Rimstone Pools of the Lillach River

Useful Information

Location: Weißenohe. A9 exit Schnaittach, 2236 west towards Erlangen, turn right on B2. B2 north from Nürnberg. Turn right at Weissenohe to Dorfhau. About 2 km from Lillach, use trail with yellow line through the Teufelsgraben (devils ditch).
Open: no restrictions [2006]
Fee: free [2006]
Classification: KarstTufa Deposits
Light: n/a
Guided tours: self guided
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Bibliography: Alfons Baier (2007): Karsthydrogeologische Untersuchungen im Lillachtal östlich von Dorfhaus/Ldkr. Forchheim (Nördliche Frankenalb) Geol. Bl. NO-Bayern 57, 1-4: 173-208, 13 Abb., 3 Taf., Erlangen 2007. online
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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1976 declared a Natural Monument.
1995 became part of the protected Natural Park Fränkische Schweiz.
1997 renovation of the rimstone pools.


Since the end of the last Ice Age, which means since about 10,000 years, travertine or tufa was deposited by the limestone rich water below the spring of the Lillach river. The brook has some downgrade, so the deposition has the form of rimstone pools, as limestone is always deposited on the rims. Today there are numerous pools along the brook.

The pools are located in valley near Weißenohe, with no access restrictions at all. Unfortunately the got damaged by an increasing number of visitors, as they became more and more known during the last years. The visitors produced wild trails, and combined with natural mocemnts of the riverbed, the pools were in danger to fall dry. This would have started limestone deposition at another place, but it also have meant destruction of the existing rims. The soft and porous tufa is destroyed rather fast by frost and erosion, as soon as it is not part of the river any more.

To protect the current situation, the bed of the Lillach was restored, the shores strengthened and a good path built for the visitors. So it is now possible to visit the Lillach without destroying it. There was also created an educational trail with plates explaining the uniqeness of this valley.