91275 Auerbach in der Oberpfalz.
A9 exit Plech, through Plech to Neuhaus/Pegnitz, then Krottensee, turn left to Maximiliansgrotte. From the hikers' car park, follow the gravel road, at the crossroads straight ahead into the forest.
|Guided tours:||self guided|
|Address:||Nürnberger Land Tourismus, Landkreis Nürnberger Land, Waldluststraße 1, 91207 Lauf an der Pegnitz, Tel: +49-9123-950-6062, Fax: +49-9123-950-8005. E-mail:|
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The Vogelherdgrotte is located near the Maximiliansgrotte near Krottensee. It is usually visited as part of a hike to the Steinerne Stadt (Stone City). It is a cave ruin, a large cave passage that was weathered except for a small remnant. This remnant is not long, but it has impressive dimensions. It is so large that, according to legend, it used to serve the farmers as a shelter for hay carts during sudden rain or storms. That is why many such caves in Germany are called Scheuer (barn). The name Scheuer is even sometimes used as a descriptive name for such caves. In addition, the Vogelherdgrotte has an entrance on each side, so you can cross the cave. This is called a through-cave.
Climbing is allowed in the Vogelherdgrotte area, which is why it is usually very well visited on weekends with good weather. This is also the reason why the rather inconspicuous cave is described on many climbing websites. This is quite extraordinary, because for many years the number of climbing routes was steadily decreasing due to nature conservation reasons. Climbers only mentioned Vogelherdgrotte behind closed doors because they wanted to avoid too much activity and a possible ban on climbing. But now that the walls around the cave have been officially opened for climbing, the cave is becoming more and more popular. The Northern Franconian Jura is one of the largest and most traditional German climbing areas. Sport climbing has been going on here since the end of the 19th century.
In addition to climbing, parties are also a danger to caves. There are several party caves in Franconian Switzerland, but for some decades now both making fires and spending the night in caves have been prohibited. Vogelherdgrotte also has a fireplace, which you can see is still in use. This is not optimal, but due to the two entrances and the size of the passage, the impact on the cave is minimal.
The forest around the dry valley of Gunzenloch is full of strange stone formations. These formations are a result of the irregular weathering of dolomite. The dolomite was formed as part of a reef and depending on what it was formed from, reef, sponges or calcareous mud, it has different properties. The harder parts resist weathering better and so the fossilised reef structures are exposed again by the erosion.