Useful Information

Location: Mühlbach, near Dietfurt, Naturpark Altmühltal.
(49.022597, 11.618601)
Open: Cave: not accessible.
Karst trail: no restriction, guided walks once per month Sun 10:00.
Stein.Wasser.Höhle: All year daily 9-17.
Fee: Karst trail: Adults EUR 5, Children (0-14) EUR 2, Family EUR 10.
Stein.Wasser.Höhle: Adults EUR 3, Children (6-14) EUR 1, School Pupils EUR 1, Students EUR 1.
Classification: SpeleologyKarst Cave SpeleologyRiver cave KarstKarst Trail
Light: n/a
Dimension: L=10,000 m.
Karst trail: L=8 km.
Guided tours: Karst trail: D=3 h.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Karstgruppe Mühlbach e.V., Helmut Köhler, Bönerstr. 11, 90459 Nürnberg, Tel: +49-911-455958. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1990 first explorations.
20-JUN-1998 start of digging.
2001 cave discovered.
29-SEP-2005 inauguration of the karst trail Mühlbach.


The Mühlbachquellhöhle, although definitely not accessible to the public, is at the moment probably the most famous cave in Germany. It is a very recent discovery, which was made after consequent and intensive search and a several years long dig. And although there are other digs, which took even longer, this one was rewarded with one of the biggest cave in Germany, located in a karst area, which was formerly notorious for the lack of big caves.

Despite the inaccessibility of the cave, the small village Mühlbach is worth a visit. Located in the beautiful landscape of the Altmühltal (Valley of the river Altmühl) it has a nice karst spring, which is immediately used to power a mill, hence the name Mühlbach (mill brook). The Mühlbach is a tributary of the Altmühl.

An attraction like a show cave would increase the tourism income, and so the local officials tried to develop the cave as a show cave since it was discovered. Technical (or better monetary) difficulties prohibited this. In order to save the cave, the local caving club offered to advertise the village by publishing the cave and making multimedia shows. So there is still some publicity for the village, without the need to destroy the cave.

The source of the Mühlbach is the starting point of an 8 km long caving trail, which points out the various geological highlights of the area at 15 stations. These are primarily karstological in nature, but there is also the valley development of the Altmühltal to see. You can see sinkholes, karst crevices and even photos of the underlying parts of the Mühlbach spring cave on the panels. The adventure stations are particularly interesting for children, where they can slide through a concrete tube or learn about other things in a playful way. The KGM regularly offers guided tours for a small fee, which is donated to the association. The circular trail is a loop of the Jurasteig. You should plan on about two to three hours, depending on your fitness.

At the Mühlbach spring is the Obermühle Mühlbach (Upper Mill), which originally used the spring water to operate the mill. Nowadays, the Sägemühlstadel and the Steinstadel house an exhibition with various sections. The Stein.Wasser.Höhle exhibition in the Steinstadel with its vaulted rooms contains an exhibition with the research results of the cave explorers of the Karstgruppe Mühlbach e.V.. They describe the history of the cave's discovery and exploration, the current state of research, and offer cave plans as well as many pictures. Other parts of the exhibition are the Jura houses of the Altmühl region, the history of the upper mill and its restoration, archaeological finds, and a look at the water wheel.