published on by Uwe Krüger in infofotos
I am a great fan of water falls, and whenever the opportunity arises, I make sure to visit these watery natural wonders. Unfortunately, there is not much of a selection of spectacular waterfalls here in the Odenwald, where I live. So I am all the more delighted that a noteworthy exception exists. Margaret Gorge, east of the village of Nechargerach, surprises because of its untamed, alpine character. Over millions of years, the Flurbach, a small stream, has gnawed through the red sandstone to create a natural paradise that you would not expect to find in the tranquil Neckar Valley. With a drop of 110 meters down several steps, the waterfall is among the highest in Germany. In the pools between the individual escarpments, the fire salamander deposits its larvae, which depend on clean, oxygen-rich water for survival. Rare ferns thrive here, among them the black spleenwort (Asplenium adiantum-nigrum) and the hard shield fern (Polystichum aculeatum). The latter is an index species for damp, mountain forests. Although the steam is a nature reserve, you can hike through the heart of the area. A narrow path, which in places is reminiscent of an alpine Klettersteige – an otherwise difficult-to-climb rock face made more accessible by the addition of steel footholds and cable railings – leads through the middle. Numerous crossings of the creek from one side to the other at water level offer an intoxicatingly delightful ramble. At particularly interesting locations, the Neckartal-Odenwald Nature Park has installed plaques that tell about the reserve and its features. Margaret Gorge is at its most beautiful in May or June, when the roaring waters wind through the new, spring greenery of the mixed deciduous forest. To anyone who has become curious and would like to plan a family excursion to Neckargarach, I recommend having a look at the nature park's Web site: http://www.naturpark-neckartalodenwald.de/index.php?id=77
Perhaps we will encounter each other among the ferns and fire salamanders.