Though the Palatinate hills trail is higher than any other path in the region, it can still make for a relaxing walk, since countless views provide the perfect opportunity to stop awhile and reflect.
The Palatinate hills trail is characterised by its huge expanses of scenery and contoured landscapes. The trail features an abundance of spectacular views: from the castle ruins of Alt Wolfstein and Neu Wolfstein, the Juchhe viewpoint overlooking Meisenheim, from Landsberg Castle ruins or the Königstuhl peak on Donnersberg Hill (the highest point on the route at 687 metres). Other major sights on the trail include Falkenstein Castle ruins, Rockenhausen old town with its clock museum, Lauterecken Castle and the timber-framed old quarter of Meisenheim. Both the Celts and the Romans passed through this region and you can retrace their steps at several points on the route, including the Celtic garden in Steinbach. The Palatinate hills trail even follows an old Roman road from Meisenheim to Lauterecken. Walkers with an interest in the history of mines should be sure to check out the Imsbach mining experience centre en route from Winnweiler to Dannenfels. With more than 23,000 hectares under vine, the Palatinate is the second largest winegrowing region in Germany, and walkers can enjoy a refreshing drop of the local wine at one of the walkers lodge cafés or vintners' taverns en route.
The castles of Alt Wolfstein and Neu Wolfstein
Near neighbours on the Palatinate hills trail, the castle ruins of Alt and Neu Wolfstein are not to be missed. The view from the castle keep at Alt Wolfstein overlooking Lauter valley is simply breathtaking, while the castle ward at Neu Wolfstein is a lovely spot to take a break and admire the view.
At a glance:
Starts and ends: Starts and ends: Winnweiler – Wolfstein
Number of stages: 7
Altitude variation (approximate values): ascent 3,300m, descent 3,250m
Terrain: 46% unmade, 14% asphalt, 39% other, e.g. gravel
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