the way. These ruins aren’t as impressive or enormous as something you would find in for instance Italy, but rather small ordinary constructions that were a part of daily roman life on the outskirts of the empire.
Again, you get the feeling that there are two separate parts of the trail. The first is when you walk along the Eifel Aqueduct which takes you through lofty expanses of beech forests as you follow the Urft. The Urft isn’t exactly the might river we followed a few stages ago, but more of a gentle stream. The second part is after you leave the ruins of the late Roman fortress on the Urft and you venture over fields and into forests with heavy fir trees and moss covered ground. Again, the path is rather level all the way through. There is a particularly steep part a few kilometers in, but the breathtaking beeches there will give you energy to continue!
There is a lot of information about the various remnants of the Roman empire in Germania inferior – Lower Germany, along this part of the Eifelsteig.
The damage of that the floods had done to the railway system was all too obvious as you walked out of Urft. The Urft River had risen over three meters in places and swept away the foundations of the railway banks with disturbing ease. As I walked past it, work was underway to repair the damage, but that is likely a job years in the making.
Review of the sixth leg of the Eifelsteig trail
This leg offered a much wilder path than for instance the previous one. There are ample opportunities for an abundance of birds of prey, woodpeckers, and perhaps if you’re lucky even some of the wild cats endemic to the area. And even though the ruins from the late Roman period are small, and often quite weathered, there is a lot to see and explore if you enjoy your history.