The locals call it the “Sea of Rocks”. Some ambitious hiking guidebooks have even dubbed the area around Dahn the “Monument Valley of Palatinate”. Although this is a little exaggerated, the Palatinate Forest sure is a stunning spot with all its red and brown sandstone pinnacles and large stretches of sparsely populated forest. There’s another curiosity awaiting you in the forest and you will love it if you’re a fan of extended joy hikes: Along with an incredibly dense network of hiking trails and paths, the forest sports the highest density of traditional huts in all of Germany. That means incredibly good and inexpensive, down-to-earth regional food and local wine in a neat and hospitable atmosphere. The huts are mostly located in the middle of the forest thus you often don’t have to bring any snacks with you and always have a safe harbour within reach in case of rapid weather changes. Next to bizarre sandstone towers and culinary highlights you find a large number of medieval castles and ruins scattered over the hills of the Wasgau - as the heart of the Palatinate Forest is called. Almost all of them are free of entry charge and offer unique opportunities to explore the long-ago history of knights and kings. To put it in a nutshell: The Palatinate Forest is a joy hiker’s paradise. We collected these marvellous routes for you so you don’t get lost in the jungle of hiking opportunities in this gorgeous spot.
Rocks, castles, bears ... Well, not quite. Although there are no longer any bears in the Palatinate Forest, rocks and castles are even more so.The premium hiking trail starts in contemplative Bruchweiler-Bärenbach (hence the name of the trail) and then leads you through the heart of the Wasgau, which is characterized by red sandstone cliffs and the remains of several castles. Right at the beginning of the bear climb you climb the biggest hurdle, the "Jüngstfelsen", after which you have only a few meters to go. The highlight of the tour is certainly the Drachenfelsen: a small castle ruin with one of the most beautiful panoramas of the Palatinate. You look over the gently rolling hills around Busenberg (somewhere the name must come from here) and everywhere in the surrounding forests, the rock towers and walls of the Palatinate Buntsandstein spit through the treetops. In the Drachenfelshütte below the castle, you can fortify yourself with specialties from the Palatinate, because the vulture stone is getting steep again, but then you have the greatest effort behind you. Back to the starting point, you can relax in a relaxed mood and once again absorb the tranquility of the picturesque surroundings.
Why is there a cobbler's path here? The area is historically known for making shoes of all kinds. Did you know that Adidas grew up near Hauenstein, near Pirmasens? The founder, Adi Dassler, has his family roots there. Even today, a few small factories and museums testify to the history of footwear in this region.The Schusterpfad itself leads you though over the other landmarks of these areas, which already have much more history under their belt than the small shoe factories. The beautiful towers and turrets of red sandstone, which the Wasgau is so famous for, tower above the forests. Along the way, you will encounter many of these massive natural monuments, or you can climb up to them or force your way through the narrow gaps between them.Of course, as the Palatinate Forest is famous for another thing, you will not arrive at your destination on an empty stomach. The Wanderheim "Dicke Eiche", one of innumerable huts in the Palatinate Forest, ensures your physical well-being and one or the other Rieslingschorle will be there for a ridiculous price (wine is one of the staple foods) over the counter.Well then cheers, meal and have fun in Wasgau!
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Rock over rocks. Long, narrow, thin, tall, tall, brittle, solid, mossy, gray, red, brown ... No wonder the area around Dahn is called the "sea of rocks". Here you really get to see all possible formations, washouts and structures of the Palatinate Buntsandstein.The Napoleon Trail demands some stamina right at the beginning when you ascend to the Retschelfelsen. Then it leads you then on a narrow ridge to the Kaiserslautern hut, where you can make a perfect stop to the left of the hut, on the rock plateau, where the industrious climbers of the DAV sometimes practice abseiling, and can enjoy the heavenly peace of the forest. The descent from the hut to the valley is quite steep - so take care of your steps! Down in the valley you can fill up your water bottle at the Reinigshofquelle. Fresh Palatinate spring water directly from the earth you really should not miss here as a hiker!The path then goes back to the eponymous Napoleon rock slightly uphill, but then you have almost all vertical meters of the tour behind you! Just a few more minutes and you have reached the Pfälzer Waldvereinshütte "Am Schmalstein" and can regain your strength during a decent meal, perhaps with hand cheese, pea soup or liver dumplings and then a home-made cake. From there it is still a few kilometers to your starting point - but it is not as steep as it was at the beginning.
Pack the swimming trunks, it goes into the Dahner Felsenmeer!Nonsense. With sturdy shoes and hiking outfit you are better advised here, the sea here is mainly dry, red-brownish and slightly porous. In many a hiking guide to the area around Dahn because of the omnipresent Buntsandstein already the southern Palatinate "Monument Valley" have been called. Well, we do not want to exaggerate, but it is impressive here, where countless bizarre rock formations adorn the wayside.There is the best food, which you are already used to, at a Pfälzerwaldvereinshütte in the middle of the forest. Here you can, for example, the Palatine classic Saumagen with a decent Schoppen Riesling lead to taste buds - and all for more than human prices. But be careful with the wine, you still have a few miles to go before you. It leads you back past all sorts of bizarre rocks, which you can climb partly with the help of a ladder.
