Winnweiler - Hinkelstein (northern tour) - Hiking Trail - Palatine Uplands and Donnersberg

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Hiking Trail

Winnweiler - Hinkelstein (northern tour)

3 Hiking Trail • Palatine Uplands and Donnersberg
  • Blick auf Donnersbergmassiv von Igelborner Hütte
    / Blick auf Donnersbergmassiv von Igelborner Hütte
  • Geotour: Leopardensandstein
    / Geotour: Leopardensandstein
  • Menhir
    / Menhir "Hinkelstein"
    Photo: Tourismusbüro Winnweiler, Tourismusbüro Winnweiler
  • Logo des Hinkelsteinwegs
    / Logo des Hinkelsteinwegs
    Photo: Tourist-Info Otterberg, Tourist-Info Otterberg
  • /
    Photo: Pfalz Touristik e.V.
  • /
    Photo: Pfalz Touristik e.V.
  • Blick auf das Donnerbergmassiv von Potzbach
    / Blick auf das Donnerbergmassiv von Potzbach
    Photo: Tourismusbür Winnweiler, Tourismusbüro Winnweiler
  • Blick in die Nordpfälzer Landschaft
    / Blick in die Nordpfälzer Landschaft
    Photo: Tourismusbüro Winnweiler, Tourismusbüro Winnweiler
Map / Winnweiler - Hinkelstein (northern tour)
0 150 300 450 600 m km 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22 Leopardensandstein Menhir "Hinkelstein"

Quality route according to
The "Hinkelstein" and a variety of other historical landmarks are situated on this trail passing, through forests, meadows and country lanes, all left in a natural state. A certified Qualitätsweg with impressive views of the Donnersberg and the Nordpfälzer landscape.
22.7 km
6:00 h
430 m
430 m
The Hinkelsteinweg (trail marking: a black menhir on a white background) starts at the Wanderparkplatz of the Igelborner Hütte of the Pfälzerwald-Verein Winnweiler (opening times: Wed. from 11.30 hrs.Sat. from 14.00 hrs., Sundays and bank holidays from 10.00 hrs. and for groups of approx . 10 people, by appointment). There we follow the arrow signs pointing in the direction of Otterberg / Mehlinger Heide / Potzbach. Through an open deciduous forest and along the edge of a meadow, the trail leads towards Leithöfe where we have to cross the main road L390 before reaching the village. Along natural dirt roads with views of the open countryside, we pass through the valley floor of the two streams, Vorbach and Potzbach and reach, just after some horse paddocks, the small town of Potzbach. In summer you can enjoy a refreshing stop at the Kneipp pool in the main street. The trail leads through the main street, past the Catholic Church until the end of the town, where we cross the road again and turn right towards the forest edge (attention: we follow the upper path!).

By looking over our shoulders, we have a fantastic view of the southwestern foothills of the Donnersberg range with the fields and meadows at their foot. A seating area invites you to linger there even longer.

Past a former small quarry where once the rare Leopard sandstone was mined, the path leads slightly uphill into the forest in the direction of Kahlenberg. We follow the trail marker and reach a turnoff at the Drehenthalerhof, where we follow the arrow sign "Verbindungsstück nach Winnweiler". This shorter route through Drehenthalerhof is well-marked with a yellow menhir.

At the end of the village, we join up with the trail marked with the black menhir. We keep right and follow the signs downhill to where the historic Spring Festival of the town of Otterberg is celebrated and then on to the L387 main road that we have to cross at this point. Now we go back uphill and walk along a narrow path to Birotshof, where we find a small enchanted pond. Past a pavilion, the trail leads you along a wide forest track to the Lenhardt-Stein, a memorial for a former forester. After another 500 metres, we reach the menhir "Hinkelstein", which gave this trail its name.

Menhir is an originally Bretonic name for a monolith, several metres in height and meaning "long Stone" (maen = stone, hir = long). In German-speaking countries, menhirs were given the popular common name of Hinkelstein.

Until the French Revolution, the regions of Falkenstein, Kurpfalz and Schallodenbach met at this point. Even today, the mighty Hinkelstein is where the three regions of Otterberg, Höringen and Heiligenmoschel meet up. First mentioned in the year 891, by the Romans, the Hinkelstein is approx. 2.20 metres high and 1.50 metres wide and is flanked by two carved boundary stones. A seating area invites you to linger.

After a well-deserved rest at the Hinkelstein, we continue our hike through the Otterberger forest. Along this section we also encounter a variety of historical landmarks from the times when there was a monastery in Otterberg. The regions around Heidenkopf and Hinterwald always offer great views, for example of the idyllic Wackenborner Hof and the North Palatine highlands - a welcome change from the forest trail. Shortly after the so-called Franzoseneck, we leave the trail and walk through a meadow and along a farm road to Höringen. Downhill along the Bergstrasse, we then turn off left at the Hauptstrasse and after 200 metres arrive at the Höringer Bauerncafe run by the Gebhardt family where we can look forward to home-made cakes or savoury treats (opening times: only for hiking groups after prior arrangement; tel. 06302-1231)..

