Chestnut Trail | Stage 3
From Klausen to Barbian
Route length: 10.8 km
Metres in altitude ascent: 621 m
Metres in altitude descent: 298 m
Average walking time: 3:55 h
From the historic centre of Klausen with its winding alleys, inviting shops and cosy inns, the Chestnut Trail runs in a south-westerly direction. Between Thinne Square and the Capuchin Monastery, the Thinne Bridge crosses the Thinne stream, which, together with the Eisack River, has repeatedly struck fear into the little town through flooding. The path leads over the old Latzfons road into the Thinne Valley and branches off to the left after a narrow tunnel. Slowly hike uphill over the steep farm access road until you reach the Muttner Hof farm (664 m). After the farmstead, turn left uphill and follow the trail leading up into the forest at the upper edge of the orchards. Pass the old, abandoned farmstead of the Staudach Höfl farm and continue to the meadows of the Johannser Hof farm (754 m, refreshment stop approx. 200 m to the left of the Keschtnweg).
After this steep stage, the trail leads through forest and meadows to the "Wetterkreuz" viewpoint (825 m) and the beautiful Tschotthof farm with its lovely chestnut trees.
Here you have overcome the greatest difference in altitude of the stage and continue along the farm access road to a bend in the road to Gravetsch. Stay on the right, hike briefly to the next road bend and turn left there. Through the meadows of the Glatzner Hof farm you reach the wooded Blabach ditch and shortly afterwards the first houses in the settlement area of Villanders. The wide hiking trail leads directly to the parish church of St. Stephen and the graveyard with its wrought-iron crosses facing away from the burial mound.
Now you continue along the picturesque village alley to the centre of Villanders (880 m). In the southern part of the village, branching off to the left from the main road, the Keschtnweg leads past the residential houses below the village centre and descends via a field path into the wooded Mühlbachgraben, which was badly affected by the storms of 2019 and 2020. After the ditch, slightly uphill through the fields, you reach the hamlet of St. Moritz (780m, several stops). At the Winklerhof farm, follow the asphalt road downhill to the farm road branching off to the right. Walk to the last farm on this rarely used road and now follow the hiking trail that leads into the Zargenbachgraben. After the footbridge over the torrent, the trail runs through the forest, initially over rocky terrain and increasingly steep, until it then joins the asphalt connecting road from Villanders to Barbian. Without any significant incline, you hike for about 2 km on the little-travelled panoramic road to the centre of Barbian (857 m), the village with the leaning tower. The top of the 37-metre-high church tower is almost 1.57 metres off plumb.