© Pancake! Photographie

Outdoors Passion A father-son adventure on the Mullerthal trail

4 minutes

A classic trail calls!

The Mullerthal Trail spans a whopping 112 kilometres and is one of the most popular hiking trails in Luxembourg. Distinguished as a “Leading Quality Trail – Best of Europe”, it is marked by varied landscapes, surprisingly challenging hills and an array of camping spots. An ideal spot for a father-son adventure!

Immerse yourself in nature for days on end. Let a babbling brook and an owlet’s tender hoots soothe you to sleep under the stars. Heat up a hearty soup on the camping stove and savour a sense of freedom and independence. No need to traverse the vast expanses of Lapland. There is adventure to be found right here in Luxembourg! 

Originally, the tour was meant to prepare Luxembourgers Luc Reis and son Leo for a big hiking adventure in the far North: the challenging Fjällräven Classic Sweden. Like the Mullerthal Trail, Fjällräven is known for its narrow paths and stairs that require a lot of climbing up and down. At 112 kilometres, the Mullerthal Trail is even longer by two kilometres. Perfect practice!

© Pancake! Photographie

Much more than a test run

The duo hits the challenging trail equipped with their Sweden gear including camping stove, tent, functional clothing and more. They couldn’t be more prepared. Dad carries 20 kilos, son eight. 

“The Mullerthal Trail is an adventure. The landscapes are just so unique and beautiful: caves, rocks, ravines, unexpected vistas, villages. And the trail is not easy! It’s a fun challenge,” says Luc Reis.

Luc works in tourism and knows what people look for when they need a break. He loves hiking for the sense of calm and freedom it instils. Now in his mid-forties, he appreciates certain luxuries but doesn’t mind trading them in for a thin camping mat every now and then.

Campsites in Luxembourg are really great! Often in beautiful locations, some have pools and most have great playgrounds for children,” he says. Along the Mullerthal Trail, he’s already stayed at Nommern, Heringer Millen, Beaufort and Berdorf.

The father and son first hiked the Mullerthal Trail five years ago. Their successful trip to Sweden shortly after was an unforgettable adventure. Leo was ten years old at the time. He is fifteen now. A passionate scout, he feels at home in nature. “Sleeping and eating outside, being on the trail with friends is amazing,” he says. He is looking forward to the 2023 World Scout Jamboree in South Korea, a huge event that takes place every four years and unites up to 50,000 fourteen- to sixteen-year-old scouts from all over the world. They share a love of nature and community spirit. These values are also important to his dad, Luc. He was and still is a member of the scouts.

© Pancake! Photographie
Please make sure to enable your Cookies in case you don't see this content.

Today, Luc and Leo are starting the Mullerthal Trail at Berdorf campsite. The first goal is the socalled Devil’s Island (“Däiwelsinsel”) in Berdorf. The forest opens like a curtain onto a panorama of luscious green woods and cliffs, emblematic of the Mullerthal. Can you spot the ravines, cliffs and caves hiding Rivamong the greenery? Like the Devil’s Island, they have spooky names like Death Chamber and Den of Thieves!

Here, Luc and Leo stumble upon Bart Cockx, 44, and Lobke Dillin, 43, doing yoga. “We’ve been coming here for almost 20 years. The Mullerthal region is a highlight. You’ll find peace and solitude without having to drive far,” says Bart and switches to another yoga pose. On the bridge with the green metal railing, Leo tries to stand on one leg but his heavy backpack throws him off balance and he gives up, laughing.

Luc and Leo continue on their way, over hill and dale, through crevices and a sea of boulders. On this hot summer day, the ancient rock formations feel refreshingly cool. The Mullerthal is truly diverse. The duo climbs up the Trooskneppchen path in Echternach. The serpentine trail is steep and narrow. A small number of bushes and leafy trees offer some respite from the scorching sun. Leo needs a break. “We’ll take a break at the top,” says Luc and tightens his backpack. The view at the summit is well worth it. Before them lies the stately basilica of Echternach embedded in greenery, its bells chiming. Leo sits on a bench and takes a sip from his water bottle.

To cool off, hikers can head to the forest around Alkummer near Steinheim. The narrow, pointed dolomite rocks form a kind of room and one of the many puzzle pieces that make up the Natur- & Geopark Mëllerdall. The Mullerthal has been part of the international network of UNESCO Global Geoparks since 2022. Both dolomite and sandstone formations are emblematic of the Mullerthal region and offer a profound insight into the country’s geological history.

Hiking in the prehistoric sea

During the Triassic and Jurassic eras, over 200 million years ago, the sea covered the Mullerthal region along with its dolomite and sandstone formations. As the water receded, rivers scored through the stone and created the current landscape including plateaus and valleys that have been populated by humans since the Mesolithic era. As the biggest river in the region, the Sauer shaped rock into sheer rock walls on both sides of the valley. Rivulets and streams also created ravines, offering a beautiful contrast to the rolling hills of the region.

Please make sure to enable your Cookies in case you don't see this content.

Training ground for bigger feats

The “Alkummer” is essentially a very narrow passage between two huge rocks. It fits one person, squished, and only if the backpack isn’t too big. Luc and Leo wait for two other hikers to clear the passage one after the other. Sandra Verholen, 43, and Ronny Josten, 37, are visiting from the Netherlands and are in Luxembourg for six days. They are using the Mullerthal Trail to practise for the Norway Trail. Clearly, the Mullerthal Trail is a training ground for bigger feats. It’s their first time in Luxembourg and they are enchanted. 

“Yesterday, we covered 22 kilometres with 400 metres in altitude change. It’s challenging and ideal for training. And the landscapes are just gorgeous!” says Sandra. Today, they’re walking 14 kilometres on Route 1 and admiring the rock formations. Luc and Ronny share their experiences of sleeping in the wilderness. “In Norway, used toilet paper must be burnt,” Luc recalls and grins. For outdoor adventures, he keeps his toilet paper on a wire in a plastic bag to keep it safe from rain. Sharing outdoor experiences is part of this world. We never stop learning.

Please make sure to enable your Cookies in case you don't see this content.

Top Trails

Rewarding experiences

For hikers, Luxembourg is the ideal destination: the country has one of the densest networks of hiking trails in Europe. The “top class”, so to speak, are “Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe.” They meet strict criteria to ensure attractive tours and glimpses into diverse landscapes.

Learn more
© Visit Éislek