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Spring is a great time of the year! Flowers begin to blossom, the weather gets warmer, the evenings are longer to enjoy, and so much more. With winter officially behind us, now is a great opportunity to spend time with your family and have some great fun outdoors, while keeping fit.
Hitting the trails
There are so many beautiful trails around the KMC that you and your family are able to enjoy. What could be better than taking an afternoon stroll or spending a day hiking in the clean spring air, surrounded by the refreshing outdoors? There are more than 90 parking areas that lead to trails covering over 2,200 kilometers of breathtaking scenery.
Devils Tour, Otterbach
This wonderful trail offers 15 kilometers of some heavenly views that won’t disappoint. While exploring this trail, you will find everything from wild romantic creek valleys to steep rises and a breathtaking view over Palatinate mountains that everyone will love.
Sculpture Trail, Kaiserslautern
In the midst of beautiful nature and wildlife in the Palatinate forest, you can encounter man-made sculptures fashioned from sandstone, wood or metal. Some of these weird and magnificent pieces of art blend into the landscape while others present an exciting contrast to nature. There are over 30 works of art that you are can admire while hiking through idyllic scenery.
Mill Trail, Landstuhl
The Mill Trail is one that many families and hikers love. It starts in Landstuhl and passes 13 mills as it winds south through the adventurous valleys of the Stuhlbach and Wallhalb creeks. This trail stretches for 23 kilometers and passes two must-see destinations that invite you to stop in for a visit. The first is Nanstein castle, where you can pause and enjoy the marvelous view of the town of Landstuhl. The second is the Rosselmuehle, where the water still turns the huge mill wheel.
This hike takes you from the Vogelweh Housing development into the woods, leading you to the remains of an ancient Roman fort called Ring Mauer. To begin this trail, park within the Vogelweh Housing area, but be sure not to park within designated residential spots. Trail time is roughly two hours each way, or four hours round trip. The trail is roughly 12 kilometers long and the route has sections that are both paved and unpaved.
There are two Frankenstein castles in Germany, but this is the one closest to Ramstein – approximately one hour away. There is a designated parking lot at the base of the hill that provides access to the hiking trail. While it is unknown exactly which of the castles inspired the writing of Mary Shelley’s famous novel, it is known that the author spent time in many parts of Germany, especially along the Rhein River. These ruins are accessible via a short hike up the side of the mountain, roughly fifteen to twenty minutes each way. There are picnic areas nearby and a number of geological formations in the surrounding area. This hike is perfect for someone looking to get a little fresh air without devoting much time to a hike.
The destination for this hike is located a short distance away from Kaiserslautern, about a thirty-minute drive, in the village of Wolfstein. This quiet village offers a number of public parking lots within walking distance of the trail. It is the first stage of the much longer Pfälzer Höhenweg, and includes a small portion of the 100-kilometer-long trail. This hike is just under 12 kilometers long, looping around the town and making it a perfect hike for a day trip. The hike ends with a spectacular view of two separate castle ruins.
The Palatinate Forest Trail
Any portion of this 143-kilometer-long trail would make for an excellent hike. The trail offers views of spectacular crags, deep valleys, undisturbed countryside and verdant forests. There are a number of parking areas, depending on what entry spot you choose. Along the way, you can normally stop at the house of sustainability, Haus der Nachhaltigkeit, in Johanniskreuz, to learn more about preserving nature and the surrounding area. Currently, this exhibition space is closed. However, if you decide to take this hike later in the year, check to see if it is open. The Drachenfels Ruins and the Berwartstein Castle, Germany’s only remaining currently occupied castle, are both along this route. The trail is broken into nine stages, any of which can be hiked individually or as a longer multistage hike.
When participating in any physical activity, hiking included, safety and preparation are of the utmost importance. Bring plenty of water and plan for weather changes. Know where you are going by doing a little research in advance and carry a charged cellphone just in case.