Biking from village to village in the areas surrounding the KMC and Baumholder can be challenging and a little frustrating during weekend and holiday traffic times when you have to share roadways with cars and trucks that zip around you to pass. Sometimes they get too close for comfort, especially when it is illegal to use sidewalks, and you are forced to concentrate on staying so close to the shoulder of the road without being able to bail off quickly onto grass, rocks and gravel if you are on a road bike.
As a mountain biker who is able to ditch the pavement without damaging my tires and rims, I still do not enjoy biking along roadways for fear of that one distracted driver who could be texting, talking on the phone, eating, or fumbling around the vehicle for various other reasons.
There are many options in the surrounding areas to enjoy your ride with peace of mind, lack of noise, amazing views, feel safe alone or with the family, and have rest stops along the way that offer food and drink, or picnic areas along the route.
One of my favorite bike adventures in the area is the Draisinentour. The Draisine is a railroad bike trolly that was used years ago to take workers along the tracks to inspect and repair them. This is a great option if you don’t want to pack up your bikes, deal with flat tires, chain breaks, and especially traffic.
The trollies are equipped with seats for 2 peddlers in the front, 2 passengers in the back so that you can switch off, and a backpack and cooler area at the rear of the trolley. If you are doing a family tour the recommended age for allowing the kids to peddle is 9 and above due to leg length. Otherwise, they can enjoy the ride while you do the work.
The routes are from Altenglan to Lauterecken (20 kilometer), or you can continue on to Staudernheim for a total of 40 kilometers. They are one-way routes that start and end at a train station with bus transportation at each point for your return trip. The routes start at different points on even and odd number days of the month. Even day route runs from Staudernheim – Lauterecken – Altenglan. Odd day route runs from Altenglan – Lauterecken – Staudernheim. Be sure contact the tourist information office in Kusel to make your reservation; email Touristinformation@kv-kus.de. You will receive your confirmation via email as well as the bus schedules and prices to return back to your start point.
Each route has stops along the way where you can remove the trolley from the tracks, take a break, have lunch or explore one of the villages. Locks are provided with the trolley.
Opens daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Prices: Monday to Friday 36 euro per trolley. Saturdays, Sundays, and German holidays 44 Euro per trolley.
For more info and videos, check out www.draisinentour.de
For those of you who prefer to take to the trails on your own or with your families, the following are a few great
suggestions with no traffic, amazing views, as well as places to rest, picnic or stop at a local beer garden. These routes were also chosen because of their starting points being either in or near the villages that a lot of KMC and Baumholder off-base/post residence reside in.
All routes are clearly marked with the name as well as colorful symbols that can be easily spotted as you drive through the villages. While riding keep in mind to check the signs along the way to stay on your route because many of them intersect with other routes at various points.
Some of the routes have various surfaces such as dirt, gravel, and asphalt. They can also lead you into small villages for several minutes before connecting back into the wooded areas.
Fritz-Wunderlich-Weg goes from Altenglan to Freisen. Distance is 25.7 kilometers with a rating of easy and ideal for families with children.
Pfaelzer Moortour goes from Haupstuhl and back to Haupstuhl. Distance is 26 kilometers with a rating of easy and ideal for families with children.
Lautertal-Radweg goes from Kaiserslautern to Lauterecken. Distance is 36 kilometers and is rated as easy and ideal for families with children.
Pfaelzer Land Radweg starts in Enkenbach-Alsenborn to Altenglan. Distance is 42.7 kilometers with a rating of easy to intermediate.
Glan-Blies-Radweg starts in Homburg and goes to Staudernheim.Distance is 126 kilometers with a rating of easy and ideal for families with children.
Odenbachtal-Radweg goes from Otterbach to Odenbach Distance is 31.5 kilometers with a rating of intermediate.
Pfaelzerwald Tour goes from Kaiserslautern to Hinter-Weidenthal. Distance is 61 kilometers with a rating of intermediate.
Sickinger Muehlenradweg is from Ramstein-Miesenbach to Thaleischweiler-Froeschen. Distance is 41.6 kilometers with a rating of intermediate with a difficult ascent between Kindsbach and Sickinger Hoehe.
The Kirschroute or cherry tree route goes from Schoenenberg-Kuebelberg to Osterbruecken. Distance is 22 kilometers, difficulty level is rated from intermediate to difficult along the route.
Burgenradweg goes from Thallichtenberg to Fraunberg. Distance is 28.5 kilometers with a rating of difficult and recommended for experienced riders.
More information on the routes can be found at www.radwanderland.de or www.tourenplaner-rheinland-pfalz.de