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.
Rest stopsIgelborner Hütte
Tips and hints
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
Book recommendations for this region:
EquipmentWe recommend the following equipment as standard for our hiking tours:
Sturdy shoes Clothing
suitable for the weather
Sun and rain protection
Sufficient quantity of food and drink, as refreshment stops or shopping facilities are not always available or open.
Although the paths are very well marked throughout, for safety reasons it is always advisable to carry a suitable hiking map so that you can quickly find your way to a safe area in the event of a thunderstorm or emergency.
- 4 Waypoints
- 4 Waypoints