After our snack, we are then ready for the final, steep trail up towards Igelborner Höhe. First, a short asphalted trail leads out of Höringen, past small allotments over to the edge of the forest. We continue to climb uphill until we reach Klapperborn, after about 2.5 kilometres. Our final stop here is at the Igelborner Hütte near Winnweiler, which is recommended for a light refreshment.

Following the yellow-white Hinkelsteinweg- trail markers, we reach the Winnweiler Bahnhof or the pedestrianized centre of Winnweiler. The local gastronomy here provides additional refreshment.

Author's recommendation User
Sabine Sprinz
Updated: 2018-01-31

Quality route according to Quality route according to "Wanderbares Deutschland"
417 m
279 m
Best time of year

Safety information


Tips, hints and links


Starting point is either directly at the Wanderparkplatz of the Igelborner Hütte in Winnweiler or via the marked connected path from Winnweiler Bahnhof: (339 m)
49.565335 N 7.832866 E
32U 415604 5490958


Igelborner Hütte in Winnweiler or railwaystation Winnweiler

Turn-by-turn directions

Shuttle: Arriving at the train station, the route leads via a wooden bridge (Lorentz Steinbrückner-Weg) and then on your right hand across the parking lot and another wooden bridge into the Schloßstrasse, then turn right up to the junction, then turn left into Alsenzstraße and further to the left into the Schulstraße. This then leads uphill until you reach a roundabout and then continues straight on following the street, "Am Rauhen Weg" before turning left at the end of the paved road towards the forest edge / Igelborner Hütte. Here is the Wanderparkplatz, the official starting point of the main path.

Main path: Igelborner Hütte – main road L390 - Leithöfe - Potzbach – Leopardensandstein - Kahlenberg - Drehenthalerhof - connecting trail (highlighted in yellow) towards Winnweiler until you reach the Drehenthalerhof – Frühlingsplatzfest - Birotshof - Weidensohl - Pavilion - Lichtenbruck - menhir "Hinkelstein" - Heidenkopf - Heiligenmoschel - Hinterwald - Franzoseneck - Northern Höringen - Bergstraße - Hauptstrasse - Bauerncafe - Klapperborn - Igelborner Hütte (and then possibly back to the Winnweiler Bahnhof)

Public transport

Public transport friendly

Getting there


Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author ;

Kostenlose Broschüre/Flyer "Hinkelsteinweg"   - ;

Ab 1. April 2017:  KOMPASS-Wanderführer  - "Nordpfälzer Bergland und Rheinhessen" ;

Tourist-Information Otterbach-Otterberg ; ;


Author’s map recommendations

Topografische Karte, Naturpark Pfälzerwald, Blatt 3: "Kaiserslautern und Umgebung ;

Kostenlose Übersichtskarte "Wandern im Pfälzer Bergland"  - ;

Tourist-Information Otterbach-Otterberg ; ;

Kostenlose Wanderkarte der Pfalztouristik "Die Pfalz - Wanderkarte";



Book recommendations for this region:

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Tina K
Ein ganz netter Weg, aber für mich leider ohne große Höhepunkte. Ich hatte mir mehr davon versprochen als einen Hinkelstein und ein paar kleine Wegsteine. Somit bei schönem Wetter wie an diesem ersten sonnigen Sonntag ganz schön zu laufen, noch ein wenig schlammig, aber etwas langweilig. Schade.
Done at
Photo: Tina K, Community
Photo: Tina K, Community
Photo: Tina K, Community

Birte Buchert
Wir sind die Tour am 9. April 2017 gelaufen und ich vergebe volle Punktzahl. Zwar hat man wirklich manchmal nicht so schöne Wege dabei, da durch Forst- und Waldwirtschaft einiges zerfahren ist, aber die Tour, die vielen sehenswerten alten Grenzsteine und vor allem die wirklich schönen Aussichtspunkte sind trotzdem eine Wanderung auf dem Hinkelsteinweg wert. Uns hat es jedenfalls gefallen. Die Südroute werden wir auch noch unter die Pfoten nehmen ;) Gefallen hat mir übrigens auch, dass es viele Bänke und Rastplätze gibt. Alle sind gepflegt und sauber.
Done at
Pfotentrail am Hinkelsteinweg
Pfotentrail am Hinkelsteinweg
Photo: Birte Buchert, Community

Josef Mayer
Bei Höringen ist der Weg z.T. weggepflügt und sehr schlammig. Auch ansonsten ist der Weg ohne große Höhepunkte und daher sind die 5 Punkte bei "Erlebnis" und "Landschaft" nicht gerechtfertigt (max. 3 bzw. 4 Punkte).


No current conditions found in the area.
22.7 km
6:00 h
430 m
430 m
Public transport friendly Round tour Nice views With refreshment stops Cultural/historical value Geological highlights

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