The northern route begins and ends in Winnweiler:
Option 1: Access by the German Federal Railways - Bahnhof Winnweiler on feeder path to Igel Borner Cottage (Black Hinkelstein on a yellow background)
Option 2: Getting there by car - Parking below the Hedgehog Borner Cottage
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 Ottersberg 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 Hinkel Steinweg- trail markers, we reach the Winnweiler Bahnhof or the pedestrianized centre of Winnweiler. The local gastronomy here provides additional refreshment.
Very beautiful passages for meditative walking in peace and tranquility of nature.
Rest StopCafe-Bistro "Zeitlos"
Gasthaus "Zur Krone"
Alte Apotheke 1608
Restaurant "Blaues Haus"
Heimservice Pizzeria "Pisa"
Safety informationIn semi-natural paths may in adverse weather conditions occur slushy and slippery passages.
We therefore recommend suitable footwear.
Tips, hints and linksTourist Office Winnweiler
Jakobstraße 29, 67722 Winnweiler,
Tel.: 06302 / 602 0
Tourist Information Otterbach-Otterberg
Hauptstraße 54, 67697 Otterberg,
Tel.: 06301 / 31 504
Getting thereAbout the A63 - exit Winnweiler;
About the A6 - exit Enkenbach-Alsenborn, L 382 over Mehlingen, Baalborn, via the B 48 further Winnweiler;
Parking at the station: Coordinates: 49° 34´ 12´´ N / 7° 51´ 25´´ E
Wanderparkplatz at “Igelborner Hütte“: Coordinates: 49° 33´ 57´´ N / 7° 50´ 6´´ E