A wonderful tour that will take you not only through enchanting and enchanted forests with lovingly designed wooden figures, but with all the signs and diagrams is also really informative. For example, you learn something about how loose sand turns into sandstone or why there are so many volcanoes in the Eifel. And have you ever heard of Dreyerit? No? Then take a look at the signs "Volcanoes & Rocks" at the end of the path.
This tour is not only naturally beautiful, but it leads past two idyllic lakes and the bizarre rock formations of the Rumberg rock. No, she is also informative. Here, very close to the German-French border, there was a special-weapons camp of the NATO, which was built here in times of the cold war. This "Area 1" is now freely accessible and is maintained by the "Association Interest Group Area 1", so that the buildings as a memorial to this time remain for future generations.
At that time, a long, long time ago, the famous King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned in the castle of Trifels. The castle was then one of the most important festivals in the country and is still one of the great landmarks of the Palatinate. At that time, in addition to the prisoners, the imperial insignia was kept in the fortress, which was said to be impregnable.From this hike you often have a wonderful view of the iconic castle, which was built in harmony with the natural environment, on a mighty rock. An absolute masterpiece!The path leads you to an important place for the climbing scene of the Palatinate, the Asselstein. The huge sandstone block has been a challenge for several generations of Kraxlern, who used the cracks and edges in the rock to reach the top. At the foot of the Asselstein, you will find the best Palatinate home cooking in the Klettererhütte, before continuing on to the Rehberg Tower and the spring below. From the tower you have, you can safely imagine, a breathtaking panoramic view over the Palatinate Forest and its rock towers. Then it goes downhill constantly, down to Annweiler, where you can use a Kneipp facility in a beautiful little park to relax your flat-footed.
Here's an idea of what the Rhine plain looked like before the great river was straightened. The path leads you through one of the few internationally protected and still ecologically intact landscapes. You will run along the Michelsbach for a few kilometers, passing yellow fields of iris, grass and reed, until you reach the monstrous Rhine. You follow it downstream until you reach a small bridge. Behind it lies the Pfälzerwaldvereinshütte "Schleusenhaus". Here you can comfortably take a rest on the terrace before you stroll the last few meters of the tour relaxed back to your starting point.
"Sleeping Beauty" - this is the romantic holiday and wine village Dörrenbach meant - one of the most popular because most beautiful villages in the Palatinate. In 1975, the contemplative town was even awarded the title of Most Beautiful Village on the Wine Route. The fabulously quiet location exudes its charm above all in the picturesque town center with its old half-timbered houses, a magnificent Renaissance town hall, the medieval fortified church and several cozy wine taverns.In the vicinity of this jewel the Dörrschen loop trail runs through a no less beautiful nature. Thereby, above all you will discover a magnificent view from the Stäffelsberg tower, but also the narrow paths through the dense forest offer a lot to see.
Through the heart of the Southern Palatinate, this trail leads you on narrow paths and past imposing rocks. Thereby a spectacular panorama from the Rötzenstein awaits you, which gives you the view over a sea of trees. Especially daring people dare to reach the top of the rock for a better view. But here is absolute caution!At the end of the tour, a cozy beer garden awaits you in the tranquil town of Dimbach, where you can relax and enjoy one or two drinks and delicious meals. Bottom up!
At the end of this tour the probably best known of all Palatine rocks is waiting for you: the Teufelstisch. With his legendary history he has already attracted generations of school classes on hiking days or less ambitious hikers, the approach to him is very simple and short.Since you are one of the hiking enthusiasts, we will send you on a medium-sized round trip, where you can marvel at a beautiful spring and a magnificent view. Then at the very end you finally come to the said table of the devil and you can look at this balance miracle of details.
Trifels - the name indicates the three rocks that were the heart of this mighty defensive fortification. So next to the main castle, which we now call Trifels, the neighboring Anebos and the Münz were part of the castle complex.This tour takes you over all three of these historically important castles, with the main castle of Trifels as a clear highlight at the end. If you are hungry, there is a rest stop below the castle, the Restaurant Barbarossa.If you have a good SLR, this is one of the hikes you should definitely take with you. Especially from Anebos you can shoot excellent pictures of Trifels. The best pictures are taken in the autumn fog that is so typical of the Palatinate Forest, early in the morning. It pays to get up so early.
"Once France and back, please."You can have it. Here, on our Grenzgängerweg, you will learn a lot about the history of the German-French border. And often explained in a very clear way with personal stories that have taken place across the borders. Well suited for a hike with children.At the end of the route, the Nothweiler mine awaits you, which you must visit. Here you will learn all about the Palatine Buntsandstein and the historical iron mining in the region. From April to October, the mine is open to visitors.
Here it says: pure nature. First on the path of love into Finstertal and then on the Dickkopf path back out. Of course, you will also pass one of the obligatory sandstone outcrops; this one bears the name Schafsfels. Finally, the tour is rounded off with an impressive historic highlight: At the end, the ancient castles Dahn (with three ruins Altdahn, Grafendahn and Tanstein) waiting for you to explore them. Erfweiler itself, your starting and finishing point, is a small, tranquil village, surrounded by wooded slopes and sandstone cliffs. Here, life is a bit slower and that's good too. Because that way you can really relax while hiking and leave your everyday life behind.