What nature has created in the course of time impresses and amazes us again and again. That’s why we are always very happy when we discover big and small wonders of nature on our travels, like the Saar Loop in the border triangle of Germany-France-Luxembourg. It is one of Germany’s most beautiful river bends and is considered the most famous landmark of the Saarland.
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Where is the Saar loop?
The Saar loop is located near Mettlach, a small town in western Saarland. It is 50 km to the state capital Saarbrücken, the city of Luxembourg is 40 km away, as is Trier. It is 70 km to Metz.
Things to know about the Saar loop
The Saar loop is a breakthrough valley of the Saar through the Taunus quartzite and is located between the Merzig district of Besseringen and the town of Mettlach, which are actually only two kilometers apart as the crow flies. Over millions of years, the Saar has dug its way through the quartzite rock and created a small natural wonder. Due to its meandering shape and the 180-degree loop around the rocky ridge, the Saar covers a distance of almost 10 kilometers between the two places. Montclair Castle, which was completed in 1439 and which we did not visit, sits enthroned high on the wooded ridge within the bend in the river. Incidentally, you can go hiking around the Saarschleife, because this is one of the most beautiful premium hiking areas in Saarland.
The Treetop Walk
A highlight at the Saarschleife is the treetop path, which opened in 2016 and is accessible to visitors for an entrance fee of EUR 11.50. The construction of the treetop path, including the observation tower, cost an unbelievable EUR 4.7 million. We arrived by car and used one of the many paid parking spaces on Cloefstrasse and Mius-Kiefer-Strasse in Mettlach-Orscholz. We paid just EUR 1.50 for 2 hours of parking here. Access to the path is located directly at the Cloef Atrium conference and visitor center, a few minutes’ walk from the parking lot.
From the ticket booth, the approximately 800 meter long path meanders through the tops of beech, oak and Douglas fir trees before it ends in the 42 meter high observation tower. The path is barrier-free, ie it can also be used with a pram or wheelchair and for people with walking disabilities without any problems. There are various learning and experience stations along the path for all visitors, young and old, where life and the diversity of the forest is vividly presented.
The observation tower at the Saar loop
At the end of the treetop path, the lookout tower, which consists of a semicircular wooden structure, winds its way up with a 6% incline. The ramp is very wide and easy to manage even with a stroller. The viewing platform at the top is about 70 square meters and offers enough space with benches to sit up for a few minutes, take a deep breath and simply enjoy the great view.
Views of the Saar loop
At the top of the viewing platform, we had a breathtaking view of the landscape of the Saar-Hunsrück Nature Park. Although the trees and plants were not yet green, so everything looked a bit dreary, the panoramic view was still fantastic. On a clear day you can even see the Vosges from here. We stood by the railing for a while and enjoyed the view. Simply great! Our little child was not at all afraid of heights and even dared to climb to the edge of the railing.
The viewpoint Cloef
Below the observation tower is the most beautiful and well-known vantage point of the Saar loop: the view point Cloef. And you can visit it completely free of charge. This rocky outcrop is right at the apex of the loop and is about 180 meters high above the river. From here you have – as well as from the lookout tower – a great view of the Saarschleife, the wooded ridge inside the loop and the rocky slopes on the outside of the river. Simply a beautiful photo motif!
We really enjoyed the trip to the Saar loop including a visit to the treetop path. If you don’t want to spend the entrance fee for the lookout tower, you also have a great view of the landscape and the river bend from the Cloef lookout point.