The Pfälzer Weinsteig trail is pure Palatinate: the 170 kilometre long trail follows picturesque paths through pleasant forest and sun-drenched stages to the Rebenmeer, which is one of the largest wine-growing areas in the Palatinate.
Stage 1: Bockenheim to Neuleiningen
The first leg of the Palatinate Wine Route from Bockenheim to the mountain village from the Middle Ages of Neuleiningen passes through the sun-drenched fields of vineyards around Grünstadt. Glorious views to the Rhine plateau and Donnersberg accompany us on the 17 kilometre route that traverses vineyards on grassy paths. The tour’s other highlights are Heiligenkirche, the Asselheim wine hiking hut, the motorbike museum at Quirnheim and the beautiful village of Mertesheim.
Stage 2: Neuleiningen to Bad Dürkheim
The second stage of the Pfälzer Weinsteig trail, the longest of the three new approved hiking trails in the Palatinate, leads us from the pretty, 750-year-old town of Neuleiningen, with its vineyards and castle, to the spa town of Bad Dürkheim. Along this interesting trail we can discover a Germanic ritual site and a Celtic ring fort as well as the highest Bismarck Tower in the Palatinate.
Stage 3: Bad Dürkheim to Deidesheim
The third stage of the trail leads us from the picturesque Römerplatz square in Bad Dürkheim through the Poppen and Burg Valleys to the ruins of Wachten Castle, with its amazing views. Passing the Heidenlöcher (Heathen Holes) castle ruins, we descend to the small town of Deidesheim, one of the jewels of the German Wine Route.
Stage 4: Deidesheim to Neustadt an der Weinstraße
We begin the fourth stage of the trail in the picturesque historical town centre of Deidesheim before hiking through vineyards, the Palatinate Forest and along idyllic streams up to the summit of the Weinbiet. A descent with plenty of interesting views brings us down to Neustadt an der Weinstraße, one of the largest wine-producing communities in Germany.
Stage 5: Neustadt an der Weinstraße to St. Martin
Today the longest stage of the Weinsteig trail lies before us. Along the way we will discover many interesting natural monuments like the Zigeunerfelsen rock, the Hambacher Bergstein mountain and the impressive block field. We will also climb the 673m high Kalmit, the highest peak in the Palatinate Forest.
Stage 6: St. Martin to Burrweiler
Leaving the picturesque town of St. Martin, we take the attractive paths and trails along the edge of the Haardt Hills to Burrweiler. Some of the highlights along the way include the idyllically situated Hilschweiher lake, Villa Ludwigshöhe, a Virgin Mary grotto and the great views from the St Anna Chapel and St Anna House.
Stage 7: Burrweiler to Dernbach
On the seventh stage of the Weinsteig trail, we can discover three more hikers' huts run by the Pfälzerwald-Verein (a local association), all in idyllic settings. In addition, walking around the Orensberg mountain gives us one of the most beautiful views of the Palatinate Forest and the Rhine plain.
Stage 8: Dernbach to Annweiler am Trifels
Today we walk from Dernbach through woods and meadows to Eußerthal and onwards to Gräfenhausen, the most westerly wine-producing community in the Palatinate. The trail continues over the summit of the Großer Adelberg mountain, past the Krappenfels viewing point and down to the town of Annweiler, which lies at the foot of the majestic Trifels Castle.
Stage 9: Annweiler am Trifels to Klingenmünster
The nineth stage of the Weinsteig trail treats us to several highlights of the Palatinate. No fewer than eight picturesque ruins and castles line the route of our hike, among them Trifels Castle and the ruins of Madenburg Castle. We can also discover some imposing sandstone massifs.
Stage 10: Klingenmünster to Bad Bergzabern
The shortest stage of the Weinsteig trail brings us through woods, meadows and vineyards from Klingenmünster via the South Palatinate holiday destinations of Gleiszellen and Pleisweiler to the lively spa town of Bad Bergzabern, where we can discover the historical town centre as well as the splendid castle, and relax in the South Palatinate thermal springs.
Stage 11: Bad Bergzabern to Schweigen-Rechtenbach
The final stage of the Weinsteig trail takes us through thick forests from Bad Bergzabern past the picturesque village of Dörrenbach, also known as the Sleeping Beauty of the Palatinate, to the southern starting point of the German Wine Route, the German Wine Gate in Schweigen-Rechtenbach.
Despite the well-signposted trail markers along the premium hiking trails, we recommend for security reasons to always have an appropriate hiking map so that, for example when a storm occurs, you can quickly either find shelter or get out of the woods.
Especially in the autumn it is also important to remember that leaves lying on the ground can conceal irregularities, such as roots, rocks or holes in the path. Following storms, trees can have been uprooted or have branches hanging down. Such path impairments have to be expected when using such trails . Especially in adverse weather conditions, it may occur that the trails and paths turn into muddy and slippery passages. Path impairments of this kind have to be expected when you go out for a hike. Not all rocks or slopes are secured with ropes or railings and sure footedness is required. Should you be of the opinion that these are not accessible to you then you should try and get around them.
Sturdy footwear and all-weather clothing, sun and rain protection, and a sufficient quantity of food and drink, should no refreshment facilities or shopping possibilities exist or be open. Although the path is always very well marked, you should for safety reasons always have an appropriate hiking map with you.